Thursday, August 4

Veni, vidi... that's all. That's it.

Yeth, I went back up to the UCI World Cup mountain bike race in Snowshoe for the 3.5th (or 3.5rd?) time.  I'll do my best to keep my jaded fingers from the keyboard right now... mostly.  My best not being the absolute best of all humankind obvs.

The "been there, done that" part of me was reluctant to go, but Dr Mike had not seen the glory, so a trip was in order to aid in the completion of his life experience.  I'm pretty sure I've lamented the current condition of the XC trails that I used to have the highest regard for... although I'm sure my memberberries are tinged with a little Glory Days music inspired by early '90s trips from (then) dismal Ohio and those gawdawful 24 hour race experiences in the early aughts.  That said, you either suck it up and ride the dilapidated XC trails or try to find some time to get to something far off the mountain property around the not-so-packed but mid-day timed events you actually drove six hours to witness.

So... you're not really here to ride as much as not ride... if you can handle that.  I couldn't, so I brought a bike because "fitness."

But that's not "the why" you would go to a UCI World Cup race.

I do come up here to see people.  Ones that I know.  Ones that I meet.  One's who have an athleticism I admire.  It's also not very difficult to get wrapped up in some very emotional finishes, especially in epic conditions.

Not my photo, obvs because I viewed a lot of the race from here once the rain started really coming down:

Dr Mike got lucky, because when they canceled his original reservation, they upgraded him to this balcony facing the finish line and pretty much directly above the Red Bull TV tent.  Wasn't too hard to watch the live feed video and pop our heads out like meerkats when the XCO leaders rode by.  

There might be giants.

These events are in absolutely no order whatsoever, but the morning after watching the Short Track (with two American 1st place finishers), I was able to shake off the the beer and get out for a ride...

But not much on the trails because they're not even close to dry when it's "dry" in Snowshoe, WV.  My "garvel" ride was only "garvel" in name because there are stones the size of loaves of bread, water bars like we used to have in the '90s, entirely washed-out sections, a river crossing, and pitches that you're not getting up (or probably down) without four wheel drive.  But it was exercise and the only reason I brought a bike along begin with.  My ride was not without some anxiety being that I underestimated the distance (I didn't look), the elevation profile (also didn't look), or have any idea how long it would take... but I did need to be back at a specific time.  Whatever.  Failing to plan it planning to be a fail.

Downhill spectating was as good as it gets and only slightly bettered with the heckle stop on the climb back up to finish my beer(s) and to pleasure the lift riders and stumble-walkers with my kazoo rendition of Final Countdown avec Jimbo from Stan's.

I wanted to get into a hot tub after finishing the hike up, but the low key HandUp party adjacent to the Volcom shenanigan-a-thon was beckoning.

Me being caught being the worser (but not worst) version of me:

All told, I spent about the same about of time in the hot tub as I did standing next to the course.  I had a great time, and as expected, suffered the anticipated setback regarding my goals over the last two months.  I also lost my favorite tiny hat and the captured bead in my earring that's been in my man-made earhole since 1998.

I said this will be the last time I head to WV for such silliness, but if you know me, you know me.

*cue something less insurrection'ish than Proud to be an American*


ExtrmTao said...

My Son says he won your kazoo fair and square....

hellbelly said...

I was there the week prior to do four days of DH and backcountry mayhem. "Snowshoe dry" hahaha, that's funny. Our one morning of "XC" riding (on our not XC bikes) was killer even though we wooosied out and hit the Western lift instead of earning it back up. I stayed in one piece and my rig did great despite having cracked the swingarm, but RA rule always in effect. Probably rode about a quarter of the DH race course at a fraction of the pro's speed. I've ridden all over and Snowshoe remains in my top five gnarliest places to ride.