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Tuesday, September 6

The 2011 Shenandoah Mountain 100 thing

I don't even know where to begin or where to head once I start. I didn't bother with reinstalling my computer after mounting the squishy fjork nor did I remember to wear a watch at the race. I had no sense of time out on the course, no real plan to speak of... I just rode a hundred miles.

When I passed the first aid station, I grabbed a bottle to carry in my pocket so I could ride all the way to aid station three without stopping. I was reprimanded for not trading out a bottle, so I said I was sorry, and tossed it back. Without a way to know how much time was passing, I hardly kept up on my hydration and food all day. With so many single speeders (70+?) in the 600 rider field, I had no idea who was ahead or behind me, but it seemed like somebody was always around me. I can remember somewhere around the 30 mile mark, I saw the sun break through the clouds and hit the ground for the first time. There were times spent in familiar company, and other times making new friends. I was just out for a hundred mile ride.

The squishy fjork certainly took something away from what I like to do. I can only describe it as fully experiencing a one night stand while wearing three condoms. There was something missing in the tactile feel, and a certain element of danger and risk were wholly removed. I can't say I enjoyed myself as thoroughly as I have in the past knowing that half the thrill in doing the SM100 was in the challenge, both going up and coming down. Mistake made and duly noted.

Somewhere on the big climb up Shenandoah Mountain, my knee started to throb. I had not worn a knee warmer at the start like I shoulda. I thought Icy Hot woulda done the trick, but I was wrong. I had done the same thing at a back in 2009 (it was a bit colder) and had the same issues. Mistake made (again) and duly noted.

Had there not been an antagonist in my midst around 2/3's into the race, I might have settled into a more leisurely pace. He pushed me on the lower half of the big climb, and popped my cork before we made the legendary right hand turn going up to Reddish Knob. On the way up the second half of the climb I could feel myself getting a little rumbly in the tumbly, but I was saving my appetite for pizza and Coke. My single speed adversary du jour was nowhere in sight, and I was counting out ever seeing him again.

Miraculously he was still at aid station five when I got there, but I was not leaving without my pizza. I left out right behind him along with another single speeder, but by the time we reached the big climb to the highest point on the course, my antagonist was ahead, the other guy had fallen behind.

I was hoping that was the last I would see of this guy who was forcing me to think race type thoughts, but I caught him on the descent down Chestnut Ridge. After making the pass and moving on, I came upon a rider (Mike Simonson) being backboarded sideways down the trail on the back of an ATV. I had to wait for the woods to open up to the side before I could get around, and fortunately the Moriarty to my Holmes had still not bridged the gap.

On the final climbs, I used my pizza power to motor up the inclines, looking over my shoulder the whole way. He couldn't catch me on the final descent, so I carelessly lollygagged my way down the final double track having no idea that I would come in at 9:02 and change.

Two minutes?

Guess I shoulda wore a watch after all.

Tenth place single speed and on the "dicky deep" podium. Not too shabby for just riding a hundred miles with my head up my ass.

Boring race report?

It's a sign that I have now hit the meh-way point of the season.

3 comments:

AdamB said...

So I take it that a squishy fjork is the faster, but soul-less race component. At least now that fjork will be deeply discounted on the auction block.

wv = gleriou

phattire said...

Not bad man. Kudos on 10th without fully strapping on your race face!

dougyfresh said...

time for your man-cation and some R&R