Saturday, April 17, 2010


First off, thanks for my family for letting me go. For that matter, thanks to all of our families for letting us go and putting up with our absenteeism even for training.
So, what to wear? What the hell is the temp? I ask around. 44 degrees with a windchill of 34. Nice. Knee warmers and regular socks it is with a windproofed front coat. Note to promoters: MORE PORTAPOTTIES.
The race goes off on time and fast from the get go. On the main road, not even in 3 miles there were pot holes right in the middle of the road. These took out at least one rider with a flat and a couple of water bottles. Onto the gravel going fast I see William Pankonin from xXx go down in the middle of the gravel road. What an eye opener that first gravel section was. Not only were we going fast, but there was barely any hard pack. I was expecting at least tire ruts, but for most of the sections the closer you were to the grass, the better. For me the speed we were carying would soon be unobtainable. A little space opened in between me and the rider directly in front, so I paced myself to catch up. Here is where my brain locked up. A left hand turn was coming up, gravel to pavememt I thought I had the angle on the turn to the inside, but carried too much speed coming off of the gravel which I now saw on the inside of the corner was gravel on top of pavement. I tried not to turn and go straight through until clear pavement, but went down.
What to do? I see I was about 10Th wheel and the rest of the pack blows by me. I jump back onto the bike, not wanting my day to be over so soon. Plus I rode with Mike Seguin xXx in his car and didn't have access to it. On the bike I assess the damage: handlebars off center to the right, crooked right brake, and a front wheel rub. All in all not too bad. Brakes opened all the way up and off i go to chase.
that was actually fun, to chase. I really didn't pay much attention to my physical injuries as the adrenalin was rushing. I did notice my shorts, and much latter my left sleeve was ripped, but felt fine. So I pick up 2 riders in front of me. This increased to 6. We worked well together. Finally an Iron Cycles guy had enough of us and actually did bride the gap between us and the pack in front of us which was about a block ahead. What a stud I thought. So here we go dropping some and picking up some.At one point it was only me and Pat from Tati doing the pulls. Here Pat says lets get rid of the baggage, which we did with ease. With 1 1/2 laps left, to my surprise, somebody tugs at my water bottle in my pocket. It's Mike Shea from Spider Monkey and Rich from Spin Doctors. The were the only ones to catch us as well as a MS rider.
Last lap and my legs and butt are about to give up. Plus I have to go pee. Last gravel section and Mike pushes the pace. I maintain 3rd wheel, but don't have anything for the finish.
Post race I am achy all over. Time to assess the physical damage. Left hip road rash. No problem, I'm used to that, unfortunately. I attempt to take off my jesrsey, but it is stuck on my arm. i twist it and notice that almost the entire back of my forearm has congealed blood on it. Shit, I think to myself, what the hell is under there? So I had to soak my forearm with the jesey on just to release it from my arm. On inspection of my elbow, there is a crater the area of a little less than a dime. Stitches I think to myself.
No doubt, to the hospital I go, albiet 5 hours after the injury. Sure enough 6 stitches, but they are affraid they won't hold, because it is not a clean cut, but looks like hamburger.
So the good things: I finished, and no broken bones. Not only did I finish, but to my surprise I came in 20th.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Me, Clark and Elvis went down on Friday. Joe came later and Paul on Saturday morning. It's funny, the ride down there this year seemed shorter. It was still 4 hours though.
We drove the course, remembering things from years past. We liked the new back section that they put in. We pulled the bikes out at the start finish ride and did 12easy miles. Clark looks at the last hill and states it doesn't look too bad. Oh yea? wait until after 58 miles. So we rode the hill twice and formulated a plan, knowing where the dogs, pheasants and goats were on the course.
We had a good dinner at the cafe that seemed to be filled with riders. Good night sleep and of course a walk to breakfast at Denny's.
Off to the race on Saturday morning. Wait a minute where are Clark's keys? After a little while and head skratching he finds them where else but..... Denny's. Now off to the race. We have a meeting place off the course that gives us a parking lot to ourselves with a nice bathroom at the Baptist church. Belive me a nice bathroom before a race is much appreciated.
So we are behind the start finish line and a race goes off. Paul lines up with the next raceers to go off. "Paul that's not our race!"... It was our race. Thank goodness for Paul getting us in the middle of the start and for holding onto the bikes while we check our bladders one last time.
The first lap was exactly what I thought it would be, everybody feeling eachother and the course out. Nickie, Joe's girlfriend, gives me a good bottle handoff in the feed zone and here we go up the last hill. I get caught behind some slower riders on the right side from another category, so my momentum is gone. No excuses though, I shouldn't have been in that postiion to begin with. So now I'm dangling off the back of the lead pack. Luckily I was able to calm down and finally catch on again right at the turn going out onto the road after the s/f line.
The second lap had a 4 man break go off on the little uphill right before the right hand turn off the main road. No big deal. Bad thinking. Two of those guys stayed out the rest of the race. I have to commend Tati and Psimet and Wild card for their effective blocking. We go around with no major problems. I take that back, Clark botched his bottle hand off, so now he's mooching on my last bottle. Thanks to the Psimet rider who gave up one of his three to Clark. I think I'd say 2 guy's with blown tires, 2 dropped chains and one guy in a ditch by himself. I don't know if he was in that 4 man break or in another field, but he looked ok.
The hill before the feed zone took some casualties and I was not one of them. I was just behind Clark when the last hill came. I was only 4 houses in when the legs shut down. So what do you do? I started fishing for a gear that just wasn't there. It was good to see some guy's hurting in front of me. Now for the hunt. There's a guy in front of me on the hill I was able to pick off before the left hand turn. I notice 2 guys on the hill not peddaling, so I exert a little energy and get them also. One more around the turn and on right after it. Now it's time to calm down. Got the next guy's wheel. What I didn't know, is the guy I picked off just before that grabing the wheel grabbed my wheel. Around the last turn still behind the guy. When do I jump? I'm trying to find the 200 meter post, but couldn't see it. After one fake it was time to sprint. One guy passes me from I don't know where and the guy who grabbed my wheel just gets me at the line. 2 tenths of a second to be exact.I came in 19th. Clark even did better at 13th. Elvis 56th, Joe and Paul with DNF's.