Tuesday, September 19

'17 Fool's Gold (not quite) 60: Part Two

I decide now is the time to make Scott hurt.  A lot.  I need to give him all the sadness.  I try to hammer him out of sight on every single bit of trail pointing up.  I know Bull Mountain ends in a descent, and I'll need a decent gap when I start going down...

Or else he'll pass me, leave me, demoralize me into sad obscurity.  I wanna stand on a box, dammit.

It's a stupid goal of very relative measure.  I don't care. It's all I have.

Crest what feels like the time and hit the downhill.  I'm hanging it out there, and I'm thinking about how the bike and I are clicking so well... until I hit a root at the wrong angle, bounce across the trail, and almost end up shouldering a tree.  I take it back a notch.

photo cred: Dashing Images
I get down to the aid station and blow right past it.  I've already convinced myself that I'm doing this whole thing on two water bottles and the food in my pockets.  It will be close... but bike racing.  Rolling down the gravel and reaching back for Tummy Gummies, I see Scott closing the gap.


We roll together on Doldrums Road and talk about how hard it is to keep it rolling on a single speed.  I assure him that the climb on the way back isn't as hard as the one we already did at the start.  I'm kinda lying but whatever. 

He groans.  I sense that this might be hurting him more than me.  I scooch forwards in the saddle, grab my bars next to the stem, and start time trialing my ass off... at all the RPMs.  I get a gap.

I get to the base of the last major climb.  I make sure that no matter what, I'm suffering.  Seated, standing, seated, standing... using everything I got.  I know that if I can't build a good enough gap here, Scott will blow by me on the chunky descent back down.  Even worse, he might catch me at the bottom, and we'll have to go rope-a-dope on the rollers back to the finish.  I so don't want that at all.

I somehow catch Kaysee on the way up, and I wonder if she's just holding on to a gap she established way earlier.  I don't think I'd be this close to her if she was getting at it.  Keep my head down and legs burning.  Because this is important?

I get to the top of the climb and start down the backside.  There's so much loose rock and random chunk gnar.  Tire management.  A flat tire and I'm off the boxes.  It wasn't the prettiest or the fastest descent, but it ended at the bottom, so ok.

There's an unimaginable amount of rollers on the way back to the finish.  I know.  I've done them before.  It's like the finish keeps moving further away the more I pedal.  I drill every rise and droop and tuck all the descents the moment I'm feeling spun out.  Left into the venue... just a little gravel before the energy sapping grass climb to the finish.  One more look over my shoulder.

No Scott.

I get on the grass climb and I can see Chad just up ahead.  He's moving slow.  So am I.  Unless he just passes out from exertion, we're finishing second and third.

He doesn't pass out, and neither do I.  Fin.

Scott finishes as soon I can get to Chad to congratulate him.  That was close.  And stressful.  And I paid for that experience.

I'll probably ramble on for one more day at least.

1 comment:

fatlip11 said...

What a blast to read! Makes me feel like I'm there... well, in my mind. :) Awesome!