Wednesday, June 5

2013 Trans-Sylania Epic: Stages Three and Four

So I ended up third overall in the GC for the single speed class after the second stage.  I was not expecting this when all the show ponies signed up in the last month.  Now what?

photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE

Take care of my shit.  All my shit. I decided to follow through with my plan to get a half hour massage with Buck every night for the whole week.  I've never had a massage for recovery purposes during a stage race, and who better to rub me than 2005 SSWC champ (who won his tattoo in these very same woods... and a go-cart track).

Drinking?  I was still going to do that.  You can only take things so seriously, and I was already off to such a good start there.

Stage Three: Eagle Coburn ~ 47 miles
We woke up to rain, lots of rain.  Since I am now very used to racing in 50° rain, I know exactly what to wear.  Sleeveless jersey, METAL vest, knee warmers, arm warmers, and a cap.  I looked around and saw people wearing waaaaayy too much.  Whatever.  I know what works.

 photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE

I was shivering at the start, something else I'm used to.  The fasties at the front were not going very fast at all.  This made me even colder, so I broke off the front of the entire pack.  I also knew that we'd be banging a hard left into some very tight singletrack, so we needed to separate the herd.  Surprise.  There was no response. 

Into the chunder, lose sight of the lead single speeders, let the strong women by, and out onto a rolling road where the trains of geared riders blew by me at random intervals.  Eventually there was some climbing, I was back in the mix with the lead women, some gnar high speed descending where I lost them, the hike-a-bike on a fisherman's trail where I would spend too much time talking to them, a slight grade on a railroad bed where I would drop them, and then the paved road through Coburn where they caught me once more.

At least this year the course was run in a direction that would allow me to hop on the train through town going slightly up.  As soon as the course went left and way the hell up, I went out on my own leaving the women folk to themselves.  Hammer, hammer, hammer... long way to the top.  I saw a rider approaching from behind at a speed that did not make sense.  Who is this mad man?

It was Dax.  He got lost again.  He joined me towards the top of the climb, informed me of his plight, asked how far Dejay was up the road, and we continued on together again.  Hitting a sloggy climb up a wet double track, I rode behind Dax talking to him trying to keep morale high.  Once we were back on the road, he was looking taxed.  After what he had done for me the day before, I stayed with him until we hit the last enduro segment, where I gave him the classic "go on without me" line... and he did.

Interestingly enough, Pinkbike saw it this way:

"Dax Massey (Breck Epic/Honey Stinger/Light and Motion), repeating his misfortune from yesterday, went slightly off course following a group of ten riders. Though able to correct the mistake quickly, the detour enabled Rich Dillen (Faster Mustache) to get ahead, continuing the battle the two fought in Stage 2. Climbing out of Coburn, Dillen fought hard to maintain his lead through the long, gravel climb. Massey, however, was committed to regaining his time, as well as his position, and put in a strong attack to catch Dillen in the last quarter of the race. Massey held on to his lead over Dillen by seconds to finish fourth in the stage"

It was definitely a "battle."  Dax is a good guy, and our battle over the last two days was anything but.

Anyways, Yacobelli finally woke up and took the stage win, which meant I was fifth on the day and dropped completely off the podium.  Good thing I paid in advance for those massages.

Stage Four: Galbraith Gap Enduro ~ 22 miles

What can I say?  I knew today would break me.  Only the downhills would be timed.  Of the seven single speeders, only two were rigid frok equipped.  Tyler Welnak and his steel front end was not digging the rocks at all, and the other riders were all proficient descenders.   I would be racing Tyler (in my mind).

 photo cred: TSE

Dressed for enduro racing, post dropped, chain wallet left at home...

 photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE

and properly fueled for the day with Dejay's Panty Dropper Elixir.

We racer folks rode to a place on high and waited our turn for the first enduro section.  I made sure to line up behind the fast women so as to not mess up their days.  Tyler was right behind me.  I made quick work of the first section, heard Tyler make some noises as he came down, made my way over to the second section, and decided to just get this day over with as quick as possible.

 photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE

Over to the third section, I lined up behind enduro contender Derek Bissett.  As soon as he went off, I followed.  It was super chunder and super fast, not the best for rigid foolishness.  I paid the price.  Very near the top, I ripped my front tire.  Since this was a timed section, it made more sense to run than it did to stop and fix it... little did I know this was the longest section of the day.  I RAN the rest of the way down, jumping into the woods to let riders past, and when I got to the bottom, I made slow work of a flat fix.

Some misuse of a CO2, and I was left with a marshmallow front tire to get back up to the aid station.  Once there, I reloaded with two tubes and pumped my front tire up to basketball pressure for the final two descents... the most technical of the day.  Hooray.

Wildcat was actually a hoot, super steep and donkey tech.  Fun was had, I can not deny.

 photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE
The final descent was a chunder booger and tossed me around a good bit, but I made it down safely to happy times and beer.  Sixth on the day, no surprise there.

That night was the wheelie contest.  Beers were available and drank.  Bad ideas were abundant.  When the wheelie contest ended, other feats of strength began.

 photo cred: A.E. Landes/TSE

I don't know who's bike this is or why I'm grabbing it.

It was my idea to do a four man coed relay race.  My rules, my course, my fault.  I lined up first for my team representing Charlotte, NC and somehow on Eric McKeegan's bike (even though he was racing as well).

 photo cred: TSE

Two teams jumped the gun.  I went off in hot pursuit.  I decided to make the 180° turn at the end of the field just beyond the lights as tight as possible.  Foot out, skid, all was going well...

until it wasn't.

I laid the bike over and then high-sided.  McKeegan's looming figure, back lit with the intense outdoor lights, came at me like the Lone Rider of the Apocalypse.   He either hit me, ran me over, or missed me entirely.  Who knew?  I got back on the bike in dead last and sprinted back to my team (who managed to pull us back into second... I think).

Shenanigans over, more beer, then bed.

I was numb until 3:00AM, when suddenly my knee woke me up to tell me that things did not go so well for me when I wrecked.  I dug around in the dark for some ibuprofen and water.  I found only ibuprofen.

Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I went back to sleep hoping that like most of my life's problems, this one would work itself out while I slept.

1 comment:

Abram said...

Dicky man-handled my bike!