'tis the season

and I love it.

another fine gathering of the clan.
celebrating bike passion induced
suffering and glee. how is it that
we find so much joy in so much
self inflection?

five twenty mile rides, that's all it is.
break it down into chewable pieces.
no real 'goals' for this one, other than
finish in a respectable sub-10. Figured
that if the legs showed up, would take
advantage for sure. otherwise, steady
gun flow it and try to enjoy the day.

The start is hectic douchebag gap squeezers
until we get across the bridge. Really people,
chill the fuck out, the sun's not even up. Warm
up tempo spinnin' along the tarmac, definitely
not hamster wheel chasin' like Dicky and the
contenders, zoom zoom zoom the clusters go
by. Up the early rollers w/ Bucky, then separation
when I get stuck behind a group of less skilled
cornering types. It's just sand....effin' roadies.

Narrowback was crowded, but not too bad.
Felt comfortable at speed in the dryness,
steering, not carving, making good time.
Spy Buck on Tillman, the unexpanded gap
is reassuring, then I get dropped directly
while eating and drinking along the gravel
to the Lynn hike up. Get into a decent group
for the vertical assault, retake some places
lost on the road, and reel in a few more
bombing down Wolf. Try to rebend a loose
grasping bottle cage, snap the 6yr old relic,
shit. Headset double check in the pines,
then sit and spin and relax along the road to #2.
2:45-3ish and departing the cp after a cage
swap w/ Hoy. thanks man!

Dr Evil droppped me on the road in, Pedro
caught me, but doesn't sound super fresh
after being bitten by a horsefly. I'm itching
to keep the steady flow rolling, so back to it
and on to Dowell's, the next carrot. The climb,
plugged in some music and went to work, let
the breathing take over. The down, stayed on
it over the summity knob, kept the focus and
took full advantage of a clear path. r.i.p.p.i.n.g.
Until running up against a paceline of five
that are not quite rolling at my pace. We're near
the bottom, sit in and relax for a bit.

CP3, splash n go bottle fill, slummy ride up 250
to Mtn House. Sure wish it had more pitch, always
undergeared for that section and always take a sit
down break along the shoulder. Get the head
straight, enjoy some baked goods. The climb out
of Ramsey's gets off to an ominous start, right cleat
suddenly won't release, shit. Sit down off trail and
dick around with it. Bolts still tight, looks ok, pedal
is ok, it's just getting old I guess. Keep that in mind
and work to ration the dismounts. Shrug off the
wasted time and settle in for the 20minute effort to
the top of Braley's. Reach the rollover, then rock n roll
time. Amazed at the amount of carnage along the
downhill run. Saw two down in the shrubbery, at
least two others picking themselves up after errant
tree ricochets. Ring the bell and keep a clear sightline,
excusssee me.

Hoot n hollerin' good time by the bottom, try to stay
on it. Fearing the ganked cleat, skip the traditional
recovery steps that are sometimes hiked on those
short rollers right before rolling into 4. Pedal 'em all,
and surprised by somewhat decent sensations from
the legs, hmmm.

Qwik splash n go thru 4, out onto the road, chit
chat w/ J. Potts for a bit, then plug in 2hrs of live
Radiohead for the purported 'Death Climb.' Don't
know where that name comes from, I usually have
a decent enough time pedaling up it, must be the
various handups I've received over the years.
Thanks to the film crew for the Coors refresher!
The handful of fellas I departed the aide with drop
me on the false flat prelude, theme for the day, but
stay within sight. Once it tilts in my favor, time to
munch carrots like Bugs Bunny. Retreat deep into
my quiet place, and yes the quiet place is quiet.
Me, my rythmns and moving forward, conversation
is valuable breath, I don't mean to be rude, gotta
keep moving forward.

Reluctantly stop at five for a qwik bottle fill, didn't
wanna stop at all, but better safe than sorry, and only
unclipped one foot, it was a pretty snappy pit stop.
Beat it out of there and luckily had no hangers on,
back into the carrot patch. Munch, Munch, munch.
Finally catch another one speeder, Mr Chad from
Ball'moore, he's feeling. slummy. Grunted pleasantries
and it's quiet again. Huffing and puffing and rubber
on dirt, just pedal. Also make contact with Dr Evil
once more, hope he can latch on, but not really
waiting though. steady. gunnin'.

Top of Chestnut, wanted to see 8:00 on the moving
clock, based on time of day, it looks like I have 30
minutes of stoppage time so far..shooting for 8 gives
me and hour thirty to finsih this thing, that's managable.
Hit the final clearing, clock reads high 7:40's, cool. Rip
down Chestnut w/ self preservation in mind, then blast
by the final aide, get dropped by Dr Evil on the road to
Hanky and then gearing selections reverse the roles,
hope he can hold on up the last pitch. Settle in for one
more effort and get lost in the pedals. Get caught and
dropped by some Fisher ss dude, slightly demoralizing
but no need to answer, racing demons by this point.
Up over Hanky, and one more superfuntime downhill
ripper into the campground to punch the clock.

9:40ish according to the results sheet, 25th singlespeed.
25th? Sub ten is now only good for 25th singlespeed?
I remember my first sub ten being good for a top 40
overall at this race....times they are a changing.


Big Bikes said...

Your race reports are the most readable race reports on the planet. I can imagine this tale being told with great theatrical flourish to a group gathered around a camp fire, I'm picturing Vikings, not Boy Scouts.

That just reminded me...gotta come up with an SSWC costume, yikes!


Mark said...

What did you run? Sounds like a fixed with a 32X19 or less

Tomi said...

Was coasting on a 32:20.