11/17/08

Uni-tational!!


(photo c: thanks Branch!)Invitational/Unis = good times.


Podiumed for DFL in the Invitational,
3rd to last, 18 something. Trevor kept the
DFL honors in the hometown after stripping
his fixie hub dropping thru the WV gnar.
Timmy R took top dog 6 Packer with a
smokin' 6:30ish run. Dizzam!

I think I won Uni's, depends which lap you count. Qwik pre ride with Tim and Pat, not quite able to finish my HopDevil before the group parade lap. Then a qwik splash of SPARKS! to top off the the tank before we all longingly look at each other and Thomas says Go!

Tim winds it up and I jump onto his wheel. This is gonna be fun! Rippiin' pace into the start/finish chute, happy when Tim checks up a bit before the plunge, hold about 2 bike lengths back, perfect trusting buffer. Hear scrapage and voices behind, herd is thinning. Just watch Tim.

Never had the pleasure of following Tim fixed before. We rode a bit in passing during his fixed hundo, but not together. Now I can only wait until he makes a mistake, which I doubt will happen. Plunge to the park border, slam the left and into the rocky chicane. Pick the line that matches the pedal stroke. Hear more noise behind, then the sensed presence isn't there. Off the front now. Hit some open pedaling, Tim answers the question of how hard are we gonna ride this thang? OHhhhh, we're hammering this shit, ok.

Time to hold on. Just ride smooth and keep on it. ride that 2-4length gap, adjust the pace for the mo and flow, and the loop turns up-ish. Hit a torquey fast corner and Tim's bike makes noise, his pace drops to zero and I see slack chain. Damn, reallly hate seeing that. "Come on, get it and let's go....." I huff out.

Hold the pace steady gunnin', come thru the chute solo for the start of lap 2. Hammer down, keep that pace rolling. Pick the prefered line, or the option, it's all about where the feet will fall. You recognize the height to avoid. You can see where your unavoidable steps fall in 2, 3, maybe 4 strokes out. Pick the line and adjust, constantly, improvise. Sometimes you gotta just slam that pedal and take the hit, just keep pedaling. Hit the climby bit again. Vurp up some odd combination of Spark's and Hop Devil, yummy.

Pedal harder. Avoid the race ending step up and ride the ledge instead, wuss. First coherent thing I hear is Aimee say "One. more. lap." as I hit the start/finish. Number of race laps wasn't quite firmed out at the start, anywhere from 3 to 6 was possible. But this was only lap 3, so it's countin' for sure. Thru the crowd, the pelting begins, empty cans, a splash of Old Mil to the face, refreshing.

Counting the pre rides, this is lap five, the loop is dialed. Options A & B are now known for either left or right approach to the pedal banging bits. Focus and pedal. Hit the fast open corridor, past the shwoopy, breezey pine slap to the right shoulder, then four pedal strokes and into a right hand turn. Four inch barkless log in the apex, slimey. Kicks me a bit to the right, eyes down, wrong. Look up, where's the trail? shit, wtf? where? shit, someone's getting close. what? shit damn, who is that? backtrack, how'd I blow that turn? dumb ass, get back on it and ride perfect.... FOCUS! damn, who's that coming? JB? he's got the motor for sure, but it's his first time fixed...don't look back, just GO! be perfect.

Here comes the Sparks again, urrmm, give it~! urp. Into the trees, tight to the barbed wire, drop the left then take the safe ledge option again, sorry Marty, and sit up thru the cheering chute. "Is that it?"

"One More Lap!" they chant. ok. was that it? Mumbles catches me as I soft pedal past the crowd. Not sure if we're still racing, he latches on and we ride mostly at barely conversational pace...."are we still racing?" I hear. huff, "I'm not sure...." huff..... Now it's an understood 'honest' pace. Work it to keep each other honest, not quite racing at this point, but no gimmee's either. Work the mo and the flow and keep the stomach contents where they belong, keep an ear open to judge the gap, then we hit the spot where Tim dropped a chain. Shhhhwuopff, and I carelessly dump the front end. Sweet grind, but the leaf covered rock eventually took me down. Step off while still moving forward and debate the cost/benefit of being a dick about letting Chris by. Are we still racing? Does it matter?

So, instead of 'clumsily' remounting the bike and blocking the line, he gets by and I latch onto his wheel. No mistakes are made and I follow Chris thru the chute to chants of "One More Lap!" Out we go for #5.....slightly more conversational pace then before, legs are starting to feel it. It's getting dark, bouncing off more and more unseen obstacles. Begin to sense a creaking presence approaching from behind....Jerimiah. He catches us at one of two spots to make a pass. He passes me, up thru some chunky rocks, it's obvious who's been on a few recent CX podiums....but Chris has enough space, holds the small gap and is into the trees before JB, door = closed.

end of lap 5, it's dark, the crowd is boisterous, and I drink a lot of the beers that were handed to me, it's a celebration. 
 Thanks everybody!

5 comments:

Stubbie said...

I was wondering what you were up to. Good to see things are "normal" your way.

Metro said...

It was good to see you again dude. You planted a wild seed of ideas in my head about some right coast multi state epic rides. What was the name of the rear rack you were using on the Salsa called again? Old racks or something?

Nice job on the Uni's.

Peace,
Metro

Tomi said...

http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/RearRacks.html

check out the Sherpa.

Cellarrat said...

Coolness! man i wish more folk rocked a fixie off road round here

Mark said...

Mr fixie champion of the universe, I salute you. Sorry I missed the celebrato.

Please keep me in the loop for TurkeyDay ride times.

markmccoy2006@gmail.com