Thursday, June 13

Mountain Cat '24

I hate any o'clock in the morning before 6:52AM o'clock. I'm not a fan of that either, but I have bills to pay and a mouth to feed.  I thought a 5:00AM wakeup would give a fully-prepared me enough time to choke back 750 calories of Entenmann's garbage food, sip 32oz of coffee, and take 1 morning constitutional.  782 successes and 1 fail.

We leave the BnB at 6:00AM, because we were only about a mile away, check-in was 6-6:30AM (I thought), and it's the most simple of processes ever before an event.  As soon as we pull up, I hear Emily calling out a small number of people, and I'm one of them.

"What did I do wrong?"

Apparently, I was one of the first to send in my mandatory Valentine's card to the trail crew and had earned the right to start whenever I wanted.  I could even grab a couple frands to join me.

"Watts... Dr Mike... let's go!"

Go we did... but Dr Mike had to grab his bike, and we didn't realize he wasn't with us until we dug our heads outta our asses much later.

The plus side was that we got an early start.  The downsides (of which there were many) was that we only had a vague idea where we were going, once others saw the early birds getting the worm, the fastest of the fast got on the trail and wanted around us outta towners ASAP, and I'm overwhelmed by the fact that I feel like I fell outta bed and into the woods.

My heart rate monitor is not working.  This shouldn't matter but it does.  I use it to keep myself in check so I don't blow myself up too early (spoiler alert, I will), and to make sure I keep up with the calories I'm burning (spoiler alert, I won't).

We had to correct our course a few times in the first couple of trail systems, but we make it outta Laurus Park and into Aid One in decent time.  You should never have expectations at this kind of event, but there were breakfast biscuits here last time, and now there are none.  I grab a handful of nuts and wait for Watts to collect IG content (that you'll see in a couple weeks... or not), and then we are off and rolling the long way out to Pocahontas Park.  Our taller than last year gearing has us not struggling to stay at the back of a pack but instead leading it. 

Which we don't like. 

We move to the side, drift to the back... and it always seemed like that would happen about thirty seconds from the next climb... meaning we would have to weave our way back up to the front and start all over again.


No matter how gassed I felt from taking 20MPH pulls on the road, the desire to go fast in Pocahontas is strong.  So.  Much.  Fun.  I love this place.

My only struggles are:

* I had memorized the trail order from the first route/email

*I had not memorized the trail order from the second route email or realized the second route I loaded was that different from the first.

*I knew we just had to make sure we rode all the trails listed.  Order didn't matter, but remembering all the trails when they all seemed like they're named Blue something or something Bell (or Belle)?

Either way, we are 99% confident we did it all, and our mileage matched up, so buenos.

We run into Dr Mike as we are leaving.  Apparently he'd passed us while we were titty-dicking around at Aid One.  He jumps in with us, and somehow I end up at the front taking pulls, which is something I'm terrible at, because I assume it's my job to go 110% or everyone behind me will hate me and leave a bad review on Yelp.  Our group goes from eight or nine to four or five on the way to Aid Four.  


More half beers are consumed.  Chain and pedals over-lubricated with Squirt lube (as well as my frame, rim, tire, and a large portion of the parking lot).  We head out through Richmond, negotiating the odd turns from alley to sidewalk to road to path to bum trail to the non-official aid station where Watts and I had our only honor of the day, first people to stop for a beer.  We are apparently at the back of the athletes and at the front of the party pace.

I almost missed the turn down into this happy beer stop.  Okay, I totally missed it... even tho I knew the map by heart... even tho Watts told me to member the creek crossing with the beers.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
With an hour and a half of stopped time, we were definitely smelling the roses out there.

Over to the Poop Loop and the Saturday trail direction doesn't line up with the route, so my Wahoo angrily yells at me whilst Watts's just indifferently tells him that he's floating in two dimensional outer space for awhile.

Outta the Poop Loop, over the Yeet Ramp and the hot dog stop under the highway.  My favorite.

Then the slog over to the northeast side of the course, which usually has the most "urban" of all the trail connections.  Luckily, we fell in with a local single speeder and she guided us around all the trash piles, stacks of discarded tires, and rail road track bits.

The stop at Chorimbo was welcome, but I couldn't stuff any more hot dogs in me.  I settled for beer, Capri Sun, and chips, like an alcoholic toddler's lunch box.  I member the last twenty five or so miles from here to the finish pretty vividly from the year before, and it's a long stretch with punchy and also technical trails.  We got this... but it's gonna hurt something somewhere on my body.

Another loop in another park ridden in the wrong direction and back through Richmond to the punch(es) in the dick that are sustained on the slabby-do North Bank Trail back to Emily's house. 

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Prison Doctor Mike "enjoying" his all over the body cramps and a Miller Lite.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Former PMBAR partner and Faster Mustache teamie, Zac.  He used to read this blerhg, but just to see if he got a mention and the associated Dick-Bump.  That's puke on his jersey.  His puke.  He won't see this.  lol

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Watts pontificating his masterful plan to Instagram our way to 44th place.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
I may look like a big (actually smole) old chode, but that is a genuine smile.  I don't think I'm doing enough of that lately.  I need to do it more.  I don't want to have to ride 109 miles to elicit such glee tho.  I'd told Watts earlier that we were having the best day of our year, and that just speaks more about how our year is going more than it does about that day.

Anyways, we did a thing.  We avenged 2023 Watts and Dick, and with great fervor and excite.  I am pleased and perhaps smiles will come easier for awhile.

Birthday Monday.  Fifty five. 


Bob said...

I'm not sure why, but I was going through old Dirt Rags as I was rebuilding my old SS and a thought came across, "Does that Dicky guy still ride?" So I Googled "Dicky Singlespeed Dirtrag" and sure enough, I'm directed to the goat.

Literally brought a smile to my face seeing the blog, and you, still crushing it out there. I took 5 years off from riding and it feels good to be back in it and some things still the same.

dicky said...

Good on you for getting back on it. I plan on doing single speeding until I can't.