Tuesday, June 7

Trans-Sylvania Epic: Stage 4-7

Those first few days were work... worse than work. As I lugged my bike and wash bucket back to the lodge around 8:00PM after the third stage I realized that I didn't feel like "me" at a stage race. I wasn't the only one who felt like I wasn't being me.

"What did you do with the real Dicky?

"We want our old Dicky back."

Those kinda things.

Sue Haywood even posted on facebook: "Wow not just a bullshitter got game."

Meh, I have to admit I'm happier as a bullshitter. Much happier.

Back to racing.

Stage Four:
42 miles/6,500ft elevation Raystown Lake

I suck at Raystown. I've been trying to figure out why. I'm not gonna share my latest theories as they involve force vector analysis and my horoscope. Regardless, I did not defend my leader's jersey in any manner. I tried to enjoy the whoops and de-doos and just grunt out the climbs. If someone of interest came by (Elk, Sue Haywood, Amanda Carey, Rebecca Rusch, etc.) I would try to play along until they dropped me. In the end I lost almost 16 minutes to Straub, and a new stage winner emerged (Morgan Miller).

Stage Five:
28 miles/2900ft elevation Mini-XC's at RB Winter Park

This stage offers four mini stages, mostly downhill with a slight uphill start. It would be hard to make up a lot of time, but if you flatted it could cost you minutes in the overall. Everybody went at it pretty hard from the start of the first timed section, and I was about to enter the downhill in second position until I fell over in front of Straub and just about got run over. I hung it out trying to catch up, but I ended up ripping my Rampage front tire, and I had to nurse my fluffy 2.35 marshmallow to the bottom.

I thought I got the leak to seal, but on the climb to the next start my tire went flat again. I went to throw in a tube, and while fixing my shit in the tall grass I lost my skewer end. Somehow I had thought to pack a spare in my prototype Tülbag, and I was up and running with 30+PSI up front. That did not work out so well. I was bouncing all over the place, and I lost a shit ton of time on the second timed stage.

I decided to not bounce down the trail on mini-stage #3 and #4, so I lowered the pressure significantly. I managed to lose less time, and I also got in front of Grig and Cush (slowing them down and entertaining them in the process). Thanks to Grig's dropped chain on the first mini-stage he ended up third, 14 seconds ahead of my fourth place on the stage. Morgan Miller once again won the day.

Stage 6: 38 miles/5300ft elevation Rothrock Tussey Mountain

Big day. Best day of riding all week. I hung on to second place behind Straub on the first descent, but got caught by Morgan at the end. I had a bunch of rotor noise, so I stopped to address it. I failed. I watched as Morgan pulled away, and when he could see Straub in the distance, he shot forward. I dope-itty-doped my way over the rocks, shredded the gnar on the ridge, and busted my ass trying to drink on a really fast downhill section. I came in third behind Morgan and Straub.

There was beer at the finish. It was only 1:00PM, but it seemed like a good time to start. I still had an eight minute lead over Morgan in the overall, and with the final stage being only 26 miles I figured it was fine to enjoy the evening. More beers while sitting in the creek, more beers with Josh Patterson on the porch, and a few to go over to the awards ceremony.

photo cred: Colt/

Last year all the single speeders rode the last day "drinking parade" style. Morgan was the only one that none of us had talked to about a repeat performance, so I approached him after dinner.

"Are you racing or drinking?"



I did not let that alter my game plan. Back at Eagle Lodge we had a kicking campfire and a fridge full of beer, so we stayed up late, drinking and laughing.

Stage 7: 26 miles/3,360ft elevation Bald Eagle Little Poe

I woke up feeling a little rough, but I managed to get my shit straight before the start. I stayed close to Morgan keeping a close eye on him, and on the long, rocky Jeep trail descent I made a pass. I was stoked to think I'd keep my gap, but my aggressive behavior on the descent had a price. I flatted... in front of Morgan... and he saw it.


I was calm as I tried to get it to seal, and even calmer when I threw a tube in. Eight minutes is a long time, but I knew he had the mental advantage of seeing me flat while I had the mental disadvantage of being the "flatter." I was also left in a no-man's land behind the serious racers but ahead of the party pacers. I chased alone, sprinted around the lake at the finish, and checked the time.

I lost almost ten minutes and my second spot on the podium.


I shoulda just went out with the parade pace party. Born to bullshit.

More TSE tomorrow.


AdamB said...

It sux that Morgan decided to "Contador" you when you flatted in front of him. He should have whipped out two beers and drank with you while you fixed the darn thing. Too bad you all couldn't have just enjoyed the stage like last year. Meh

wv = bingsl

b said...

Not sure Morgan is even 21...

Greg D. said...

Dick, I see you turning over a new leaf here. Don't go getting all serious now.

John Miles said...

Getting the pro-level b&w treatment:

delux said...

Don't listen to the nay sayers. They all just want BS dicky to stick around because they are afraid of La Ruta dicky coming back and whooping them.

WV: vitub... as in a tub of vitamins

dougyfresh said...

if I recall your first beer was immediately after finishing raystown.

dicky said...

Yes, that was the first beer, that day.

BUCK said...

NOw all you need to do is get your road game tight(er) and head to VA for the TdB. I'll save you a spot.

dicky said...

Am I the teaspoon Buck?

Fat Guy said...

Ah, you doomed yerself to tire problems the minute you bragged about that fancy air compressor.

Anonymous said...

Nice work Dicky. It's easy to bullshit, especially when it comes so naturally to you, but it takes balls to go for it and put yourself out there to win or to not win. Be proud for your effort.
Wv: chance