Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mayhem Inferno...

Can’t stand the heat, Get out and stop bitchen. Shawnee Mission Mayhem happened. The course was sweet and the temps were off the chart.

My morning started out with packing up the Burley trailer with a cooler full of ice cold water, beer and my riding gear. I live about a mile from the race venue so I thought it only appropriate to ride as opposed to drive. The real kicker to this idea however is the Ogg Road hill coming up from Midland. This is one bad-a$$ hill; the kind that separates the Men from the Manimals. It’s a long climb that gets steeper as you go, and at just when you think it’s over you turn a bend only to see it steepen for another 100 yards. If you want to get strong, do hill intervals here. If you want to blow-up, ride your single speed pulling a trailer full of beer and water.
I arrived with enough time to get suited up and give Beej a high five for completing his first mountain bike race (which had just finished moments earlier). It's funny how ‘off the couch Beej’ can do these things, especially after only riding his ‘90s model single-speed-converted Kona only once on trails this year, which was to pre-ride the race course with yours truly the day before. Nice work buddy!

Now it’s go time. I lined up with the posse and off we went. Down a gravel double track for ¼ mile in the blistering sun and then we’d drop into the single track. Before the race I had figured I’d be the last guy into the woods. I am still running a retard easy gear from my last trip to Colorado, though I tried to get my freewheel changed before the race, but failed to get it to budge. Spinning my brains out on the gravel was not going to be worth it and I knew I could make up the time on the technical sections of the trail. I did indeed succeed in being the last guy into the woods but began my subtle attack and had passed 8 riders by the time we hit the 4-way mid lap. My boy the trail asshole would be proud to know that one pass occurred when I hopped a large fallen tree as the other rider went around, and two riders I passed at each of the (2) hard left switchbacks while they could not make the turn w/o dabbing. Towards the end of lap one you bust out onto the power line cut and into the heat surrounded by 4’ tall grass; it was like riding into a hair dryer. Just plain nasty and sucked the life right out of you for the final ¼ mile to the start/finish. As I started lap 2 my man Beej did a perfect bottle hand-up and I was rolling once again on the gravel double track. Here I used the easy riding to toss down some fuel and water. I was also passed by two guys on single speeds who were geared spot-on, not like me spinning my nuts off. This of course lead to the chase and me eventually passing these guys on the technical terrain once again. Moving well and solid, I kept a solid pace and was psyched that my final lap was almost over. Just before popping out once again into the power line cut and heat, Beej and little Will blasted me with a shot of heat-slaying water which revived my drive to finish strong. As I pushed up the final hill some fella on a geared bike decided that he needed to pass me for some reason. Whatever I thought; I’m not racing you anyway. I then decided to go ahead and give it to him since he wanted it, and I pushed hard and made the fella about have a coronary getting across the line as we sprinted the last 100 yards.
Special thanks to Mark for his DNF. Without you buddy, I’d have gotten 4th. Your 3rd at the Farmhouse Classic 100 the day before was a lame excuse…Pappy was out racing and finished and he’s like 6 times your age. The Ethos crew killed it as usual with 7 podiums. Awesome work fellas!

All in all a good time on my home turf. Had I been geared right I’d have had a better finish time, but probably not a better place. I’m just not fast, but I do like to ride bikes.


TeamSeagal said...

I bet it was a hot one - wish I coulda been there.


Raineman said...

Congrats dude!