My CCCX #2 race was highlighted by getting to hang with some other MTBRs for a few minutes befroe the start of the race. The Ultra Lord was there on a (as usual) fine example of what a sweet mtb is. I would think a 29er on that trail would be the perfect steed. Rumpfy's slingshot with the anodized blue parts was sick. From the moby post to the cantis it was a spot on period piece. The dirt drops were a classy touch too. Foggy Goggles, nice to see you at the start too. I didn't speak up to introduce myself, i don't think, but i was on the red homegrown when you said hi to the guys.
I'd been sick with what i thought was a chest cold for the three days leading up to the race. i was not able to ride friday or saturday i felt so bad. i still had to work thurs/fri and saturday nights at the bar from 8-close, getting home around 3am usually.
i tried to force myself to eat dinner the night before the race, but i just had no appetite. i managed to force down half a serving of potato gnocchi and some beans and a yogurt, but couldn't eat any more than that.
at the race, the EMT heard me coughing and told me i had the new variant of the flu that's been going around out here. a drug resistant strain that's a cross between bronchitis and a flu. no wonder i sound like a cat with a major hair ball it can't cough up.
the night before the race i got home from work and went right to bed. i laid there tossing and turning, hacking and wheezing, feeling something like a hand full of slime in my lungs moving en masses back and forth every time a hacking coughing session would erupt, usually every three minutes or so. i finally dropped off to sleep. during my sleep my fever broke. i woke up literally in a lake of sweat that went through the sheets and soaked the pillow top mattress cover all the way through to the mattress. great i thought, now i'm going to be dehydrated.
the alarm went off at 6am and i got the chicka up and we loaded up, ate a little something and drove the two hours to the race. i felt better than i had the day before but still felt like a tall pile of poo. i saw that the guys who had got first and third at last weeks race were experts who were racing in sport. sandbaggers! i didn't recognize a lot of faces in my class from the week before but the second place finisher was right next to me. i thought i'd try to keep him in sight and wheel suck as much as i could.
the start went off and down the road we went. i stayed in front with mr. second place as we headed for the opening to the single track. i moved over to give him the hole shot because i thought what's the point of fighting for something if you can't hold on to it. he took the hole shot and i went in second. right away another one or two guys made a pass on me and we were headed back towards the parking lot. we caught the tail end of the 19-34 class as we went up the climb by the lot. by the top of the climb after the scoring tent we had passed more of the 19-34 class and could see some of their leaders. i thought i had three, maybe four in my class ahead of me. soon one of them blew up from going out too hard and fell back. three ahead of me now.
it stayed this way for pretty much the whole way. on the second lap there was some slicing and dicing back and forth between myself and the guy ahead of me. when we got out on to the road straight away into the wind on the second lap we rolled up on the wheel of a guy who was moving pretty well on a CX bike. a green ibis one. he saw me on his wheel and moved over to have me go by and pull. nothing doing. i moved over back in behind him. he became visually annoyed and moved over again, to have me come by and again i moved over right behind him into his draft. the guy behind me just stayed in my draft the whole time, nobody wanting to get out front into that wind. we wheel sucked until the left hand turn at the end of the straight away and then it was "see ya!". myself and the guy drafting off me left our tow truck behind and started up the dirt double track road.
i think Kilroy was behind us along there because he started chatting to us as we went up to the back side of the course and i saw his OSU jersey. Kilroy and I rode together for a long time. i think most of laps three and four. the guy i was going back and forth with in the blue jersey was there with us too. the three of us stuck together and picked off a lot of the younger sport riders who were tiring at this point. on the back side there was one sharp corner that comes out of nowhere and it took us by surprise with the three of us almost piling into each other. i think i recall us laughing about it as we dropped to the middle ring to pull ourselves out of the tangle we'd made there.
on the road straightaway on lap three there were four of us in a paceline. the guy in the blue jersey was ahead of me and as he was reaching into his back pocket to get his water bottle he lost it. we were in the right wheel track of the paved road and i watched in horror as his front wheel went out to his left and took him and his whole bike all the way across the left wheel track all the way to the loose left shoulder of the road. bike laid over past 50 degrees, both wheels sliding on the shoulder lugs, i thought for sure he was down. and SNAP! he rights himself! back up into the left wheel track. myself and the guy behind me both cheered. it was, in my thirteen years of riding bikes, the single best save, bar none, i've ever seen. i have NEVER seen anyone have their bike laid over THAT FAR and bring it back. i told him i wished i'd had a helmet camera to show it to him. i'm talking wide-world-of-sports-opening-scene best save quality. i was positive he was gone. it was flat out AMAZING. anyway, he recovers, gets back in the pace line and we get to the end of the road section. i would like to have known what his heart rate spiked to there.
we stay together for most of the next lap and then i start to fade on lap four. blue jersey guy and kilroy both pull away from me on the last dirt straight away. i just don't have it. i see blue shirt guy on the last climb but i just don't have the gas to catch him. he's actually accelerating. i do see one other guy though. he's wearing fox team kit. i think he's in my class (maybe he's fading hard?) so i start digging as hard as i can without blowing up. i close in on him on the downhill to the parking lot. he's ten yards from me as we hit the open area near the finish. i rip across the flats to the dip before the turn. five yards. i drop out of the big ring to the middle just before i hit the hairpin before the finish. i make the turn. he's heading to the finish as i exit the turn. i wind up the cranks. too low a gear! i click up three gears fast. i feel it hook up and i start to break the rear wheel loose. i shift my weight back to get the rear to dig more and spin less. i'm accelerating hard now and i am reeling him in. i shift up again and tear past him with two or three yards to go. AWESOME! i get across the line thinking i just made up a position. i look back at him...
...he has a different color number plate all together. poopie.
i went to the parking lot and barfed my guts out six times- loudly and violently until it's just frothy foam coming out; much to the amusement of several others. a couple of guys came by to check on me. no really, my nick-name didn't used to be 'puke boy' for no reason... i'm fine, but thanks for checking.
i get changed and back to the finish in time to see my chicka - the pink-lidded-wonder - wrap up sport class and to pick up my 4th place medal.
SWEET. top five. i'm moving up in the world! see you in two weeks!
ps- we would have come by for the BBQ but i just wanted to get home and back to bed.
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Thread: my CCCX #2 race report