Thursday, September 24

SSWC09... so it began to begin

So last Wednesday I was up at 4:00am EST and two flights later I found myself in a car for seven hours with George and Mandy Wissell of Bike 29 bound for Durango. Here's a messy synopsis of everything that happened to me thereafter....

Once we got to Durango with one meal in our bellies from some strange Asian burger joint in the middle of Nowhere, CO we were hardly settled into our room when Dejay called George from the Ska Brewery. Apparently whatever was "happening" was happening there, and we needed to be there if we wanted to be part of what's "happening". We drug our weary bodies back out onto the road and headed over to the brewery to enjoy some colorful beers with some colorful folks... and Dejay, Tommawicki, and Fuzzy were there too. We stayed much too late and then went home satiated from our filling beer suppers.

The next morning we were all feeling a bit rough, but we needed to fetch our bike boxes from Matt McFee at Hermosa Tours. Three bike boxes do not fit in a Hyundai Sonata, so we borrowed Dejay and Tommwicki's rolling love shack to get our bikes out of their brown confinement units. Once we retrieved and built our lovely machines (some lovelier than others) we registered and made plans to hop on a Hermosa Tours shuttle up to some high point on the Colorado trail some 20 miles from town.

Why were people telling me "Nice outfit"?

Photo cred: George

Around 3:30PM the van filled with riders each of whom had a different level of preparedness. Some had Camelbaks with no spare clothes or lights (George), some brought the minimum of tools, a rain coat, and two bottles of water (me), while some brought less than I would carry on a grocery store run (Paul from SRAM). The van dropped us off, people rode off into the distance with the instructions "follow the Colordao Trail till you hit town", and by some random randomness I ended up in a group with Mandy, George, Allen (Aosty from MTBR), and Paul from SRAM. We dilly dallied our way down the mountain with threatening skies on the horizon. When we hit the superwalky uphill section Paul stopped to address a leak by shaking it about just like Stan does in his videos... the only difference being that it worked for Stan but not for Paul.

The views were "meh".

Photo cred: George

Visual suck.

Photo cred: George

The rest of the group left Paul and I to sort out his issues. 200 yards after "sealing" the leak his tire gave up all of Paul's hard earned air, so we stopped to put in a tube. Then the rain started, and with it an evil darkness was rearing it's uninvited head. Once we got rolling we eventually caught up to the others, chased cows down the trail, sorted out certain people's lack of hydration issues (what are we gonna do with you Paul?), and continued down the mountain. Before we made it all the way down George's EBB was slipping in his Sir Niner frame (not due to the mechanics of the device, but to the mechanic who mechanic'ed the device), but since no one had a 6mm allen long enough to fix it George had to settle for coasting and baby pedaling down to the road to town... which we got to JUST BEFORE TOTAL DARKNESS turned the sky blacker than our morale had been thirty minutes earlier. Once we got back in town and stopped shivering we showered up, went to the "Run What You Brung" bike show (after it was already over), drank beers, chatted with Shanna from Endless Bikes, went to the Derailed Bar, drank beers, and went home to sleep.

Day three started out a little rougher than day two. We got breakfast and then headed out to pre-ride the "challenging" section of the course with Mike Maggs and Nasty Carl from Bilenky Cycle Works (he's the one in the life jacket) on a route led by Matt McFee... yes, THE Matt McFee of Hermosa Tours. I managed to choke down two bottles of water in a failed attempt to re-hydrate on the ride as we bounced around on the "hardest I've ever seen" ridge line descent. Fun was had by all, and many different lines were attempted (some not so succesfully), and we even had to opportunity to hob-knob with really real professional cyclists (like the ones you see on TV... well, you woulda saw on TV back when VS TV was OLN). A little forethought on the part of George ensured that we had post ride beers, so I saw no reason not to continue the trend of illogical nutritional thought and substituted beer for lunch and dinner.

We (not the royal "we", but George, Mandy, and I) headed out to watch the night's festivities which included World's selection quarter final karaoke and dirt jumping/hucking performed by those who actually know how to do it. From there we headed to Derailed and let things get out of hand. On the dance floor we had Buck (wearing an Ergon BD2), Topher, Jake, Fennell, Bluto, ParSSons, Hollywood, Mandy (helping things look slightly more hetero), and myself... George woulda been there, but he went back to the room to practice his lip-bite/head-shake thing. If I forgot to mention your name, and you were with us on the dance floor I apologize since I'm getting my information from the indecent exposure Durango police report.

BTW: If you ever see me on the dance floor and club music is playing please use the following method to remove me from the dance floor:

Use extreme caution and do not touch me as you may end up afflicted with chronic club music fever. It was widespread Friday night, and many people were lost never to be seen again.

I'm gonna leave off there and save the race report and aftermath for tomorrow.

photo from ptwood's MTBR SSWC09 pictorial


Dave Harris said...

That explains a lot.

Big Bikes said...

If I'd come on that Hermosa ride, I would have frickin' died. I was arguably the least prepared motherfucker in the place. The list of essential items I forgot was longer than the SSWC09 start list.

It's all your fault, you got the dance party started, and then I wound up leaving my legs on the dance floor. Damn! — And I coulda beat Schnell if I'd just gone home and put my feet up and hydrated instead of getting my freak on at The Derailed all night to that crappy, crappy music.


Team Jam Out said...

we should just call you Mr. Facebook

dicky said...

Saw that...

Using it tomorrow to impress the ladies.

EndlessBikeCo. said...

It was nice chillin' with you that evening my friend. I'm sorry I missed the wicked dance party Friday night. I think I got the rest of 'em though.

Anonymous said...

"Gasp"... Dicky, where's the race post?? Need sustenance or will... "gasp", expire...



Cereal Monster said...

Excellent post Rich! Thanks for all the help with the air leak and water bottle. I was so not ready for that ride. I should have read the waiver! I hope to see you around. Maybe SSUSA in February?