Tuesday, July 12

The Only Race That Matters™ (not really): Part Three

After spending much of the previous day unhydrating my body and brain, I was up and checking my grundle at 6:00AM.  I saw no reason to not give this day a go.  Everything was kinda Shake and Baked, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside... but close enough for gub'ment work.

This stage was the one that had me most excite.  "Super tech rock" in an area that I'm familiar with in terms of terrain but not my exact (or even close) place on the face of the earth.  Tough riding, loads of walking and some kind of descending down something.

I was sure to apply liberal amounts of Tony's Secret Salve to my rearward exposure, and I doused my frontal properties in Reuben's Dick Juice.  The baggies were left back at Carp's house this time.  I was fully kitted and ready to get pitted.

It's a long gravel slog to the start of the first timed section.  Others are remarking at my awkward position on my saddle, sometimes sitting on the nose, sometimes more of a woman wearing a petticoat riding a horse kinda thing.  Anything to keep the still raw parts from bearing all my weight. We stop at a random place in the road, and Carp shouts out the directions...

"Up just a bit, grab a right, take a left when you hit a T... follow orange... and a runner will be doing sweep.  If he passes you, you're off the back."

Something like that.  Yeth, this trail will be technical enough that a RUNNER will be doing sweep duties.  I can't wait.

I make a couple moves on the double track to get around people Eagle'ing their way up the hill.  I won't be able to hold these places later, but 32X20 only goes so slow.  We get into the real "super rock tech," and it becomes a battle of if/when to remount the bike and how far will it have to be rideable to be worth the effort.  I get in with a merry group of folks, and I just watch where I put my feet parts while occasionally looking at my Wahoo data acquisition device to see how close I'm getting to the T, hoping that a left turn will mean more down than up and also sideways.  We get to the T, and I tell Churtle it's definitely left because I can remember two things at a time.  Down to the bottom and it's time for sandos.

At the next timed segment, we're heading right out of a parking lot into some double/single track.  It's deceptively swoopy, and it feels like a dream... until it's a nightmare.  My Wahoo data acquisition device tells the tale with squiggly dashes and tight curves.  We're heading up to a ridge... and the swoops and whoops are replaced with walking over loose rocks and hot sun roasting my depleted body.  At least shuffling keeps most of my chafed parts free from saddle contact.  Once up on the ridge, it becomes the usual battle of on and off the bike and sometimes carrying it on my back to climb up the boulders.  

It's at this point that I really wonder what makes a human want to do this voluntarily.

The trail finally turns down, and it's honestly the best descent of the whole week (so far).  Fast, loose, tight, wide open... raw... obviously why a human would suffer as we did to get where we are... until some rando insect decided to starting lighting up my lower left rib cage, and I'm trying to go down the mountain one-handed whilst repeatedly punching myself (and hopefully the bug). 

Pop out at the bottom, safe and sound.  Sandos.  Always sandos.

We've got a l-o-n-g climb to a short final timed segment, and I'm the only one on a single speed (other than Scottie riding sweep).  Once things start really turning up, I find myself alone and off the front.  I'm pounding the PP (Party Pace), but what are my options?  At least getting to the timed DH section first will get me back to the car (and mebbe beer?) first as well.  1,100 feet up and 500 down, and fortunately the timing folks had a beer to spare.

That evening was perhaps the most subdued ever after the penultimate stage.  Fewer beers consumed, a night out to eat, tired and weary faces.  The day had taken its toll.

For me, that was the final stage.  With no skin in the game (other than the skin I had lost), I decided to head home on Tuesday morning instead of sticking around for the final beat down on some trails I'd ridden numerous times since '06.  I could get home mid-day, save a few doll hairs, and down gear all the things as opposed to pulling into the driveway late at night with barely enough energy left in the tank to unload the car and go to bed.  I was home by 1:00 and had enough time to put all the things in all their places and even prepare certain bikes for their predetermined destinies.   

The only picture I took after road day, Nate's custom steel full-boinger.  I did snap a few pics of my chafed bits before I realized no amount of creative cropping or filters were going to make the images SFW.

Viva Le Tour.

1 comment:

TIM said...

... and I still can't figure out what race this is. What am I missing? Has my Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course failed me?