Wednesday, June 8

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic: Stage Two

Stage Two: Tussey 36.9 miles, 3,921 feet of climbing

I love Tussey... normally.  It used to come on the penultimate day.  A day when others are tired and sad.  Sometimes myself as well.  I've won it once in five tries.  I know I won't win today.  The top three are strong like bull.

I prepare myself like anyone else might.  I don a heart rate monitor and then toss it aside, knowing that it will only tell me that I ded or dying.  Nothing new here.

We have to cross a big highway to get to the start.  I make it over in the first wave of Froggers.  I assume we're waiting on the rest of the riders to catch up as we slowly cruise into the campground on the other side of 322.  I see Dave Pryor pull off and point at a buffalo, exclaiming "BUFFALO!"  The pace picks up just a bit.  People must be in a hurry to get a good place at the start.

We make our way up a grassy road.  Around a deer fence.  I plod along slowly, thinking we'll pull over at any moment to line up for the start.  Impatient racers come by me, seemingly annoyed.   I start to wonder if I missed something...

Joël Nankman comes up behind me.

"Dicky, what are you doing?"

"Did we start already?"

His response confirmed my suspicions and assured me that I'm a moron two days running.  Shit.

Once I get down on to a gravel road, I throw my false sense of indignation towards making up time.  I pass Dan and Axel... only to explode and have Axel climb back by me when I implode.  Dan puts me in his rear view on a descent.  Shit.

My nose is once again a pollen-snot spigot that will not turn off, pouring salty goodness into my mouth all day long.

I get to a trail on the side of the road. Mike Kuhn is there... yelling... something at everyone. I have my headphone in, so I assume he's yelling, "YOU'RE MY HERO!" to me... personally.

He's yelling, "HOLE!"

I proceed to fall into the hole.

On the John Wert trail, I come away from my bike on a rocky section (one of a million rocky sections, but prolly the worst tho).  As I land on my feet, I hear Jim Matthews say, "Not a very good trail for single speeds, Dicky."

Later, I see Jim get taken off his bike by a tree.  I think to myself, "Not a very good trail for geared bikes, Jim."  I don't say terrible things, but I do think them.

Spohn was behind me at one point (flat tire?), but he came by me stupid strong on Lonberger.   I had assumed I was out rigid forking him all over the place based on our Enduro™ section times, but apparently not.  He left me stupefied in a hot, humid minute.

I musta gotten past Dan on a climb somewhere, but as we approach Tussey Ridge, he out maneuvers me on a technical section (right after I get in Kaysee Armstrong's way... sorta, but not really).

He's now out front.  I get back around Kaysee, try to not lose too much time to Dan on the descent on the backside, and once again... I chase him down on the last big climb of the day.    I hear the him say "dammit, Dicky" (again) as I go by.

Fifth on the day, and in the overall, I'm sitting well back in fourth place with Axel behind me by three and a half minutes, Dan by five.  Axel appearing to be a real threat to push me off my first place non-podium position.

Montalbano on the top step for the day.

photo cred: Firespire Photography


Anonymous said...

"I don't say terrible things, but I do think them."- Dicky.

This is the best line of the year.

And I can totally hear the most interesting man in the world character saying it in a commercial some day soon.

Please print it on a shirt or sticker. I want one!

Anonymous said...

nice! how the fck did you land in a hole??? what were the accommodations like? food? mostly single track?

the elevation gain looks wicked! if I go next year, I'll have to do way more hill training than what I'm doing now..

looks like a great race...