Race Report - Not finishing sucks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Race Report - Not finishing sucks

    First race of the Texas Fall Cup Series, and I was excited to start my first full season of racing and to see how the new Flux would treat me.

    The race was about 5.5 hours away out in the middle of nowhere west Texas. Very rocky, technical terrain up and down the sides of mesas and through and across a dry river bed. Lose your focus and you'd find yourself on the wrong side of the handlebars. Pre-riding the course, the thought crossed my mind that, in the event of a serious crash, the nearest hospital was at least 2 hours away, at least half of which would be over dirt roads. About 100 yards after exiting the starting gate, the course featured a lovely climb with lots of loose rock. About 1/4 of the riders in my class (Beginner 20-29) had to walk it.

    I arrived late the day before the race to pre-ride, and things started to go wrong from the beginning. Unpacking at the course, I realized that I had left a bunch of backup parts at home (chain, chain rings, derailleur hanger, etc.). This became especially unfortunate when I broke my chain midway through my pre-ride, and two teeth on my small ring shortly thereafter.

    I went around to other riders trying to buy a new chain, but it was so late in the day, I couldn't find anyone willing to sell me one. I fixed the chain and the repaired links felt fine, but the chain kept skipping on all the rings. I also tried to scavenge the small ring off of my girlfriend's bike (she decided not to race), but she had the archaic square taper bottom bracket, for which I had no extractor adapter. By this time it was 9 pm, and I had no luck finding the right tool either.

    The race was at 8 a.m. the next morning, and at this point, I was considering not racing. I couldn't turn the cranks half a revolution without the chain skipping and almost coming off. Attempting the opening climb and the low-speed rock maneuvering with this problem was not something I was happy imagining, but I told myself to sack up and give it a go.

    The race started off pretty well. With the shape my bike was in, I let myself fall almost to the very back of the pack out of the gate. When I got to the first climb, I went straight to the small ring/big cog combo, which kept the chain from slipping as much. The Flux was bada$$, and I passed about a third of the pack on the hill (I think most were too distracted by the god-awful noises coming from my drivetrain). Over the next mile and a half, I passed a couple of other riders as well. Happy that I had decided to race, I was starting to feel good and was gaining on yet another rider, when disaster struck. I lost focus, and the next thing I knew my happy ass was on the ground and my bike was about ten feet away.

    The first thing I noticed was that my wrist was on fire, and wouldn't really bend. While convincing myself that this was no biggie, I then noticed that my saddle had come off of its rails. It didn't take long to realize that I wasn't going to be able to get the seat back on, and I wasn't going to be riding standing up because of my wrist. I had plenty of time to contemplate the mistakes I had made that weekend while enjoying a scenic 2 mile walk back to the starting area:

    1. Forget your toothbrush, clean underwear, or the beer, but always remember to bring your major replacement parts.

    2. If you are going to forget your major replacement parts and/or ride a semi-functioning bike, at least remember the beer, because you're going to need it later.

    3. Don't zone out or focus on the rider ahead of you unless you'd really rather walk the rest of the course.

    Here are a couple of pictures, none of which involve me and a podium. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the amazing kaleidoscope of colors on my wrist before I wrapped it.
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  2. #2
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    da-amn! not much love in homerland this week it seems. theres some nasty karma afoot. hows the wrist? still on for THC '06?
    No, I'm NOT back!

  3. #3
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    Despite ice and rest, the wrist has actually gotten worse since Sunday, so I'll be going to the doctor to get it checked out. I can't grip anything heavier than a pencil or open the top to a water bottle with that hand, so riding is out of the question right now.

    I bought a travel case for my bike for THC and I was going to book my tickets this weekend, but now I'm going to hold out for the doc's opinion. Never sprained a wrist before, so I have no idea on length of the recovery period.

  4. #4
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    Bummer about your wrist but I have to say. John Holmes would be envious of the amount of post you have showing.

  5. #5
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    keepin my fingers crossed for ya t. keep us posted.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalEpic
    Bummer about your wrist but I have to say. John Holmes would be envious of the amount of post you have showing.
    It just looks a lot bigger from that angle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    keepin my fingers crossed for ya t. keep us posted.
    Thanks, man. Right back at you.

  8. #8
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    Hey TLud, was it in Comfort? I used to race the TX series before I moved, a lot of good memories, hang in there, hopefully the wrist is OK.

    We did a race in Lajitas one year and one of my buddies was nowhere to be seen at the finish, he finally came across all bloodied and his clothes were literally half torn off, hugh roar from the crowd. His rear brake cable anchor(pre disc days, hell, pre V-brake!!) came loose and the brake arm took out a bunch of spokes and sent him flying down the side of the mtn on a sketchy portion of the descent. Good times

  9. #9
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    RR, I think you're talking about the Flat Rock Ranch course, which isn't quite as far west as Camp Eagle. When did you last ride it? I haven't been to Flat Rock yet, but from the ride videos I've seen, Camp Eagle seemed drier and rockier with a little more elevation changes. A lot of people were comparing Camp Eagle to Kelly Creek, which you've probably ridden on. In fact, this race replaced the Kelly Creek venue.

    I'm holding out hope that I won't miss any races this season, but it looks like I probably will. The next race, in two and a half weeks, is also at a very technical course, so things aren't looking good.

    Good news is that the seat is being replaced with a WTB Devo, which I've wanted ever since trying one out on a demo Blur, but couldn't justify until now.
    Last edited by TLud; 09-06-2006 at 09:32 AM.

  10. #10
    rr
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLud
    RR, I think you're talking about the Flat Rock Ranch course, which isn't quite as far west as Camp Eagle. When did you last ride it? I haven't been to Flat Rock yet, but from the ride videos I've seen, Camp Eagle seemed drier and rockier with a little more elevation changes. A lot of people were comparing Camp Eagle to Kelly Creek, which you've probably ridden on. In fact, this race replaced the Kelly Creek venue.

    I'm holding out hope that I won't miss any races this season, but it looks like I probably will. The next race, in two and a half weeks, is also at a very technical course, so things aren't looking good.

    Ahh, never ridden there, definitely done Flat Rock and Kelly Creek, both are/were great courses.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder
    Ahh, never ridden there, definitely done Flat Rock and Kelly Creek, both are/were great courses.
    Yeah, I just wish I lived closer to these places for some riding variety. Houston riding is much more east coast: rooty, twisty singletrack through piney woods.

  12. #12
    rr
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLud
    Yeah, I just wish I lived closer to these places for some riding variety. Houston riding is much more east coast: rooty, twisty singletrack through piney woods.
    Yepper, been there, we used to shot over to Rocky Hill a lot for weekend excursions, or Warda. I miss the tight ST riding thru the trees, not much of that here on the front range.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder
    Yepper, been there, we used to shot over to Rocky Hill a lot for weekend excursions, or Warda. I miss the tight ST riding thru the trees, not much of that here on the front range.
    Yeah, I guess the grass is always greener or the ST is always sweeter on the other side.

  14. #14
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    comfort rocks!
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    No, I'm NOT back!

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