Wednesday, February 7

Winter Shart Tarck '24: Race Three

Quick review.  With this race being double points, it's now doubly "important" that I beat Keith who is currently tied with me for fifth place overall.  I also need to keep an eye on Shawn because he could easily leapfrog me with a good ride.

Does any of this really matter in the big scheme of things?  No, but it's a distraction from recent personal crap, so I'll take it for what it's worth.

While warming up, I became distracted by my left brake lever.  It's flopping about, so I'm worried that I'm getting a sticky piston or something... and it just irks me on some level that I didn't notice it until now.  

I line up to the far right at the start, which is not the best side of the course to be on.  I don't have a personal assistant, and I need to be able to throw down my warm layer somewhere other than in the mud on the left side of the course.  A very large man child I don't recognize takes the line to my direct left.

I got a decent start, but the man child got a little overlappy with his bars and mine, and that kinda put me in a place in my brain I don't like to visit.  "Thuh fack are you?" is what I'm thinking.

I let that millisecond get stuck in my gray matter long enough to lose focus, and then to make matters worse, someone tried to go down the steep, fast, and loose chute to the gravel road side-by-side with me.  My mood has been soured.  Thusly, I ended up going into the first trail in twelfth place, worse than my regrettable week one start.  Everyone, and I mean everyone who matters points-wise were many places ahead of me.  Coming through the finish line on lap one, I was quietly quitting in my head.

On lap two, everyone I needed to mark was still right there in front of me, as opposed to being ten laps ahead of me as my mental projection of how poorly things had panned out was currently being formulated by the sad lobe in my brain.

Then... I tried.

photo cred: Leslie M
By the end of second lap, I could see that the top two were in their own world, the next four (including the man child) were locked in on each other... and then there was me dangling off the back in a "heated battle" for 7-8-9.  Arrhg.  Lap three done, and I'm finally alone... with Charles just ahead but right outta reach.  We're almost riding the same pace, but the bigger issue is Keith who is pulling away little by little.  Sigh.  With Charles in between us, Keith will gain four points. I can't see me closing that 15-20 second gap, and even if I could go all in and catch him, he'd have saved some extra biscuits to beat my dick off at the line.

Dammit.  Seventh place, but more importantly, I'm sitting in a solid sixth place now... which is where I ended up last year in the overall... very timely occurrence so close to Groundhog Day.  Obviously, if someone in the top five misses a race or has a mechanical (so not likely in the single speed class), I still have a shot.

Or I could use my "get outta jail free card" and skip any nasty races from here on out if I choose to, being that I'm not in the top five, so what difference does it make.

But sixth is just so frustratingly close, and I don't really like quitting (the loud kind, not the quiet variety).

We'll see.

Now, about that brake lever...

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