Wednesday, July 9

The 19th Annual Tour de Burg: Part Two of ??

Maybe I forgot... maybe I wanted to.  There was an individual time trial scheduled to happen after the road stage.  Usually it's twenty minutes or so.  Rumor has it that Le Directeur shortened it to 90 seconds.  Yes, a minute and a half.

I look for any confirmation.  Twenty minutes means I better lay off the beers for awhile.  Ninety seconds means power through.

I head out with the support wagon to pick up a grill from the start line of the ITT.  Confirmed.  Shortest stage ever?  More than likely.  I still put on my 7-Up skinsuit to winsuit... and keep the beer flowing.

photo cred: Nate Shearer
It's over as fast as it starts (on the back of a flat bed truck "start ramp").  More beers and a day's worth of over-consumption sees me heading to the couch to sleep long before everyone leaves TdB HQ.  I know I run the risk of being fucked with.  No matter.  I need to recover before I have to get on the bike again.

Day four.  Starts normal enough. I help fill the water jugs and load up the support wagon. While strapping down coolers and jugs to the vehicle, I lean on the big white cooler full of Dr Thunder and Mountain Lion for leverage.  A hard tug on the webbing and "POP!"

I see a white light and feel a sudden sharp pain in my lower right rib cage.  I just did a bad thing.  I take a knee and give myself some time to breathe.  I hurt me.

I shake it off, breathe through pursed lips for awhile, and head inside to get kitted up.  We ride to Court Square and once again head off on a ride all the way to the mountains (sick).  I chase down my token KOM point on the parade out to the racing.  The timed section goes off at the bottom of a long climb... but nobody seems to be in a hurry to race.

Sue Haywood tells me I will love this climb.  So far, I don't.  The lolly gagging isn't keeping in sync with my single speed needs, so I head to the front and take off.  I do what I can to get out of sight of the leaders... because... burrito.  No real reason.  They know I'm not a threat.  I get to the turn into the woods first and shortly thereafter, they're on me.

I explode.  My back starts screaming.  I can only assume the muscles on my lower right side are trying to compensate for the damage I did to my ribs.  I stagger on, fully considering bailing on tomorrow.  One terrifically steep descent later, I'm at the sammiches.

Buck does some magical bear hug stuff to me, and my back feels better... my rib worse.  The party pace heads up into the woods on a trail I've descended before in past tours.  Not so much fun in this direction.  We eventually end up on an exposed ridge that looks like it's been brush hogged... not really a trail per se.

photo cred: Sure Haywood
Someone tells me we have more than 2,000 feet of elevation to gain before we get to Reddish Knob.  Super.  Slog, slog and more slog to the top.
The next stage rolls right in from the top of the mountain, down some slabby rock steps that look like pure death on a stick ending in an exposed ninety degree turn.  I gaze at the "stairs" to see if there's a line I'm comfortable with.  I see where I think I would go if a man held a gun to my head and made me ride down them.

The decision is made to start the riders in intervals, reverse GC order, ladies first.  Sue Haywood rolls it like nobody's business.

photo cred: Mike Boyes
Yes, it's steeper than it looks, longer than you can see, and I'm pretty sure there was a ring of fire at the end.

The first male riders walk in, punished with a hit from Chase's Super Soaker.

 photo cred: Mike Boyes
I watch as some riders roll it... some with ease, some with great difficulty.   The JV Squad's Kurt Kurtenburger goes down it doing as much wrong as possible without dying.  The Super D leader (his real name is Skidmore... no shit) launches into it like it's being filmed for Kranked 7.  I shit my pants watching him.  Zack Morrey goes over the bars in a most dramatic way.  My pants are shat a second time.  I got no business trying.  I walk it, take my soaking, and ride a difficult stage starting mostly at the back of the field.  I pass carnage along the way.  Flat tire, torn off derailleur, another flat... viva le tour and all.  I finish up, all the riders get in, and we ride ALL the way back to town.

Le Directeur gets a posse organized to go to "da club."  Nate, some JV Squad members that coulda been blindfolded with dental floss, some of the Dirty South, Buck doing a pull as DD(?).  I stay back.  Too old, too injured, too in need of a night away from too much.  I choose to sleep on the other couch because I haven't tried it yet, and I didn't want to live a life with that kinda regret.  I know I'll be a target when the clubbers return.  Eventually, I'm awakened by camera flashes and beat with a toy light saber.  Better than I had hoped for.

Viva le tour.

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