simple as that.
just stand up.
stand up when
post event recovery, when do you know?
when do you know when it's been absorbed?
when is it time to dig again?
come down from the high mtns inspired,
not broken down. the mentality is intact,
but gotta heed the sensations. Tap into it
here and there, poke and prod, systems checking.
first is finding simple comfort in the
saddle, waiting for the pedal stroke
to return to normalcy. back onto
skinny tires after a short hiatus, watch
the numbers and see how they mesh
with tempo perceptions. not yet, not yet,
then the suppleness returns after a spin
or two, or three.
next, the raw power reveals itself,
finding it in the seated efforts, no
reason to stand, there's no need, just
churn it out from the seated perch,
tap into the foundation.
standing takes effort, full body
engagement, transferring energy
into the drivetrain not simply via
the legs but using leverage from the
arms, connected thru the core, it's all
standing takes effort, if you're gonna
stand, make the expenditure worth it.
don't just stand and let gravity feed you
into the down stroke, stand up and deliver.
it's the last piece of the puzzle.
stand up and deliver. dance boy,
dance on the pedals with snap and vigor.
when there's an answer to those desires,
the time is here. found it again over the
wknd, stand up in order to throw down.
time is now, or so it seems.
Saturday is sure gonna be fun!
Posted by Tomi on Monday, July 27, 2009
On it again, weary bones and muscles absorbing the lessons of Breckenridge. A week of meh, of doubt, of wondering about the effects. How much time will it take to feel normal on the bike again? Spend the week after probing, prodding, a couple rides here and there, just to make sure it was all used up, satisfy suspicions. Disjointed fixy effort in southern Meeshow had me reaching for a freewheel by the weekend, time to reboot.
Saturday finds me w/ staple gun and arrows. Intentions to mark a race course, then ride out a full pull of the 40 once my sektor is done. Arrows hung, a ripping YellowHill descent, then pulled the plug climbing back out, head just not in it. Funny though to look at small challenges, little ups & grunts along the way that I can, and do, power right up, 'you got that, oh yeah.' But that is it, nothing sustained, nothing beyond 3minute shots, not yet willing to open the door and creep back into the pain cave. Maybe open it a crack, let in some light to look at the mess I left inside....make a list, lots of straightening up to do.
Sunday race day was a blast, snapping pics, working the finish, heckling...step back from the front lines, recharge. Hardest step sometimes is the one that takes you out the door. Procrastinating the roll out, don't want to pedal thru mush, want to have some snap, tired of being tired. Finally kit up and on the skinnies last night. Roll from town and a sneaky tailwind assist puts me on the 20+mph silent smooth spinning magic carpet ride. These are the sensations that put the mind at ease, that make it easy to step back into the quiet place. Open 'em up on some rollers, then an actual concerted effort up the hill, breathing hard. Look at the clock at the bottom, look at the clock at the top, hmmmmm... within a dozen seconds of a p.r. Guess the recovery has gone well, back to fine tuning.
101? bring it, bitches.
Posted by Tomi on Wednesday, July 22, 2009
can be fleeting. it's what we chase, as racers. finding your legs, those brilliant sensations, that spell of fitness where pedals turn effortlessly. I found my form in June, revealed at the Stoopid. Racing the fix to a decent placement, surprised by the manaable gap off of the flying Pfluganator. Settle in and follow the simple wisdom of Jim Thorpe:
Undertrain, undereat, oversleep.
Find the legs, then try to hold onto 'em. This was the first time I've had it dialed. Usually find decent fitness in early June, but then flatten out by the time that first week of July rolls around. This year was different. Fought intuition, believed that less actually was more for once. Cut back the volume, bring up the intensity, then get lots and lots of rest.
It's fun, to learn how the body responds, to discover your capabilities, try to maximize them. Breck was an incredible journey, from day one of interweb rumors, thru the blogger dilly, thru to the finish line of the last day. Met so many cool people that travel similar but different paths. Bike racers, we're all so alike.
Racing the fix was unique once again. Letting go with the mind, letting go of the regret. Knowing I'm on the form of my life, and I'm self handicapped in innumerable ways. Watching podium possibilites tick away with every screaming downhill pedalstroke. How many minutes tossed into the bin on those high speed jeep tracks? How many minutes sacrificed on the final climb of the day due to constant eggbeater pedal strokes? I look at the numbers, try to eek out an analysis, find a feel good self acknowledgement. Where was I in the final standings? 3+ hours back in the final tally...look at my notes, see that I had well over an hour of stoppage time for pictures and whatnot throughout the week. Look at some of the known gaps, see that Vince and Christina gapped me by a couple minutes from the top of the last descent on day 2. Extrapolate that and try to work thru the numbers, time lost due to fixie descending....is 3-5minutes on each big downhill reasonable? Then the 15minute day three off course detour....add it all up, subtract it and the 8th slot on the fix coulda been what, a possible podium contender with a freewheel?
But does it matter? Coulda, shoulda's? Not really, not at all. It's an exercise of ego massage, keeping the self confidence intact. 90% of coming into form is knowing yourself, believing in yourself. Knowing that the competition is in the same boat, covincing yourself that you do belong in this herd of ponies, that you're capable. I wanted to know, is it possible? Yeah, of course it's possible, rides like this were done over 100yrs ago, on rigs that make the Salsafixy look like a high zoot thouroughbred. But is it possible for me? Am I able? Able to keep up, able to throwdown, represent?
Yeah, I guess so.
So, now what?
Posted by Tomi on Thursday, July 16, 2009
Assembled words of the third pre-Breck
article, haven't seen 'em posted elsewhere,
put 'em here to finish the effort...
Sitting at the bar years ago, had a couple seasons of racing under my belt. Shooting the shit, and conversation with buds turns to bikes, as usual.
"Bike racing is about suffering.
Who is more willing." Eric said.
He said it with a playful grin, but his eyes had that hallowed stare for a split second. It was a qwik reflective inventory of the hours spent spinning miserable through pissy grey February rain. It wasn't a reflection of the wins or the effort they required, those days are always magic twinkle in the eye memory. It was about doing the time in the saddle, the preparations beforehand. It's about the choices you make each time you ride. Do you even kit up and step out the door? Do you bail early? or push on? Hold your course for that extra bit of down valley orchard rollers, which will only extend the tailwind overspun 40:15 TT home by an equal amount, being chased by the cramp monster the entire way. It's about the willingness to go there.
It's about doing the work, willing yourself through it. I've actually headed out into the rain on purpose this year. During the week. On my road bike. Believe that shit? Ever since I started playing this bike game, I've stuck to a pretty basic approach. First thing I like to know is how big is the task at hand? Have I done anything similar? yeah? Cool, what did I do to get ready for that? If not, then figure out what it'll take to prepare, get a taste for the effort required. I remember considering my first 40k, wayyyy back in the day. And the weeks before thinking, "I've never actually ridden 40k on my mtn bike..." So, for 'training' on the weekend prior, I went out around the lakes and put together a 20 couple mile loop...was a bit more of an effort than expected, but that was it. I rode the loop and I knew that I could at least pedal that far.
Of course, 40k in WV was a bit different than rolling around the York County Parks system for a few hours, but I got through it. Shortly after, I was hooked and started learning the bike racing ropes. Bike racing is suffering. It's the ordeals you put yourself thru in order to prepare for the 'big event,' doing your time in the proverbial pain cave. It's reviewing the floor plan, then carving out and decorating that quiet space you'll be spending a lot of time in. Find yourself a comfortable place where you don't hear the searing screams out of your legs as you chase yet another ghost just that little bit further. How accessible do you make it? Is the door to your cave like a prohibition password guarded speak easy, or is it brilliant Broadway lighted marquee entrance? How easy is it for you to get in?
"This is for Breck" has been my password this year. For when the going's gone less than smooth and I need to retreat. Knock, knock. "This is for Breck." Need to let me in, gotta hide for a bit, check this place out...eventually, after a handful of visits, you've heard the house band enough times, you recognize the pictures on the walls, cracks in the ceiling, and you move a bit further down the darkened cavern to the next shady place. Knock, knock. "This is for Breck," and you're let in. Again, you enter tentatively, checking out the fresh arrangement of furniture, looking to find a comfortable place to chill. Then in short order you've got the tables and chairs arranged just so and it's time to move on once again.
Rides evolve, hours added to the length, extra climbs tossed into the mix, finding new, quieter places to visit. Hidden passages leading out of those first few rooms, revealed on those 'no way will Colorado be this miserable' days. Getting out and resetting the benchmarks, racing 6+ hours in hypothermic rain & mud on the worst choice of bike possible with stumps of dead wood for legs. Or while bushwacking along a squiggly line on the topo map, a slightly ridable former tramrail which has morphed into an overgrown briary benched scree field..ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk, oooo, thorns, neat. Jump in with both feet and try to touch bottom, get a feel for the depth.
So, if it's such a miserable pursuit, then why bother? Why bother? Why? Because you do get rewarded for the work, handsomely. One way or the other you experience the magic. Always tapping into those first tastes of two wheeled exploratory freedom. There's magic in the peaceful rhythm of absent minded creek side spinnin' and in the memory reviving wafted scents that blow across your landscape. There's magic in the hypnotic whirring of the chain as the troubles of the day drift out of your mind on the commute home. And of course there's magic in those spectacular days, heaps of it. Those are the days that inspire you into the saddle when there are no chirping bird distractions. Those are the days when the climbing truly is a dance on the pedals, when the effort is transmitted thru a smile, not a grimace. When your pedaling is in tune with the trail's rhythm and there are no goofy missteps to disrupt the flow. Those days when the finely honed instinct takes over and you become astonished observer of the performance. Those days when it just clicks.
When you tap into that magic, that is the reward. There's always a moment on every ride, every ride, where you just can't help but smile and laugh, little magical moments sprinkled about. Breck has been on my mind for a loooooong time now and I'm planning to smile a lot. Shipped my bike and a box of gear out today, I fly out in a week. Talk about reality check, guess this really is happening! It's been one hell of a fun journey to this point with the cherry on top fast approaching. Thanks for reading, maybe see ya 'round camp.
Posted by Tomi on Thursday, July 16, 2009
The el Grande Finale! WOW! is about all I can muster. What. a. week. Damn. Mind is still reeling from yesterday. What a freakin’ spectacular bike ride. Popping out of treeline into the cathedral of mountains was something special. To retreat to the mountains, ponder the insignificance and have it slap you right on the face, exponential perspective. Wow.
Anyways….start the morning giddy, feeling it, thinking it. Today is the Finale’, our last day to perform on this epic stage. Super duper casual start to the day, more great breakfast, then retreat to the tent to kit up, ponder what’s in store. Fill the pockets, jump on the bike and roll ‘cross town to the ice rink venue. Snap some pics then slot into the established pecking order.
Day begins with another 5-10mph spin behind the flashing blue lights. An enjoyable start, well, at least until the breathing becomes pursed. Legs are still solid, maybe a bit of snap left, so may as well use ‘em up. Off the road and into the woods, do what I can to try and keep Jeff, Brian and Rich in sight, then rock the 18t inspired tantric rhythmic breathing up the damn hill. Try to stay on top of the gear and maybe keep the wirey oompa loompa Moots boy in check, settle into a carrot munching pace. Any time gained here is breathing room on the descent.
Qwik hit of speed then we turn left and climb up to Boreas Pass. Day is rocking so far, not getting gobbled up by the coasty trains until the bottoms, so not much gap to close on the ups. Boreas Pass road is rockin fixy climbing zen pace, rolling that tempo cadence over and over and over, plucking one carrot at a time from the shadows of the cave. Final carrots on the pass are chick leader Jen and rock solid ss Brian. Oh yeah, holding pace today!
Fill a bottle at the aid, then a qwik hit of sketchy wedged foot descending to the trailhead. Drop into an interesting tedious rut, then into the trees for a solid helping of fixy bliss. Flow, flow, flow it down the mtnside, survive some pitchyness intact, then it’s waist high perpendicular bermed flume carving. Jedi mind tricks on a Rocky Mtn scale, yeah. Play cat n mouse with Rich and some Masters, keeping the gaps tight before we dump onto the return climb.
Swing a Louie and reset the tempo pace. First, close down the coasty gaps, then go looking for fresh faces. Back on it like magic carpet floating, rolling the 18 back up the hill at 12ish on the speed o meter. Spot uber chica Jen up ahead, way up ahead, and no shit! There’s Brian, and is that Jeff up there rockin’ the Spotted belt up this final effort? Dig into the really quiet password guarded place and will the pedals around, one. more. time.
Reel ‘em in right as we hit the summit, then it’s horror flick chasing paranoia time. Always looking over the shoulder, wondering when my white rimmed nemesis will appear. A looooong downhill sprint and we’re finally dropping into some one track, someplace where I can maybe hold my own. Throw caution to the wind, no more thinking about tomorrow and risk the inevitable pedal hooking launch thru the air.
Cash in all the instinct, all the miles, all the near misses and direct hits and just pedal the damn bike down the hill. KuhnDawg latches on for a bit, then takes off putting on his own show. Just pedal dammit! And soon enough there’s a jingle jangle bell in the background…fuck, Rich is back. Well, fuck him. This is racing, I’m on a groove, there are no gifts on the last day. 99 out of 100 times I’d relent, but today I’m riding wide, using it all and pushing my pace to be just fast enough to make any passing skeeeeetchyyyyy. Luckily Rich isn’t a 100% crazed mongrel, so he enjoyed his time in the catbird seat and we rolled it home 5th & 6th on the day. Boo. Yahhh!
And again, I can’t thank Mike enough for following his vision, one hell of an event that’s left me numb all over, gonna take a while to let this one soak in. Came out here looking for something not yet experienced, and found it for sure.
Posted by Tomi on Friday, July 10, 2009
Man, here we go. Wake up with that fatigued feeling, stumpy stiff legs. Rely on Tour experience, and know, just know that they’ll loosen up, I hope. Typical neutral start rollout, field settles into its pecking order. I’d rather not prolong the day, so settle in with the podium types for the opening climb, may as well turn the 18 while I can.
Actually ride some fun ‘ski area’ trail, dropping danky loam turns thru the slope sandwiched tree stashes. Having a blast, then the brake does that overheat thing, time for a short break. An hour in, spirits are high, settle into the all day tempo early. Start looking for the first aid spot, shit, it’s part way up the main climb of the day if I recall correctly, not here at the base. Had figured to make the aid at about an hour thirty, it’s now going on two hours, hmmmm.
Spot activity in the distance and hump it smartly up the final pitch, refill the bottles then try to settle in again. Notice a sloppy loose chain during a quick push after the aid, sweet, perfect excuse for another breather. Drop out of this cluster of riders, find a quiet gap and really settle in. Then we approach treeline and bust out into a mind numbing bowl. Talk about feeling small, this is what I came here for. Tear it all down to the rawness. This is high alpine trail that I’ve never experienced before. We hoof it up and out and around a shoulder and discover a tightly benched contouring goatpath.
Every turn reveals fresh scenes and questions of why? Whuuuut? And are we really going there? Way way over there, way up there?? Holy fuck, is this awesome!!! One more trip across a remnant snow drift and it’s up a freaking incredible path of goats to the summit of Wheeler Pass. At 12,460 feet, I take a moment to be a tourist, snap some pictures, shoot the shit with the pro photog and drop into the other side for a loooooong long long long bombing rip of a descent to the valley below. Self preservation and brake cookage dictate the need to stop and take in the view of Keystone(?) at a few opportune spots.
Trail turns from high alpine to flashbacks of transplanted high speed GW Forest love. Benched, piney scented soil, freefall see for miles sightlines that really have me wishing this bike had a fork, and could coast. Then it gets pitchy and the unspoken challenge to ride it clean is met, until the brake shits again. Out of the woods, find a surprise water station then take a nice break down the Summit County Rec path to the next trailhead.
Heaven. Rooty tacky tread up a nicely rolling pitch, reminding me of home. 20ish minute climb then contouring flowyness. More roots, more black tacky mud and really really cool wooden bridges. Also toss in some homestyle rocky bits here and there and I was in fixy heaven. Pedal pedal pedal bob and weave and bounce and pounce on any carrot spotted up the path. Chomp chomp chomp and wish wish wish this stage was earlier in the week. But it wasn’t, it’s now, or then or whatever, whenever. Today was a spectacular day on the bike, simple as that.
Posted by Tomi on Thursday, July 09, 2009
Queen stage, we were warned to drink plenty of water. I stick with my ‘there’s water in beer’ philosophy, quaff a couple beverages to keep the blood flowing. Then drink a liter of water, and another throughout the night. Still wake up with a niggle of a headache, oops.
Otherwise, I do wake up refreshed, body adjusting to the thermarest reality, mind is tranquillo. After trying to keep it real yesterday, and seeing no real effect on placement, today is a day for a steady tempo ride, take some breaks, snap some pictures. Legs are feeling fresh enough during the rollout, so I opt to mix in with the lower steps of ss podium battle for the first hit of climbing. Use it if you got it, right? Pushing the 18 thru the thin air eventually catches up to me, let the elastic stretch a bit, then try to limit losses on the downhill, mostly just to mess with Dicky.
Out into a meadow clearing, stoked that I’m holding my place, looking to keep it rolling, and blow right thru a corner then down a rock n roll steep loose jeep track. Heard a holler from behind…’I think we go lefffffffff….’ I though the dude was talking to a teammate, I was in the groove and put on a fixed descending clinic for absolutely no one. Pop out on some tarmac, see no arrows. Fuck. Turn around, hike ten-ish minutes back to the course, and see the half dozen arrows I rode right past. Dumbass.
Now, it’s definitely an enjoy the ride day. Think it’s kinda funny though, ‘cuz now there’s a chance Dicky and the rest still think I’m in front of them, giggle about them chasing a ghost up the trail. I get to settle in with fresh faces, rip some sweet benched piney love and stop to take in the view. Carrying the camera, may as well use it, spend another 10 minutes taking it in, snacking and getting the head straight.
From there, we climbed, and climbed and climbed and I stared at remnant snow wishing I was slogging a pack w/ skis up this mother instead of pushing the silly fixy up to 12,000 feet. Then we dropped down, and down and down. And down and down and down, until we find a road, then we climbed and climbed and climbed, and climbed and climbed and climbed up to Georgia Pass. Nice three and a half hour tour to get warmed up for more CT love. The CT delivers yet again, first with hi alpine shredding, then shwoopy abusive rooty railing before dropping some sweet east coast style techy gnar. Long stretch of on it descending until the hands and arms are blown. Manage to finish it with the wilted stumps then it’s just a quick ‘25minute climb’ up over to the finish….as usual, the 25minte climb is followed by a bit more than told.
Clear the climb one foot in front of the other, rocking the pedal push tempo then throw in the towel and begin thinking about tomorrow. Bring it home slamming the water bottle, keep the calories topped and definitely don’t burn anymore matches. Finish the 42mile + detour route in about five and a half elapsed, 5:0something ridden on the gizmo, staking a solid claim on that 8th spot.
Follow all that up with a massage and some chill time before awards and dinner. Ohhhh, the dinners. We are eating like kings on the catered plan! More food than you can possibly put down and a variety that can’t be beat. Two nights out to related restaurants, Monday was trout with crab, tonight saw a big fat burrito served up. The catered on sight was delish pot pot pie and primo lasagna options last night. No reason to be left wanting ’round here, Mike and the crew are taking most excellent care, thanks guys!
Tomorrow, Wheeler Pass at 12,400, that’s 12000 feet higher than my apt, should neat!
Wake with the sun as usual, then roll over to catch a few more zzzz’s, long sleeve wooly is perfect to fight the chill. Was up late dicking around trying to get this pos laptop to connect to the webz, no luck. So, sorry ‘bout the delay in getting these words out, I brought untested gear….
Get into the standard stage morning expend minimal energy routine, chomp on some breakfast, forcing the appetite before rolling ‘cross town to the start venue. A nice quiet spin to let the butterflies flock in the stomach, really hope this queasiness subsides. After the shorter than expected ride yesterday, I’m thinking about riding an honest race, no trailside tourism today, see what’s in the tank. Do bring along the gear though in case things go pear shaped, but wanna keep the boys honest, best I can.
Neutral rollout is decent enough, although the field was splintering even before the pace vehicle rolled off. Then there was an acceleration, and I opted to keep on the neutral pace and let my legs come around, watch all the contenders cruise on up the hill. Keep pace w/ Dicky & Jake, then have a blast ripping a taste of AspenTunnel love in the mix, doing what it takes to keep Dicky in sight….takes more than I have.
Time to settle in for another 2 hours of cat n mouse. Stomach is agreeable, doing what I can to keep it full, keep the calories coming in. Hit a decent little climb, then more tastey singletrack along the BlueRiver something or other. Almost reminded me of Meeshowslowvakian creekside love, but that little bit was over in ten pedal strokes and we’re onto a nice elevated ribbon of trail.
Roll that sweetly, keeping pace in the mix with the lead ladies. Then the big mamma climb begins. My blue clad carrot appears ahead, white rims blinging, time to reel him in, again. One foot in front of the other mantra takes over and contact is made over and over, up then down, up then down and finally we hit the high point of the route.
Try to be quick thru the aid station at 11,800ft, but the effort to get there tells me to tone it down a smidge. Volunteer beta is ‘nice stretch to relax on…’ Great, a wide open piece of fireroad bombing, just what I need. Bye bye Rich. Try to recall the profile during the long downward slum, I think there’s another couple of hits coming up. Wave to Danielle M. on the way down, then back into the woods for the daily highlight, hitting that sector that makes it all worth it.
Scenery looks immediately familiar and soon enough we’re ripping down a portion of the prologue climb. Finally, some terrain where I can hold my own. Tight, freshy single with enough off camber and rooty mini drops to keep you on your toes. Pedal, pedal, dodge, weave, pedal, bip, bap, skippity skip, goooooo! Totally dialed into the flow of the trail, Conti’s eating up the RockyMtn loam, get light and let it drift right on over to the outside. Do what I can to reel in the stranger in front, can only manage to keep the gap constant.
Supposed to be a somewhat big day, 42 miles of high mountain love. Learn at the start that it’s really a 37ish mile romp. Sweet, recalibrate from 5hr mindset to ballpark fourish. Neutral start heads out of town behind the local popo, nicely brake checking us in the turns, sweet. Neutral tow rolls off, we hit the opening climb and I settle into pretty much what was the roll out pace.
Gotta let it come to me, settle in and breeeeeeeeath. Do a few systems checks then decide to light a match or two, slot in line w/ the contenders, keeping Jake & Jeff in sight and Dicky too after my pee break at 45minutes. Jeep Track continues up then turns into a rippin steep wide open descent, if you can coast. Get passed by a lot of riders, boil the shoulda been bled front brake and reevaluate the plan for the day.
First aid station appears soon enough, then a nice rolling climb up to the CT. CT gives and takes and takes and takes, now into the heart of the day, altitude starts taking effect, but pretty much everybody is in the same boat. Not just the one speeders huffin and puffing. Push, slum pedal, push, slum pedal, thinking about the big picture, push. Some casual back n forth with the gearies, get a small gap, then hike, get a small gap, then hike. Then bust out of the trees into a blinging landscape that just has to be captured. Bit more of open-ish climbing, see Dicky ahead, but the legs want a break, and the air is thin. Take a quick 5-10minute Sally sit down and regroup for the next portion.
Instinct stoppage time put me at the top, opening a gap to those ahead and holding an apparently big gap behind also, had the entire descent to myself. Just rolling the fixy flow at perfect cadence spinnin’, letting the mind be blown by the primo conditions. Pop out of the trees again into one of the sweetest meadows I’ve ever been in. Tight benched ribbon thru the wildflowers, kick back the pace for a bit to be the tourist gapper. Snap some pics, get rolling once more and finally have company. Fellow bloggity blogger Jen rolls up turning those shifty bits and becomes a nice carrot for the return leg.
Thru the last aid, bit of open road foot off relaxation, then a few hits of urban backyard linkage before a taste of flumeness. Caught Jen on one of the rolling ups, then went looking for more. Poked the pedaling ninja and woke him up, feeling like this is the final push home, so let instinct take over and open it up a bit. WooHoooo!!!! Reel in a couple familiar jerseys from earlier in the day over these last few minutes, then the always welcome sound of PA chit chat floats up from down below. Hit the finish line content, somewhere’s around 3:30 couple elapsed for the 35 or so ridden. End result shows me giving up 30+ minutes in the single GC, reality is setting in, gonna be a long week.
Trip began with a steady two day acclimation, prologue morning arrives, headache is subsiding and almost feel sorta fresh. Plan to keep a good thing going, so continue to slam the water and just deal with having to piss all the damn time. Another liesurely breakfast, then off to the venue! Roll thru the smooth registration, claim my assigned tent and settle in for the week. Comfy digs on a plush ball field, staying in a tent that I don't have to crawl in and out of will be a definite bonus on about day three. Two hours before go time, begin to find that pre race rythmn. Work thru the mental checklist, finetune the on bike kit, pare it down just a bit. Sort out the personal kit, then watch menacing clouds as they crest the western ridge. Everybody retreats to shelter, check the radar and it's moving quick, will hopefully be blown out by my 4ish o'clock start time.
Kit up heavy for the chill post storm air, then shed it by the time we spin ten minutes across town, sun's out. Carter Park is the assigned departe, no pre race chat, so roll to the line when you're up. SS freakers corral in the staging like the beasts we are, damn these dudes look fast. Hang at the start shack and look up the switchbacks that are the first few minutes of effort. Silent goal #1 is set, try to not walk until at least out of sight of the adoring fans. That pitch might a tough match for the 18, only one way to find out I guess. Get the official ski racer finger signal countdown and begin turning that gear. Into the first berm suddenly finding the inspiration to tickle the red. Stay on the gear and hit it for effect, into the next switchback and rail out of it, uh oh. Legs begin to have something to say about the effort, time to settle the fuck down. Jake in front of me is running the same gear, he'll be a good carrot for the next 45 minutes, just don't try to catch him right out of the blocks.
Manage to clear the switchbacks and get into the woods out of sight, take a few steps immediately and look up the trail, red jersey carrot still there, cool. Hit some pitches and ride 'em in the saddle, standing effort will spell trouble for sure. Catch a break w/ a bit of singletrack flow intermission and super surprised to spot my carrot, plus Dicky, plus the dude that caught me all right there within reach. Use the 18 and reel 'em in a bit on this rolleur portion before finding crazed half dressed flower children atop the next pitch. Keep on the pedals for the crowd then hike it a bit with that red line in mind. On, off, on, off, always keep moving forward. Hit a powerline pitch and it's a class action hike up the hill. Nice to spectate JB killing it up the steeps, fuckin' hammering.
Jake the carrot is ohh soooo close, just couldn't catch him. Punch out in 45ish minutes, then work over a set of brake pads on the looooong road down the mtn back to camp, they're gonna need some love in the morning. Post stage/pre week meeting was interesting. Boo'd down the concept of getting aid anywhere on course, someone's gotta be that guy, thanks to Harlan for being a bit more eloquent....everybody plays on the same field, using the same resources made availible by the promotor. Simple enough, right? The popular vote agreed, yippee! Then it was awards for the stage, JB crushed all, w/ a mid 30 minute effort, I think T. Brown was second. In the dumbass class, I somehow slotted into fourth! Super duper stoked on that, guess the work is actually paying off, but frustrating to miss my only realistic podium shot by less than a minute. Damn you Jeff Carter!!!! Tomorrow is some sort of big ride. 42ish mile I'm hearing, should be an interesting day. Curious to see how well these dudes go down the mountain. Sitting a smidge under four minutes off the lead pace, time to start lingering I guess, Chip away, chip away, chip away, and maybe somebody other than me will crack. 'til then.
Nervous morning, queasy stomach butterflies. Splintered neutral rollout, then chase Dicky down the hill. Let the ninja mix it up in the opening melée. Rest of the three-ish hour ride spent chasing and limiting losses.
Rode it straight thru, no pics, no impromptu rest stops, an honest race effort. Still dropped another twenty minutes to the local ponies. Lot's of climbing tomorrow, fiveish hour expected for the 42mile route. Couple gc spots within cracking distance, and spectacular scenery also, hmmmmm
Posted by Tomi on Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Day 1 in the books. Cold frosty wakeup, shorter than expected stage. Planned on five-ish, done in 3:30 something. Trying to keep decent pace. Long solo gapped descent, $$$$$!!!
Hemmoraging time as expected, able to sorta hang on the ups, downs not so much. Gave up 30ish to the class leader, dudes are flying. Tomorrow sounds like it plays more to my hand. Rocks I'm hearing, we'll see.
Laptop won't connect for shit, so stuck to the gizmo for now. Other words written, stuck on the pos Dell until tommorrow...
Posted by Tomi on Monday, July 06, 2009
Wow! New sights blowing my mind.
Excellant Denver shakedown with
Furious G. Then roadtrip adventures,
crowded holidaze camping in Buffalo
Creek, another altitude shakedown
up the CT to Georgia Pass.
FKNA Awesome!!!! Chilling at
12,000 taking it all in. Too bad
I don't know how to post pics
from this gizmo....more later.
Posted by Tomi on Saturday, July 04, 2009