Monday, October 24

North Carolina Single Speed Championship 2011

Even though I was running late saturday monring, I still decided to ride my bike out to the North Carolina Single Speed Championship race. I had given myself a decent buffer, so the commute was well within the limits of reason. Once I rolled into the parking lot 16+ miles later, I found Zac, Kurt, Tim, and Jon Danger Evans prepping for the day's battle royale. At about 12:20PM, Zac convinced me to ride the three+ mile green loop for a warm-up.

That put me right around 20 pre-race miles.

When we got back, we were told our 1:00PM start was backed up to 2:00PM. So much for our well timed warm-up. Instead of racing, everyone began a quest for the calories needed to sustain our bodies for a later than anticipated start.

Le mans start.


I felt like I got to my bike kinda quick, but as I turned around to head to the trail, I saw that I was quite a few places back already. Into the narrowing trail, I tried to hold Jack Crouch's wheel, the thick legged septuagenarian who invented mountain biking in Charlotte. Someone tried to take it from me, but I forced him off his line with a shithead move not knowing that the rider in question is none other than Brian Conroy (I wouldn't have done it to him).

A quick lap around the island and out to the main course. As we blasted around the White Water Center, I took advantage of the early openness of the course and my stupid 32X17 gear to get around Jack (almost eating shit in the process). Moments later, right before we went into the single track, Brian made his move and passed me.

I had no idea how many riders were ahead of me, and more to the point, how many of them were over 40 years old. Having not raced a distance similar to this in years, I had no clue how to pace myself, not that my silly gear selection gave me any choice on the super steep climbs.

Coming out of the first nine mile lap, all they could tell me was that I was in 6th overall. Judging by what I saw through the woods earlier, I was behind Tim, Zac, and Donnie, but most importantly behind Brian and Jim Shelton (fellow Masters riders).

I started to close the gap on Zac, who was running a similarly stupid gear, quite possibly based on my shitty advice. I thought I was destroying him, but as I passed by he complained that his front brake was not working. I thought "Whatever," but he showed me that the pin had fallen out of his Avid brakes. Legit... sucks for him. Maybe Brian and Jim were running Avid brakes as well. One could only hope.

I never saw anybody else within a hundred yards of my front or back wheel the rest of the day.

I finished the race in third place/Masters class, and fifth overall. The statistical geniuses amongst you may have figured out that I could just as easily been third place in the Open class. Whatever.

Brian and Jim (the two Masters in front of me) showed the youngsters how it's done, finishing one/two in the overall. Donnie Kirkwood of Sycamore Cycles rode a smart race, and while Zac and Tim were beating each other up early, he snuck up from the (relative) back to take the win in the Open Class.

Beers were drank, champions were crowned, and Zac and I's respective 3rd place efforts garnered us some matching tortoise shell Smiths which we will wear whenever we are in each other's company. Once people started heading out, I hopped on my bike for my lonely ride home.

Suffice it to say, it sucked balls.

I did the math wrong. I thought I was in for a 50 mile day.


Good training for the Double Dare though.

If you were at the race, Weldon Weaver was out there taking your photo. Buy them, share them on facebook, tweet them...


Jon Danger said...

no DFL award though, i had that shit on lock.

Rob said...

Mr. D- Mind sharing a rough route down to Catawba?

dicky said...

Moores Chapel