Saturday, April 17, 2010

LELAND, OR THE HARDEST RACE I HAVE EVER BEEN IN


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.

1 comment:

Chicago Cyclocross said...

Great race, great effort. Good by sitters on.;)

patrick