Tuesday, May 23

TSE SS Preview: SS is Ded. Long Ded SS.

The Spring Classics are over.

I'm a little bummed to miss out on the monsoon conditions at the Pisgah 55.5k the day after the 111k, but I got up before 6:00AM, tore down my #vanlife, and drove home.  I then proceeded to work for about five hours on getting my bike and gear sorted for the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

And just like that, I'm on my way to Central PA tomorrow for the TSE.  Good lawd.  Eight years in a row.  How the time flies.

Of course, I've only finished six of the seven I've been to the event.  Broke my butt on Enduro™ Day a couple years ago.  My butt feels fine now, but my feels still hurt, as that's the only stage race I've ever DNFed at since I started doing them in 2004.  I've done so many at this point, I don't even wanna bother trying to count them.  Let's just call it a "shit load."

I've got an excellent chance at a mediocre performance amongst this group of ding dongs.

Going down the list in logical alphabetical order...

My buddy from another duddy.  He was sick at PMBAR two and a half weeks ago, so while I was stronger than him then, whaddabout now?  Dunno.  He does have a fear of rocks.  And he rides a high post.  And I'm pretty sure he won't dope (put on a suspension fork) for the Enduro™ Day.  Also, he and I enable each other to normalize our alcohol consumption rates.  Almost always.  So some buenos and no buenos there.  This might be the week that we realize we are way better at beer than we are at bikes, so mebbe just do that and only that.

Matt Ferrari.

He's won here before.  An NUE podium guy in years that I guess are gone by at this point.  He's so consistent tho.  Probably the only good single speeder to make it out of the dirty years and continue podiuming after our sport got taken over by "athletes."  A local who knows the trails, and he'll be sleeping in his own bed every night.  He also broke his butt at TSE one year, but did a way better job than me (natch, he does everything better than me).  If he entered this race, I doubt he's just coming out to play.  Aside from the time he broke his butt, the only other time I beat him was at the '06 Mohican 100.  That was a hundred years ago.

Dan Giroux.

He raced last year.  I beat him, but he was sleeping under a tarp all week while I was in Upper Eagle living the good life.  He descends faster than me and also has a sweet beard.  If I can't out climb him, I'm screwed.

Joel Nankman.

Pretty sure his real name is Joël Nankman but whatever.  He's a wild card.  TSE veteran.  Usually rides coed duo with his awesome wife.  Can ride a wheelie the length of a football field, turn it around in the end zone, and bring it all the way back.  In the dark.  He looks strong and has a better smile than I do.  He apparently is okay with images of himself on the internet doing a "triathlon."

Evan Plews.

The only professional single speeder in the group and sufferer of PTSSS (Part Time Single Speeder Syndrome).  Unless he brings that full suspension single speed that was giving him issues at the 2015 Pisgah Stage Race, he'll need to have about twenty flats (daily) for me to beat him.  I think he got that bike sorted out anyways, so there goes that spot on the podium.

Matt Spohn.

He beat my dick off last year.  He says he's much fatter this time.  He also had a nice beard and rode rigid in '16 until his hands starting falling off the ends of his arms.

Scott Williams.

An "industry" insider media douchebag from Dirt Rag.  I rode with him a lot at the Maxxis Appalachian Summit.  He seemed strong.  He also appeared to know how to ride a bike in the woods.  I'd say we might be on equal footing, but that doesn't fit my pessimistic mold, so I'll concede a place to him now and get it over with.  His beard game leaves a little to be desired tho.

Douglas Wilson.

He raced last year.  Pretty sure he's just there to have great bike race experience.  He and Doug were the ones who joined me on the final stage of last year's race with a head start on the field so we could cheer everyone on when they came down the Death Chute.  Not the act of a serious racer man, but there were only three single speeders still "racing" on the last day.

Of course, there's me.

I ded.  Still hoping my legs get back under me.  Hoping all this fluid retention stops retenting.  Hoping I don't have to keep replacing the beer I bought for TSE but seem to keep putting in the fridge for consumption more like now.  I'm hoping in one hand, defecating in the other... because I ride a single speed bike and that's what gross people do. 

So there you have it.  I can see myself anywhere from a lucky stage podium due to a bunch of others having a bad day or somewhere much closer to last place.  It's really gonna come down to whom amongst us cares the least about performance... and that's gonna be the real race to watch anyways.

Looking forward to limited access to the internet, seclusion from the outside world, porch beers with friends, incredible trails, and an endless supply of noxious fart gases... EAGLE!!!


Anonymous said...

see you on thursday little buddy

dicky said...

okay, Buck Anon

Ari said...

What gear ratio will you be chomping on out in PA.?

dicky said...

32 X 19 is what I do there... because... dunno

Anonymous said...

Got pix of the Van?

Glen Evans said...

good luck!