Evan Plews races for us out of Salem Oregon. He's an endurance specialist, which you can see by a quick look at his results below. In addition to being the USA Cycling 24 Hour Solo Single Speed National Champion, in July 2012 he competed in the USA Cycling National Chapmionships and finished a strong second overall in the Single Speed category (on his Ibis Tranny), one of the toughest. Congrats to Evan on a good race in Sun Valley.
We got the following note from Evan Plews recently, telling us about his June 2012 racing escapades in racing in the Pacific Northwest.
Rode singlespeed in apocalyptic mud conditions. Course shortened halfway through the race. Still beat everyone and won overall. No Prizes. Hours of bike maintenance. Lovely. Best part of the race: N/A. Sorry, no pictures. See below for apocalyptic mud conditions.
I am two time TOE50 winner coming back after a few years. 4 laps instead of 2 this time. Sleep in car so I don't have to drive to the venue for 6AM start. Course is harder with more single track but weather is beautiful for once. Race single speed. Goal sub/2hr laps (same as TOE50 Winning pace). Second place after first lap in under 2hrs. Drop that dude in a couple more miles and ride the same pace geared 34-16 for another 6hrs. Finish 7:52 about an hour ahead of the next guy from Montana on geared bike. Note: winning TOE50 time 3:59... Nice cash prize in hand to buy gas and case of Deshutes Black Butte to barter. Best part of the day: Setting new downhill KOM on the most popular trail in the area--on the single speed hardtail.
Self-Proclaimed...isn't this how SSWC and SSCXWC started and continue today??? The 6HR World Championships are held in Capitol Forest near Olympia Washington. Also known previously as "6Hrs of Capitol Punishment". After a day or two of summer, Junuary starts the night before with steady piss through most of the race. Ride single speed again--why bother with silly gears?!
10 mile lap course climbing Capitol Peak and descending Green Line (famous DH trail). Cash prime for fastest lap which I set second time even with course already falling apart by nearly five minutes and set new course record!
Steady sub 1hr lap times to finish 7 laps and win SS and Overall rainbow jersey. Best part of the day: passing all the padded out, full-faced Green Line shuttlers on my SS Tranny hardtail going downhill--luvin' my custom valved 100mm Manitou R7!
My non-existent entourage has been letting me down by not showing up to take pictures.
Now pack van for drive to Fernie. Mojo SL/HD locked and loaded. Bring it Canadians!
Thanks again for great bikes that make me faster...
Evan Plews races for Ibis, primarily on his single speed Tranny. Here’s a quick recap of Evan’s 2011 palmarès (as the Euros say) for this year.
You wouldn’t know it from his race results, but Evan Plews has been suffering from both Epstein Barr Syndrome and sleep apnea. Evan is the one and only Ibis-sponsored cross country racer, and he recently completed a very successful season on his Ibis Tranny single speed. He traveled all over the states, and even made a trip to Ireland for the single speed world championships.
Both Epstein Barr and sleep apnea have contributed to Evan’s recent battle with Chronic Fatigue Sydrome. He’s been haunted by these two undiagnosed afflictions his last two racing seasons. Evan, never one to complain or make excuses, simply kept racing, and quietly dealing with his problems.
With his Ibis Tranny single speed neatly tucked into his trusty red Sampsonite suitcase (a two dollar find at a thrift store a few years ago) Evan was traveling all over the country and winning lots of races in 2010, a trend he continued for 2011. Evan, we, along with traveling cyclists everywhere commend you for not allowing the major airlines to extort thousands of dollars from you these last two years. How did he do it? By successfully and cleverly utilizing the Tranny’s break apart feature to pack the bike into a large suitcase.
The season started well, with Evan defending his El Paso Puzzler 50 title in January. He entered and won a few more races in the late winter and early spring. The bigger races started with the Sea Otter Classic, where Evan’s single speed breakout came in 2010 when he won the ultra competitive single speed category. This year he came down early and joined the Ibis crew in Santa Cruz for the two-day press launch of the new Mojo SL-R. He didn’t win Sea Otter this year, but still managed to return to Sea Otter podium in 2nd place.
Two weeks later, Evan journeyed across the desert to Prescott AZ and promptly crushed Whiskey Off-Road field, including all but one of nearly 400 geared entrants. Winning the Whiskey 50 this year came with an added bonus, a free round trip airline ticket to the Single Speed World Championships in Ireland in August. Thanks, guys (and thanks Evan, you saved us a bunch of $$)!
After a brief respite, Evan returned to the iconic Humbug Hurry-Up in Yreka, CA to repeat as overall champion on his single speed, followed by him winning the single speed category and placing 3rd overall at the Big Bear 50.
On the way back home, Evan attended the ressurection of the race known 25 years ago as the Rockhopper in Santa Rosa. With 600 odd racers celebrating the resurgence of this historic event it was no easy task, but Evan navigated the scrum and easily bested the single speed field.
A couple weeks later, Evan was back down in California, where he visited Downieville for the annual Downieville Classic. Evan and Ibis’ Jeff Kendall-Weed finished 1-2 in the single speed category! Jeff is a seriously talented downhill racer as well, and very well might be the one to pick up the phone if you call Ibis.
Next stop on the tour was Sun Valley, ID where Evan took on Mt Baldy in an attempt to win USA Cycling’s National cross country title. Unfortunately he didn't have the stones or the gears for the steeps of that course, and finished the just off the podium. Don Myrah, also riding an Ibis, did manage to win in the masters category, so we had a celebratory time up there anyway.
Oregon Bicycle Racing hosted its annual XC championship at Alsea Falls and (big surprise here) Evan rode away from the field to claim his first single speed title. Monday evenings in August were spent racing the Salem Short Track Series where Evan and his Tranny (bike) finished 1st in single speed and 3rd in the Open Overall points chase.
At the end of August, he flew back to the old country and braved the winter-like rain to finish a 4th at SSWC on a superb purpose-built track in Ballyhoura, Ireland. It was a long trip for a short race. Evan sent us pictures of his lipid-heavy breakfasts, and told us of his learning curve for right-hand-drive navigational skills. We're sure if the race were about 50 miles longer Evan would have finished a few positions higher.
September brought USA Cycling back to Bend, OR for the Marathon MTB Championships. Evan left it all on the course but after over 50 miles of racing finished a close second only a minute and a half behind the winner. Damn! So close but so far. There was still one more National title on Evan’s radar, the upcoming 24 Hour Championships in Colorado Springs a few weeks later.
Evan was the subject of a feature article in The Mountain Flyer (issue #21, page 40). The photos accompanying the article were done by the talented Mr Tyler Roemer, friend of Ibis. You can read the article and see the pictures here on Tyler’s blog. Jenn See, the author, summed up Evan’s drive in her final paragraph: "He chases that perfect ride, that one flawless race when everything goes smoothly, when the bike runs cleanly, when the legs turn tirelessly, and when the descents flow in a pure, sweet blur of speed."
That perfect ride may have taken place at the second annual Oakridge Fat 55, up in one of our favorite riding destinations: Oakridge Oregon. It’s a 55 mile race, and he finished first overall on his singlespeed. The course traversed the near or soon-to-be legendary trails of Oakridge: Bunchgrass, Heckletooth and Larison. And despite having only one gear and climbing over 8,000 feet of vertical, he still managed to set a new course record!
The swan song of the season was the 24 hour National Championships in Colorado Springs. With the old red Samsonite Suitcase full of the essentials, Evan arrived in ‘The Springs”. He rode away early, and never looked back. After 23 hours in the saddle, he finished second solo rider overall and over a lap ahead of the next single speed rival. With that hard fought stars and stripes jersey now in hand, Evan can now bask in the afterglow.
Mission accomplished, Evan, and we look forward to 2012 when we’ll get to watch you rip on the Tranny some more. Speaking of rip, we’ll also get you on a nice new prototype Ripley 29, hopefully instilling fear on the psyches of your starting line cohorts.
Rest up, get healthy, and congratulations to you, Evan.