Tuesday, January 17

Neither here nor there nor anywhere

Saturday morning, I did all the work that needed to be done (and then some) to get the Misfit diSSent Brontoawesomeous Meatplow V.5 ready to race.

Wheel swap, tire sealed, cog swap to a short track friendly 17T, EBB flop, saddle lowered... computer mounted (why not?).

I packed up Sunday morning with full intentions to race. Everything I might need to participate but could still be stuffed into three jersey pockets; loaded Tülbag, entry fee, two gels (to supplement my 9:30AM spaghetti nutrition plan for a 1:50PM race), and my pro level number plate holder hardware jammed into an old, slightly larger prototype Tülbag.

I wanted to carry my puffy coat so I wouldn't freeze my butt of in the mid 40° temps standing around in the woods spectating. I dumped out my box and coffee can full of excess straps from a million different packs and messenger bags.

I wanted to use my PAC Designs tube holders to compress the coat, but I still needed to strap it to a pack, thus ruining my pack-free commute. I could only find one of the damn things anyways, so looking around my bike room for something else, the obvious hit me in the face. I still had two brand new Clutch straps that I never took the tags off of since I got them. Although I never thought I would have a use for them, I used them to do what they were designed to do.

Different widths messed with my aesthetic balance, but I managed to get over it. I felt all Tour Divide'esque (on my ten mile commute to the short track).

I got to the race, socialized, and went into the course between races to see how the work we did over the past few months rode.

photo cred: Kim Stecher

When I got to the spot where there used to be a jump, but now there is just an over-sized, awkward lump of dirt, I heard my name called. I stopped and chatted it up with Don B and some of the guys from Bike Source.

photo cred: Lunchbox

We stood around and watched people not getting air on the what used to be a jump bump, but after agreeing that the experience was like standing around an empty fire pit, we moved on to the feature I had helped put in a month or so ago.

Watching a few riders go by, it was apparent that while the new line "worked", but there was an unfortunate knife edged (and enormous) rock near the landing zone. We removed the rock (between races), but then the line around the jump was unfortunately dumbed down. Doh. So we did what we could to make the go-around very slightly more challenging and used the big removed rock (and others) to reinforce a nearby berm that was terribly blown out by a rider who overcooked it.

A lot of work with hands and crude implements to make for great bike race.

Photo cred: Tim Anderson

By the time we were done, the jump line was faster. I use the term "jump line" loosely, as many riders just rode over it, through it, whatever. Not everybody approved of the work. I stand behind what we did. Not only were there some exciting passes through that section, the work done on the berm helped keep any more riders from flying into the woods (not that anybody complained about that work or even noticed it).

The races were going off a little late, and by the time I figured out I'd be racing closer to 3:00PM, I decided to bail on my start. Geoffrey Bergmark was not able to make the trip down, and without my pasty white bearded adversary, some of the wind that was in my sails disappeared.

Daniel Lenis lining up for the "gap."

Photo cred: Tim Anderson

You can see the rock we added to the go-around line to make up for the rock we had to remove. There were still two clean lines through the rocks.

Even the women were "stepping up."

Photo cred: Tim Anderson

That is not a sexist statement (I don't think). About 75% of the women took this line and probably 90%+ of the expert men, including Captain Morgan on a VERY skinny tired cross bike.

Donnie Kirkwood, SS representative of the pasty white bearded hill people chose not to jump early on...

Photo cred: Tim Anderson

but eventually he was hitting it like a red headed Bike Source employee. There's video evidence out there, but unfortnately it's a facebook thing.

Maybe some trail fairies will get busy this week and tweak a few things. Hopefully the race photos will have more people in the air with shit-eating grins next week. Short track should be FUN, fast, FUN, challenging, FUN, painful, FUN, and FUN. Maybe that's just my opinion.

Then again...

My opinion is an asshole. I have one, and it needs a serious bleaching.


AdamB said...

Race, drink beer or do trail work? Good choice.
Did you ever don the jacket? You could turn it into a mega-handlebar pad.

wv = protro

dicky said...

Yeah, late in the day I broke it out. Once the sun dropped low, things got chilly in the woods.

o hai o said...

was really looking forward to a $20 sock post. you let me down...