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Tuesday, October 16

The Fury of the Last Minute Death Machine

The 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway, AKA the 6 Hour Duo Coed World Championships.

Layla and I going up against the formidable pro licensed elitist Cannondale rider and uber coach Luke and his athlete Elsa not to mention the four other teams I knew nothing about.  A style of racing I was somewhat unfamiliar with and a course I haven't ridden on in one year, nine months, and 12 days.

Layla found out that Luke was going to be late for the start, thus Elsa would be going first for their team.  I was the lead-out man for the Last Minute Death Machine.  This was going to cause some interesting overlapping of times that would make it hard to figure out who was where when.

At least we had some advantage...

photo cred: Layla

Yes, that is a Speed Metal quick release device for our ankle sensor (AKA paperclip).
From the start, I felt the pressure to ride towards the front.  Everyone was talking about a narrow suspension bridge that if you weren't there quick to get to it, you'd face a bottleneck.

 photo cred: Rodney Billowitz

I recognized the company I was in, and I was well over my head.  We were moving through the woods at an uncomfortable rate of speed.  Leaning into corners, brushing trees with my shoulders, just plain two levels above my pay grade.   I popped out of my first lap in a respectable position... upright.

  photo cred: Rodney Billowitz

Putting Layla right out there with the big boys.

photo cred: Rodney Billowitz

This would be the lap that determined how the day would go.  We sorta figured that any gains I would make on Elsa would be taken back when Luke took his turn.  If I saw Luke come out of lap two first, then I was gonna have a beer after my second lap.  If Layla stayed out in front, well then we were racing the rest of the day.

She came out of the woods first.

photo cred: Rodney Billowitz

Our transitions were flawless...


photo cred: Rodney Billowitz

As in no one was stabbed to death by an ill-placed paper clip.

On my second lap, I was very aware that we were now "racing."  I put down another hard lap.  I know it was hard, since I lost my shit twice and went way off the trail into the woods.  Once while taking the table-top line not realizing it didn't line up with the next turn that led into a bridge when taken at speed... doh.

Back at the pit, we transitioned once again, and Layla went out to light up the course.  While she was out, I looked at the current results.  We had established a lead, and second, third, and fourth were all within a minute of each other.  This is, of course, with Luke and Elsa being the only team out on the course in a "ladies first" order.  I headed out for what I considered a reserved pace on my third lap (that ended up being only 30 seconds slower than going balls-out), and then Layla headed out for her last lap.

Hanging out with Luke while he was waiting for Elsa, he was strategerizing.  Asking when the last call for a final lap was, looking over lap times, considering male VS female lap totals.... all things I was somewhat clueless about.  And then he left.

I went to look at the lap times.  Without pulling off my socks and shoes so I could count higher, I realized the race could get close.  If Luke chose to double up on laps (making our male lap to female lap count the same), he could make this very interesting.   Lap numbers six and seven would be spent chasing Layla and then me on the seventh and final lap.  I would have to go out and "race" with a fair amount of enthusiasm.

And I did, not knowing that Luke had really done the math and figured out consistent lap times and the eventual outcome (save for any disaster on my last lap) was pretty much decided.  He handed off the timing chip to Elsa.

So I pretty much wasted myself, putting down my second fastest lap of the day having no idea that Coach Luke had put his feet up, no doubt telling his Athlete Elsa that she could use the extra training.

photo cred: Mudman

Just look at the shame on Luke's daughter Ella's face.  She so wanted her daddy to be a World Champion just like her blogger/hero Dicky.

Thoughts?  It was super donkey difficult racing at high speeds realizing that my efforts (or lack thereof) affected someone else, my partner Layla.  Knowing that I could disappoint someone, other than myself, made me push myself beyond a certain amount of pain.  She had just done such a great job staying out ahead of Luke knowing he was back there chasing the whole time...  it was a beautiful thing.

Then there was beer, chummy times, and eventually there was only Mudman, his son Lunchbox, Jana, Cathie, Becky, and I sitting around trying to finish the keg (sans Lunchbox, being that he is under age).  That is until the promoters attempted to abscond the beer while we were unawares.

Not on my watch.

photo cred: Jana Morris

Eventually the beer left and so did we.

photo cred: Mudman

The end.

3 comments:

bentcrank said...

We want bigger images of the hand off

dicky said...

Ummmm... no.

John Parker said...

racing (on singletrack with a squisy fork no less), beer, sports bra's, public urination....that's why we tune in each day (plus it makes the imporant stuff seem that much more so when u do write about it)