Sunday, August 22, 2010
Bikes for Bovines: I guess karma wasn't done with me yet
I won this race last year in the Cat1 40-49 class. True, much in part to Jonny Bold's mechanical misfortunes, but I was pretty pleased with myself as Kevin Hines "only" beat me by 6 minutes racing the Pro/Open class.
So I wanted to do well here.
At registration there was only one t-shirt left, I passed on it hoping to kick start the karmic turn around. Plus do I really need another t-shirt with a bike on it?
This race is a little different as they send all the Cat1s and Pros off at once. Those on singlespeeds spin wildly trying to keep up for the mile or so of flat fireroad, praying for the climbing to begin.
To my surprise when the climbing did start, Reinout and Kerry shot forward.
"No, don't chase, it's a long race, ride your own pace" I told myself.
As the trail tilted a little steeper and got a little rougher, things began to go my way.
First I closed down the gap to Kerry and Reinout (they are 1st and 2nd respectively in the overall standings for Cat1 SS). Then slowly started to reel in the geared riders from the age classes.
By the time I got to the singletrack crossing the mountain to the last grunt of a hike-a-bike, I had opened up a nice little gap.
A geared rider caught back up to me and passed due to his technical proficiency, and I could hear a couple more closing, but the guys who mattered, those with one gear, were out of sight.
Things are starting to go my way...pffffft....
Nailed a rock with my rear tire, and now it's loosing air. That's the problem with suspension forks; your front wheel doesn't tell your rear wheel to look out for that pointy rock it just so effortlessly absorbed.
Stopped and tried to give it a quick blast of air in hopes it would re-seal. By the time I finished fumbling with my inflator, and got everything shoved back in my pockets, Kerry was right back on my wheel.
Rode a little further, and the tire went soft again. Kerry offered assistance, but I said I was all set and he headed off. Shot the rest of my first CO2 cartridge into the tire, but still too soft. Pumped it up with my mini pump, but by the time I got to the feedzone it was soft again.
Oh fudge! I should have just put a tube in it in the first place.
Let this be a lesson to all you young'uns from your ol' Uncle Charlie, don't dick around, just put the fucking tube in it!
At this point everyone had passed me.
Wait! Aren't we playing by Saxo Bank rules? Isn't everyone supposed to wait, holding hands singing Kumbaya? Oh that's right, IT'S A RACE!
I had a long super spinny descent and and didn't see anyone. A 50+ rider I had passed on the hike-a-bike came big ringing it passed me on the long flat fireroad to the start/finish, but I was Mr. Lonely.
Finally I'm climbing again.
I start bringing back riders, one by one, but they are few and far between. I catch David Devine from Union Velo and move up to third place in class.
As I come out to the feedzone, the marshall points up the hike-a-bike and yells "there's another singlespeeder right there".
As we both are run/walking our bikes up the climb I catch him near the top. As I start making my way back down the mountain, I start thinking "It took me just over a complete lap to close down the gap on Reinout, he must be a pretty good descender".
Getting to the bottom and turning to the final long fireroad stretch to the finish, I glance back and he's right there.
He takes the lead and I draft him for a nice easy tow.
He's pushing pretty hard, but I'm having a pretty easy go of it. Pedal a dozen times, coast, repeat.
I could just let him wear himself out, and try and come around him at the line, but for some reason, God only knows why, I decide to take the highroad.
"Reinout, quit killing yourself" I yell. "Why would I want to do that?" he replies.
"You can waste yourself towing me to the line, or we can pedal it in, pick a spot and sprint for it".
And that's what we did. We chose a spot, sprinted, and he won.
I think that might have been just the push to get my karma back in line too.
At the awards, Kerry got a Starbuck's gift card for 1st place, and I got a Dunkin Donuts card for 3rd. Kerry goes to DD more often so he swapped with me.