Monday, April 9

6 Hours of Warrior Creek: Preamble

I'll probably drag the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek out a bit.  Why not?  Enjoy... or not.

I'm watching the weather pretty closely for days before the race.  I know how pointless of a pursuit it is, but I do it anyways.  I'm also refreshing the 6WC Facebook page looking for the announced update.  Postpone a day... months... race regardless of the conditions...

At least that answer comes on Thursday afternoon.   We race on Saturday with a one hour delay (11:00AM) and a six hour hard stop.  That means you don't start another lap unless you think you can finish it before 5:00PM.  Finish at 5:00:01 PM and the lap doesn't count  I don't think it makes a difference to me.  We should be able to get in five laps, me doing three, Nick two.

Friday night, the weather forecast is basically saying be prepared for anything.  It could rain all day.  It might just mist.  We might see the sun poke it's head out for a bit.  It's gonna start out chilly and then get cold.  I pack enough kits that I can wear something warm and dry at the start of each of my laps if necessary.  Lotsa tiny hats and GORE TEX.

I pull my bike off the wall...

I'm back pedaling to see if the chain needs lubed.  I feel the chunka chunka chunka I've been ignoring for... weeks?  I've written it off to some unclean chain or slightly worn cog or ring or that chain again, mebbe it's time to take a closer look.  Flip the bike, remove the rear wheel, drop the chain to the side, spin the cranks...

The bottom bracket is toast.  Meh.

Back in October, I'd replaced the Real World Cycling BB with the stock Race Face unit.  For reasons.  It's an even longer story.  Even though I've done a limited amount of riding on this bike since then, one of the cups has that sweet indexed feeling.  Shit.  That will certainly mess with my head.

So, despite the fact that I told myself to swap back to the freshly rebuilt (in October) RWC BB before the "season" started (and hadn't), not to mention having the knowledge that I might be exposing it to some seriously wet riding for more than three hours, I decide to toss the smoother BB back in to the Vertigo Meatplow V.7.

It doesn't go smoothly.

But honestly, why would I have expected differently?  What sucks even more was that I was going to swap my 32X18 for a 19 tooth because the climbs are certainly a lot harder on my lower back when they're covered in peanut butter mud, but the time I spent fixing my BB was as much time as I'd wanted to spend doing anything mechanical, so I just don't.

I get all the things packed and the bike "fixed" just in time to stare into space for a few minutes before going to bed.

Wake up.  Check weather.  Same same.  Still a chance of moisture with temps starting in the low 50s and dropping into the mid-40s.  Shit.  It looks like it rained overnight as well.  I don't really know how badly I want to do this.   Wilkesbermo trails are much buneos when they are dry, but I've done a wet lap or two there in the past.  The total ass-opposite of fun.

I go to load my cooler and discover that the Coke I bought the night before in a panicked trip to the grocery store is a Diet Coke.  I consider going back to bed.  No, must forge on.

On the drive over to pick up Nick, I'm still wondering if we should bail.  Come up with an excuse or just admit that we don't wanna have a long day of no buenos?  I know Nick will probably agree either way.  He's a very nice person.

Nah... I wait a few minutes into the drive to admit to him that I thought about bailing.  Feels like we're pretty much committed now.

We get there, prime pit location next to Bike Source, I mount my bike computer on my bars, expressing to Nick that I have intentions to actually pay attention to lap times and such, so as to not screw up the transitions.  Way earlier that necessary, I head over to the starting line.  I'm well aware that I need to start at the front in order to not drift back too far on the long, rolling paved start if I wanted to be with faster company when we get into the woods.

I win this race handily.

Although coming in a close second with a way better plan, Faster Mustache teammate Jason Wilson has his kids (and dog) hold a place for his duo partner, Noel "The Killa Thrilla Vanilla Gorilla" Kirila.

As per the usual, as the racers start filling in behind me, the "athletes" who think they can just roll in last minute and back up into the front do just that, putting me now in the second row.  Asshole move?  You decide.  I'm sure they're looking at me up at the front and thinking the same.

Racer meeting.  The usual notes and then the promoter says we're going to have a vote.  Stick with the six hour hard stop or go with a nobody goes out for a last lap after 4:15PM rule with no hard stop.  The "athletes" seem to be in favor of the latter.  Crowd reaction seems split.  The promoter explains it all again.  One more vote.

"All in favor of the six hour hard stop?"

Suppressed and sad reaction of yays.

"All in favor of no going out after 4:15PM?"

Almost the same suppressed and sad reaction of yays... until I let out a blood thirsty scream because I just want some kind of decision, and I don't think it can affect me either way.

"Well, there you have it.  You can go out for one more lap any time before 4:15PM."

Good.  Let's get this shit going.

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