TSEpic related album.
photo cred: Brice Shirbach"If you timed it right, you could find this legend in the flesh throwing a few extra back. Rich Dillen would finish 2nd overall in the Single Speed classification. It takes a certain breed, ya know?"
Flesh? Yes, perhaps a little. Mostly bones and ear cartilage. Legend? We'll let history decide.
Quick aside: Notice that my helmet strap is totally dangling. This was an issue for me. I stopped at the first aid station with Chris intending to take off my undershirt. I forgot to actually do it once I saw the Pringles. He was locked and loaded for the next Enduro™ segment, so I told him to go and then shoved a stack of processed potatoes in my mouth. He went, and then I remembered my undershirt was still in place on my torso Shit. Helmet and glasses off, jersey off, bibs unfurled, undershirt off, bib straps in place, jersey back on, helmet... strap dangling. Can't have that.
I'm going to lose my only friend in the world.
Calm. Feed the strap back through the flat rubber band. Bare hands trembling. Don't break the...
Broke. Fuck. You can't buy these flat rubber bands. A period of mourning. Then anger. Then it was time to suck it up, accept the loss, and chase Chris back down.
I did give up actual racing on the fourth stage, enough so to sit down at the end of the tunnel and toss back a couple or ten cups of beer. All the fucks I had already were given. I was fresh out. I was just out for a moist ride in the woods with a friend I never get to actually ride with (Stage Seven shenanigans aside) and a dangling helmet strap (welcome to anal compulsion).
photo cred: Brice ShirbachOur "race" ended in a foot down at the finish line. As we stood their bleeding time on the wrong side of the line, I was enjoying a pain-free moment of why I ride bikes. It was a pleasant day of bikes, beer, saving turtles from imminent destruction (not a fellow drunken single speeder this year), talking, poking other riders with sticks, seeing Chris's brother come back to life and joining us for the final miles back into camp... it was a long but good day in the saddle.
And there was this moment:
photo cred: Brice ShirbachThat's me on Tussey Ridge, pulling all light energy into my dark rage. I wish I could figure out how to tap into whatever got in me that day whenever I want. Instead, I am helpless in controlling the occurrence of these episodes, sorta like a very pale, skinny version of the Hulk. I had to confirm my suspicions with someone who is better at looking at maps, elevation charts and memory powers that John and I were actually catching Matt Ferrari on a climb before he wrecked and broke his ass parts.
photo cred: Matt's assbone doctorIt bothered me enough to ask him yesterday. I had to know since my memories from that day (as all the others) are as confusing as Matt's X-ray (that is his ass crack, right?).
I'm just saying that on that one day I was actually able to (sorta) get my shit together and race my bike like I actually might be capable of had I the mental capacity to do so with purpose.
The Pisgah Enduro™ is tomorrow and Sunday. I'm fucked. I have slept on the couch every night since I got home from PA.
Sunday was the twelve hour hobo fever dream night followed by an attempt to go to work and a day wasted mostly on the couch having trouble convincing myself to eat. Then another night of sweaty sleep with the start of coughing jags. Go to work with little sleep on Tuesday, get winded on two flights of stairs, more coughing spells, another night on the couch. Repeat until this morning.
My legs are currently non-responsive. There's just not much there when I turn the pedals which does not bode well. My brain is 85% on the other side of the post-TSEpic fog, but my body is still in a bunk at the Boy Scout Camp.
At least the Pisgah Enduro™ is all about Enduro™'ing for the most part. There's still a certain amount of elevation I'm required to gain under my own power and most of the descents are hardly freebies. They are work to get down, especially when entered in the Hard Ass class (full rigid). On the upside, the family unit is joining me for this adventure/camping experience... the bad news being that there is no couch for me to sleep on if the coughing continues into Saturday night. The good news being that I might hear a "Yay, Daddy" or two.
Viva Enduro™ and all that.