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Monday, May 11

Dirt, Sweat, and Patio Sex "race report"

I'm going to skip the usual preamble here and skip right to the action. Many things occurred between 5:00am Thursday morning and 8:50am Saturday which I can come back to later, but let's get right to the experience that will scar me for life.

We all woke up to semi ominous conditions Saturday, and people who had interweb access claimed that a band of red and yellow was headed our way. Yesterday the course was in decent shape after a little bit of rain, but there definitely was some concern as we stood there waiting for the 9:00am start.

Around 8:50 as they prepared the remote control plane for the flyover the rain started to come down. I had told my duo pro partner Thad that if one of us was out there when the rain started that the lucky rider should stay out on the course till the rain stops. I didn't quite mean it, but if the conditions got nasty I realized we might end up spending less time sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves waiting for our respective turns.

I lined up towards the front and did my best to stay ahead of the majority of the field (DSG had a record number of riders this year). In the opening field section as we came to the first real "turn" of the day I witnessed a female rider "touch the floor" and then get run over by the riders following behind with their wet ineffective brakes unable to keep them from turning her into a speed bump. It was obvious today would not be a boring day on a bike. I passed Thad as he stood in the field section cheering me on, and I told him I should go out for two in a row. He concurred, and the die was cast.

My first lap reminded me of racing back in OH/PA/WV. Slippery nasty wet rocks, roots, puddles and a steady light rain coming outta the sky. Riding became more of a graceful form of falling forward trying to make sure the bike stayed under you the whole time. I ended up spending a lot of time going back and forth with Rebecca Rusch. She would power up from behind through all the mud where I just couldn't get traction when I stood up, and then I would get a little gap as I descended with little regard for my safety. Greg Martin (current 24 Hr SS Solo World Champ) was also sharing a little part of his day with me as we tried to look on the bright side of life which was being obscured by the random clumps of mud that were being thrown up into our eyes every few minutes. I wouldn't know it then, but later people who were fortunate enough to get the first lap of the day would be considered "lucky".

I went out for my second lap after a little over an hour's worth of effort. I snagged a fresh water bottle, and went into the woods with a decent attitude I hoped would stick around for the rest of the day. Rebecca was still keeping me entertained, and a few other "riders" were becoming familiar company as we pushed up the climbs and the trail conditions worsened. I remember a guy pushing by me asking if I was going to end up passing him going down the next hill, and I yelled "Sure, let's get hurt!" That was the last time I had fun riding my bike all day.

I would have to guess I was somewhere near two miles into my second ten+ mile lap when the trail got too muddy to ride. I got off and starting pushing the bike for awhile, and it wasn't too long before the rear wheel refused to turn. Things are sort of a blur from this point in the story.

Here are some things I remember:

Countless dozens of riders just standing around in the woods in a daze wondering what to do.

Trying to lift my bike up to get it on my back and being totally unable to get it off the ground.

Cleaning my bike off by grabbing the mud with my hands so I could get it rolling again only to do it fifteen feet later.

Deciding that I would tell Thad there was NO REASON FOR HIM TO GO OUT FOR LAP THREE.


Being caught by
Tommawicki (she was still in the racer mindset) a mud fight ensued as we pulled mud away from our bikes to get them rolling using it as artillery to continue our mobile battle.

Feeling the back of my arms and some muscle in my groin aching from the effort of trying to push a bike I couldn't even lift.

Passing by our pit to tell Thad to stay put when I finished up. He said he would go out when I finished the two to three miles I had left to complete my lap. I said I'd be back in an hour. I was.


I ended up doing two laps and covering around 20 miles in just under four hours. I probably walked at least seven to eight miles of my second lap. I felt like I had been run over... kinda like that girl I saw earlier that day. Even though I'd told Thad there was no reason for him to go out he said he felt like he should have a go at it. "Maybe things would get better" he said.

Three hours later we still hadn't seen Thad go by our pits (a point I had probably reached around one hour and forty-five minutes into my second lap). We (those of us in the pits) were concerned, but since I had seen the conditions I knew the only way someone could get hurt was to slip and fall in the marshmallow cream mud or perhaps herniate a testicle trying to coax their adobe bike through the woods, so I figured Thad was in good physical health. He finally popped outta the woods from some direction that would not be considered the normal direction of travel carrying this instead of his bike:

I inspected what I thought might have been Thad's bike

After performing a few core samples it was hard to conclude as to whether or not there was a bike under all that mud as I pushed my finger through only to see daylight on the other side.

Thad's chain had sucked up into a bad place where a chain was never meant to be (on a single speed no less), and the not so gratuitous clearance on his Vicious Cycles fork had kept even his front wheel from rolling almost the entire time he was out there. Since he had been on the course for over three hours and would still have to carry a bike for another hour or more to finish the lap we pulled the plug. Most people had already done the same, and of those that were out there chasing the money and podium dreams some were begging for the race of attrition to stop.

Here are some facts that I can recall:

Someone weighed their bike after they finished their lap on a scale that went up to 99.9 pounds. It read ERR.

I stayed in my wet chamois till Thad came in convinced that if he came back alive I would go out with two water bottles full of beer and spend the rest of the day suffering... but at least suffering with beer.


The most laps ANYONE did was Chip Meeks (with 5) . He was smart enough to start with cyclocross tires enabling him to push his bike with (relative) ease. He did pinch flat a couple times on the first lap, but once the riding portion of the race was over he was on fire... well, relative fire.


Most of the top podium spots were filled by riders who covered no more than 40 miles in the 12 hours of the race.

Conditions were so bad that if you weren't headed out for your last lap by 6:00pm (three hours to go) they wouldn't let you back out onto the course.


Many top racers bailed entirely, drivetrains were shredded, souls crushed, and it were as if a pestilence had spread across the land.


It was a good thing they had a ton of beer at the race. Most folks (I'm talking about racers here) were drinking in their pits around lunch time.


I talked to a ton of other endurance junkies who have done some of the hardest events in the world. None of them had ever seen worse conditions ever. Although it was a bit reaffirming I still felt like my groin had fallen off somewhere out there in the woods
.

I'll have more to say (you knew it was coming anyways) about the fun aspects of the trip later. More pics will end up coming my way, and I'll share them with the class as they come in. For now chew on this:

That's Will Bolt in the distance (light blue shirt) rolling my bike back to the pits. He reluctantly cleaned the 100 pounds of mud off my bike just in case I had to go back out for another lap. I have no idea who that sorry looking guy is in the center of the picture who looks like he crapped his bibs.

Thanks for everything Will.

It wasn't all bad....

14 comments:

Billy said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahhahahahahhahaahahahaha

Danielle said...

I'm still finding mud everywhere. And definitely in places where mud should never be....

springer said...

strong...

Metro said...

My best race weekend moment was Sunday morning during breakfast while I’m all hung over back at the motel. Some guy and his wife were eating cereal at the table next to me and talking about Dicky and how he really was a lot shorter than what they expected him to be. The wife commented “you know he is married and has a kid? He’s a lot older than what I expected. After reading about all of his shenanigans I just assumed he would be 21 or 22 years old.” I don’t know why I found that so funny but I laughed so hard that I spit pancake all over the table, pointed to the lady and said “Now you have witnessed the Fjear!”

Admittedly breakfast was socially awkward for the rest of its duration. It was good to see you again dude. Going to miss you at the grand tour this year but it will be amusing to watch you kill it out in CO.

Peace,
Metro

Peter Keiller said...

BESTEST RACE EVER.

Dicky, remember when singlespeeders were singlespeeders and singlespeeders stayed up late acting like singlespeeders doing keg-stands...

sorry you lost the 20" challenge and the race and the last eight standing...

dicky said...

No, I don't remember any of that.....

Anonymous said...

http://www.rebeccarusch.com/news/2008blog/DirtSweatandGears2008.html

So two years of mud; will the race survive?

I've become selective on the races that I choose.

dicky said...

The race will survive...

C'mon, it can't happen three years in a row, can it??

Anonymous said...

Damn fine report!

jim m.

cornfed said...

It'll only become more epic-er than it already is.

Nice work for 2 Dicky, even if you did geriatric dinners and bed times.

Strong work bud. Strong work.

Hey, Captain Canadia would you update yer blog already, eh? Nice work on the TT and the mud lap and for saving that girl and dragging her bike.

Anonymous said...

Pft... If only I had not google searched "patio sex" this morning

Randy Conner said...

[IMG]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u34/clipper_pics/DSG%20050809/IMGP1970.jpg[/IMG]

Here's a picture of you recieving some energy drink from Bruce at the end of a lap.

clipper

Anonymous said...

Did those years at Didi Mau teach you nothing??? All that tent cuddling for nothing, and what about the 'months of mud'?!?!?! I am disappointed to call you fellow ohian mt. bike brethren....

haha
Shon

Montana said...

Hahaha. Looks like a romp stompin good time.
Next year bring a road bike to throw on your back so you can just run the course