Tuesday, February 13

Don't believe the gripe: Part duh

I wake up Sunday in my most favorite manner.  No alarm.  No dead set agenda.  Just eyes open and roll out of bed when I feel like sleep isn't happening any more.

Very nice.

Check the weather.  They've backed up the rain a bit but are still calling for a decent chance at midday.  At least I'd get the chance to test my new tire setup in shit conditions.  Pack my big roll top Ortlieb backpack for every possible scenario I can think of and roll out the door at 11:00AM or so.

Get to the short track, head straight to registration so I can register before I start second guessing the fact that I'm paying $30 to ride in circles for 45 minutes, head into the woods to check on the A-line climb.  Get there and the word from the spectators is that it's barely being used.  Grab the shovel, chuck some more crusher run on it, test if four or five times... I can do it.  Why doesn't someone else?

Head over to the Bike Source tent to ditch my bag, eat a couple pop tarts, wash it down with a PBR, head over to the parking lot where everyone who doesn't have a trainer spins around pointlessly trying to "warm up."  I make my pointless circles with them.

Line up for the start.  Twelve single speeders.  My goals are now 6th place and mebbe not get lapped by uber strong Rich Tsui.

If those can be called "goals."

Word at the start is that the first 1/3 to 2/3 of the trail is mud.  I don't understand, as I've seen riders coming out fairly clean earlier.  WTF? 

We start, and instead of drilling it to get into the woods towards the front like I mighta done years ago, I dive in mebbe in 10th or so place.  If find out what "mud" is pretty quickly.

It's not the slick-as-snot sluice that flies everywhere.  No, it's the inches thick peanut butter that saps all momentum and requires a certain amount of power to get through.  Core strength.  Not my game, really.

Big 'n Buttery bobbles a bit ahead of me and some positions change.  I'm now on my teammate Colin's wheel, he's right on Bryan from Bike Source's ass.  We get over to the A-line climb, and although everyone in front of us skips it, we go for it. 

We all three fail... miserably.

Lap two and I'm still following Colin.  I run into his him on the rock ledge climb when a rider in front of him stalls, my front wheel eating his right pedal.  I hear my spoke argue with me over the logic of ramming him.  We get over to the A-line climb, Colin takes the longer go-around, I slam into the hard line... and fail again.  Dammit.  Colin pulls away when he hits the gravel while I wait for my heart to get back in my chest where it belongs.

I start to close things down on Colin again on the climbs of lap three, but once again, I try the A-line, blow it, watch Colin pull away.  I think I hear the announcer call us in 6th and 7th position as we finish the lap.  Dammit.  I still want 6th... for no real reason.

Everything is an Instagram story nowadays.

Colin and I get around another single speeder, so now I think I'm where I want to be.  It enters my head part that Colin is probably in the running for overall in the series, and because this was announced as a double points race, any efforts I made to beat him would only hurt us both (in different ways tho).  On the next lap, I stop for the beer hand up... after glancing over my shoulder to make sure I had time for it.


I all but give up on the A-line climb.  I'm not getting any stronger, and I'd rather waste time taking beer hand ups than struggling with my inner demons.  A few more laps, a few more quick chugs, and I finish about 38 seconds behind Colin... but in what ends up to be 7th place.  Dammit.  I heard wrong earlier, I guess.  I dunno if I coulda closed that gap if I blew myself apart trying to chase him down.  I doubt if I'd caught him, he woulda just rolled over and played ded.

So, did I get what I wanted?

Well, I did get in some fitness or something more than I woulda have if I'd just ridden over there and stood around drinking beer all day.

As far as where I stack up in the 50+ field?  Ironically, 7th place outta 12 total.  I guess 13 total, if you add me into the equation.  Granted, I plan actually "trying" and being "fit" in '19, but my work is definitely cut out for me.  It ain't gonna be easy.

The Rekon 2.6/Forekaster 2.2 tire combo?  Was much buenos.  I kinda figured the Forekaster would hook up better than an Ardent Race when things got slick, but I was delightedly surprised that the Rekon didn't go all donut on me.  I thought mebbe the knobs wouldn't be tall enough or the tread pattern "sheddy" enough... but I was wrong.  Plenty of confidence and grip.  I'm sticking with this for the rest of the "season," which isn't much of a "season," but whatever.

No comments: