La Ruta/finsh line and beyond x-post passion- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    La Ruta/finsh line and beyond x-post passion

    After the finish line:
    I have four voices in my head that speak to me all day long simultaneously. They all sound like me, and they never stop. After the finish the analytical voice said "What was my finish time? How did I place?" The irresponsible voice shouted "Where's the beer? Don't tell me I rode that far and I ain't drinking." That is a common theme for the irresponsible voice. The third voice in my head just says "WOOHOO!" all the time. At the finish line it was no different. It's been woohooing since the day I was born and it has never shut up. The fourth voice is quiet. The voice of reason is speechless. I was not sure what to do exactly so I walked out on the beach and cried.
    Three days ago I was wading in the Pacific and now I am bathing in the Caribbean. For me this wasn't the end of a three day race, but the end of a four year journey. I never thought I would race in the La Ruta much less finish. When I sold off the last of my geared bikes I thought I had put the last nail in the coffin containing the mortal remains of my dream. Now I was standing in a place that I felt was reserved for somebody, but not me. I was beside myself. I did it.
    My thoughts turned to my "amigos". I needed to thank them. Their camaraderie had fueled my existence and recharged my batteries countless times. I found them celebrating with their friends at the finish line. As I approached them I extended my hand in gratitude. Instead of a handshake I ended up getting four sweaty man hugs. I can't explain how good it felt, but my "amigos" were now my true friends. They were beautiful human beings. That's all I got to say about that.
    OK, so much for the glory and touching human interest stories. Change the dirties, eat some rice and beans, and get on that first bus back to San Jose. I peed right before I got on the bus at 4:28. By 4:45 I had to pee again. Why did I have to wanta Fanta after the race? When 5:15 rolled around I passed word up to the driver that I was going to drown in my own urine if we didn't stop. I was very aware of the passage of time because there was a digital clock at the front of the bus and I wanted to know just how long I held my urine before I died. I guess they could put that on my tombstone.
    Marla Streb was riding on the bus with us and she was chatting with my buddy Ralph. He told her I had just finished La Ruta on a single speed. Marla, downhill champ, icon, and most importantly former Single Speed World Champion turned to me and said 'Great job". In my pee soaked agony all I could muster was a weak "thank you". I couldn't believe it. I finally get a little external validation from someone I consider a legend and that was the best I could do. I was not worthy.
    My bus riding companions helped me procure an empty bottle with enough capacity to contain my waste, but with thirty people enjoying the evening's program I suffered from stage fright. The driver finally pulled over at 5:46 and everybody got out of my way. I ran behind the gas station and started blowing a hole in the concrete. Shortly after I got started Marla walked behind the station, looked over, said hello, and dropped her shorts. She finished up and told another female rider where to go and relieve her bladder. She was also kind enough to look over and say hello before joining me. I had been peeing so long that I started to worry that I wasn't going to make my flight in the morning. I was shaking the dew off the lilly at the same time my most recent companion was pulling her self together and walking away. I was the last person back to the bus.
    About that bus ride; if people are cheering your Costa Rican bus driver on as he is passing a semi while approaching a blind corner after dark you have a 50/50 chance of survival. That was the scariest experience I have ever had in a motor vehicle, or was that losing my virginity?
    Back at the hotel, clean up, pack the bike, and watch TV till the wee hours. I got up early so I could share a ride with Ralph to the airport. Ralph was a true friend and an inspiration. Two decades older than me and still doing stupid things with his body. He was the first person I met in Costa Rica and the last familiar face I would see when I watched him board his plane. I miss him. The irresponsible voice was too loud to ignore, so I decided to go to the airport bar and spend the rest of my colones on an Imperial Cerveza breakfast. The woohoo voice agreed.
    La Ruta was the best thing I could have done at this point in my life. I am still smiling a week later. It wasn't just the race that made it special, it was the people. I will always consider Ralph and Andrew (my roommate) welcome at my house. I am very thankful that I have an understanding wife. I come home smelly, tired, bloody, and bruised and all I can talk about is what I want to do next. She always listens, and I love her for that.

    Side note: I apologize if I abused my creative license a little too much. Nobody really traveled through time and Santa doesn't ride a Surly. Everybody knows the jolly old elf is rollin' on a custom ti rig.

    To those people who thought I should submit my story to a magazine:

    I went ahead and sent the story to DR (I succumb to peer pressure easily) and they told me that it needed a lot of work. I agree. Unfortunately, I am not interested in a lot of work. I took 2 semesters of English in college back in 1988 and pulled a "B" out of my butt. Over the last 15+ years I have lost all ability to put my thoughts on paper and confine them to a structured format. I never had much use for rules when it came to expressing my thoughts. I guess that is why I never bothered teaching art after I graduated. I have been a bike messenger for over 7 years and I have flourished in an environment where rules are less of a hindrance.
    If any of you are grammar enabled journalistic superstars then volunteer yourself as my ghost writer/editor. Otherwise, what happens on MTBR stays on MTBR.

    Link to day three part 2 http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=62196
    Link to Day 3 Part 1 http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=61672
    Link to Day 2 http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=61452
    Link to day 1 http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=61222
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    Last edited by teamdicky; 11-22-2004 at 04:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    The bike I rode in on

    This is the bike I rode and the bike I sold two bikes to buy. Man, I love this bike.
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  3. #3
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    Arrrgghhhh finish line booty

    The reason for living through 3 days of racing
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  4. #4
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    Just me

    This is what I look like when I am not wearing my full-scary lycra outfit. Spandex is for racing. One of the best reasons to be a messenger, the freedom to wear the same thing at work that I would wear if I was unemployed.
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  5. #5
    Probably drunk right now
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    Funny things...

    While DR may have told you your chronical needs some work, I gotta tell you that I really appreciate your story. Thank you many times over.

    I've bookmarked this post so I don't lose it. I intend to use it to inspire me as I rehab my shoulder.

    It's kind of funny, I woke up this morning as I was coming out of a Percoset induced fog and saw your 4th post (day 3, part deux). I proposely stayed sober so I could read it. And now, as I come out of my Lortab induced fog, I find the conclusion waiting for me, like my next riding fix. Thank you. Thank you very much.

    Ride on, you crazy diamond.

    Ken

  6. #6
    Witty McWitterson
    Reputation: ~martini~'s Avatar
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    Awfock dirtrag and thier structure. I throroughly enjoyed each post. I laughed, I cried(well, from laughing), I was in awe, I was jealous(peeing w/Marla!), I was jealous(finishline Fanta!). Thanks for the read. Great job on the ride and see you at the Worlds in PA next year?
    Just a regular guy.

  7. #7
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    I hope to be at the Worlds

    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Awfock dirtrag and thier structure. I throroughly enjoyed each post. I laughed, I cried(well, from laughing), I was in awe, I was jealous(peeing w/Marla!), I was jealous(finishline Fanta!). Thanks for the read. Great job on the ride and see you at the Worlds in PA next year?
    I understand DR's position. I don't mind. I wrote the stories for MTBR anyways.

    I want to be at the Worlds in State College, but I also want to do the Messenger Worlds in NYC and the Shenandoah MTN 100. It's not always easy to swing that much stuff by my better half.

  8. #8

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    Your story is great as is cause it has heart and is honest. Proof of the old adage that it is the rider, not the machine, that matters (as long as the machine holds up). Gongrats on your achievement.

  9. #9
    34N 118W
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    Good job! congrats

    congrats on a dream realized. Way to stick to it man.

    and thanks for keeping it all organized in nice little daily summaries - loved reading them!

    Now that you've raised the bar, you've gotta do something even Krazier and write about it. Way to set yourself up.

    again, congratulations.
    HW

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    First off, thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it and it's colorful description. I've dreamed of doing that race for many years now but barely muster enough courage to even apply for the passport.

    I usually don't read most race reports since they just don't do much for me, but this one was different. Way different. Dirt Rags loss IMO.

    If you're ever in the Raleigh area, look me up and I'll see you in State College next August.

    Tim
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    My cycling photos. Enjoy!

  11. #11
    Wandering not Lost
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    I only applaude and salute you.....job well done and great writing...it came from the origin the HEART!

    bravo

    peace
    thor

  12. #12
    Illegal Allien
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    Your stories are great, man. Told and written by a simple guy with his purests, most sincere thoughts and experiences. If they want better than that then it really is their lost. If they want to add words, change yours or try to give it a different approach then it won't be YOUR story but theirs.

  13. #13
    Kill your... television
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    I am thinking..

    Your next challenge should be The Great Divide Race on SS...

  14. #14
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    uuuhhhh...

    Quote Originally Posted by motoman711
    Your next challenge should be The Great Divide Race on SS...
    I don't think so. I can't leave the world behind for 20-40 days and expect to have a job or a wife when I get back. I love the concept. It is so bold, so crazy. I will need to find my adventures in smaller, more wife friendly doses.

  15. #15
    Kill your... television
    Reputation: motoman711's Avatar
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    I hear ya

    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    I don't think so. I can't leave the world behind for 20-40 days and expect to have a job or a wife when I get back. I love the concept. It is so bold, so crazy. I will need to find my adventures in smaller, more wife friendly doses.
    I don't think I could pull it off either (physically, mentally or temporally). It is a bold idea though isn't it? Take a 29"er SS over the Great Divide? Silly I say! Silly!!! Just so crazy that it might work!

    Moto

  16. #16
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    Reputation: 6million$man's Avatar
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    nice job

    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    ...the finish line...
    good riding, great writing. i was one of the many who enjoyed sharing your experience (the easy way!).

    and good luck on the never ending quest for wife friendly SS epics. i'm right there with you.
    eddie would go.

  17. #17
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    I wholeheartedly thank you for this story. It's truly inspiring, and I wouldn't be surprised if you got more people to do the La Ruta on one speed.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  18. #18
    34N 118W
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    Link to Dirt Rag online

    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    I understand DR's position. I don't mind. I wrote the stories for MTBR anyways.
    so, you *kinda* write for Dirt Rag

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/forums/sho...5#threadid4585

  19. #19
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    Yeah,

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    I posted there and Smallbrowndog.com. They are my sources for bike related info. I tried to give back to the places that I benefitted from.

  20. #20

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    Wink La Ruta de los Conquistadores - Costa Rica

    Did you see the pictures in www.ecosportaventura.com? (pics, rides & adventure racing in Costa Rica). They are ironmen, wow!

  21. #21
    beer thief
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    Fantastic read! I waited long enough and thoroughly enjoyed your story all at once.

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Experiences like these define who we are. Hold your head high.
    Last edited by radair; 12-29-2004 at 06:59 AM.

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