Tuesday, April 9

6 Hours of Warrior Creek '19

Full disclosure.  Last year, we were second outta six teams.  This year, there's only three teams registered.  Obvs, we had a lock on a podium spot, assuming one of us could successfully complete at lap (I guess).  One team is half of last year's winners, Jarmz.  The other half woulda been second last year, had his partner decided that he didn't wanna go out for that last miserable lap of mud, cold, and rain.

We (I) did go out, and in the process, moved up a spot.

The other team registered came in third last year, also moving up a spot because they went out for that last lap as well.  They were close enough to keep us honest and obviously aware that the race ain't over until it's over.

I figure it's only fair to be up front about this kinda stuff regarding a guaranteed podium.

Jarmz is lined up a row ahead of me.  The race is on, and he pulls away right then and there... along with what feels like everyone.  It's a hard start on the pavement for a single speeder who can't spin up the gear and peg the heart rate to the max out of the gate (that would be me).  Riders start coming around... last week's Definitely Not Tour de Charlotte champ, Jason.  Female Charlotte honch, Bonnie.  Local rivalries are real.

We come into the slick 180° roundabout in the campgrounds...

And there's already evidence that someone went down, a rider scrambling to get back on their feet.  I yell "CAREFUL CAREFUL CAREFUL," as I make the turn, and I hear more riders go down in the corner behind me.

Nobody ever listens.

We get into the power line cut that gets us back on to the proper trail, I make a dicey (for me) pass on Bonnie through the rough, and start looking for carrots up ahead.  I doubt I'll ever see Jarmz again, aside from standing around in the pits between laps.  I do see Jason tho, so I start making moves to get up on his wheel.

As always, the trail is packed with trains of multiple riders.  I get it that the guy running the engine at the front shouldn't have to pull off the trail to let the whole train through, but the guy in the coal car needs to start getting to business IMHOMO.

I do what I do.  I start making noise, hollering, cheering riders ahead to make a move, mocking when necessary.  It's my job as lead rider on our team to get us back up where we belong, and not where my shitty start put us only ten minutes into the race. 

Burn.  All.  The.  Matches.

Make a move, make more noise, make another move.  I get around Jason, and now I feel like I somehow just won the Definitely Not Tour de Charlotte by some sort of default.  I'm dealing with a problem tho.  My riding is pure shit.  It takes awhile before it dawns on me, but not only did I not get a good night's sleep, I also only had about 12-16 ounces of coffee when it normally takes 24-32 to get my morning right.  I can't focus, and it shows.  I bauble a few corners, screw up the top of the first rocky section I've cleaned like a billion times in the last million years, and almost come out of the top of a couple berms, still slippery from yesterday's rain.

Gads.  Need to do something about this sad state of afffairs when I get back into the pits.

An hour and twenty something minutes later, I come into the finish.  I'm looking all over for Nick and yelling his name... we never really had a chance to talk about which side of the road, how far up from the finish line... and there he is.  Way up there.

At least he's there (unlike me once last year when I totally wasn't).

Nick goes off...

photo cred: Daren Wilz
And I grab my pizza and the Coke I'd planned on drinking before my third lap in the hopes that the caffeine and sugar will get me back among the living before it's my turn again.

Stand around, no results posted... prep for my second lap... clean tag with Nick and go.

This time, the trail is dry, and my mind isn't total shit.  My legs are tired, but I'm having fun.

photo cred: Daren Wilz
I kept my streak alive of never being passed once the race got into the woods, put up a decent time, tag Nick.

Check the results.


We're far enough from first that they could have a semi-catastrophic flat and still win.  We're ahead of third enough to have a non-catastrophic flat and hold our place.  And somehow... the time is gonna come up way too short for Nick to get a sixth lap in before the time runs out.  As a matter of fact, barely any teams are gonna make it to six laps.


Still gotta put the work in, so Nick comes in, and I go back out, hoping to keep our gap steady on third, trying to keep the local rivalry with Jason and Noel in our favor without blowing my load in doing so.

I do all that.

Of all the images of the podium I found on my phone, my contemporaries did a much better job keeping what we'll call "some sort of decorum." 

Nick and I, fourth time racing Duo SS, third time in the bridesmaid position (although I've been there once before our relationship started).

Golly, that sure was fun.  And painful.  Mostly fun tho.

There are possible changes in the air for the event next year.  My fingers are crossed, and it's not just a head start for geriatric single speeders either.


Steven said...

Attendance seemed lower this year, it’s always a great event. Kind of odd.

dicky said...


I spoke with the promoter after the event. Some considerations are being taken for making it a great bike race that will sell out just like the old days. I am optimistic at this point that 2020 will be buenos.