Monday, September 20, 2010

Tokyo Slide (a.k.a. KC Cup)...

Rain; yeah it happened. Race; it happend too. Thank almighty baby Jesus or Buddha or Elvis for blessing Swope with fast drying trails (although dry was far from the truth). 

Race day was upon us. Team Ethos showed with a smaller than usual posse consisting of Travis, Garet, Jamie and yours truly. After registering we decide to do a pre-lap and check the conditions first hand. The thing about Swope is YES, it dries fast; meaning the dirt. The 1,642* rocks and tree roots along the course on the other hand, slicker than a greased possum. I was sliding all over the place, white knuckled to the max and wondering what the hell I was doing trying to go as fast as possible is such dangerous conditions.

Travis ready to get-r-done

Garet going full camel-toe

I arrived back at base camp with 15 minutes till race time. I had run into my Mentor "the trail a$$hole" along the way and he was heckling my gay SS setup. He said something to the effect of "What the Hell are you doing!?". I knew he was right. Riding a fixie on the slick trail would be a BETTER choice for today, and seeing that I had been riding fixed for the past few months anyway, it only made sense.

Pre Race Single Speed

A mad dash to my tool kit and with the help of Jamie, we stripped my rear brake, flipped the wheel and pulled the right lever off my Gunnar. We got my rig re-converted to fixie in pit-crew speed and were off to the starting line. Whew!

Post Race Fixed Gear

The race began at the bottom of a long paved climb. The SS class took off like a rocket. Fast climbing lead to the rolling hills and into the single track. The 20 or so racers were broken into two groups. The supa-fast and the fast. I was leading the fast with the supa-fast not far ahead. The trail was sketchy at best and we hauled balls around the course. Rocks were slick and my rear end would sometimes suddenly shift a foot in either direction. My steering was poor at best and too would randomly shift from one side of the trail to the other. It was a hard first lap for everyone. Riders were crashing everywhere you looked. Ouch!

I was tired. My legs were worked like a minimum wage job. I needed gas in my fuel tank and was getting pretty dehydrated feeling as I had lost my water bottle a few hundred yards into lap one. Once through the time tent and out to lap two I was handed a new water bottle from Trav's mom, awesome! I headed into lap two feeling like I was going to toss my cookies. I think I threw-up in my mouth at least three time trying to stay on top of my gearing, which stupidly was 34/16 (I'd usually run a 34/18 but I could not for the life of me get my cog removed to change it!). I was worked. It took all I had to get around the course. At one point I remember riding down this flowy section of trail with a small drop. My pedal totally struck the rock and I was immediately heckled by Craig and a few other folks cheering me on. Thanks guys! Made me feel like a real animal to make such a novice mistake in front of my peers. Oh well, that's just how it goes when you can't freewheel!

My legs were on fire, I had totally bonked and the final 1/2 mile of single track to the finish was all uphill. I climbed my heart out and barely made it to the finish line with enough pride to put the hammer down for a fun finish.

I was more interested in tossing back a cold one then checking on my finish time, so I'll get back to that once Heartland posts results later today. Garet got 1st in Expert Kids and Travis a strong 2nd in the Expert Boys. Thanks to all of the volunteers for a great race at my favorite local trails.

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