Sunday, June 01, 2008

He's got legs...

... he barely knows how to use them.


That's right folks, that's the end result when an adequate-at-best mountain biker rides a 6 hour race on a challenging course. I had said going into this race that I may suck, but I know I can suck at a consistent level for a pretty long time... that turned out to be true. Getting to the punch line, I finished 8 laps of the 5 mile course in 5hours, 37 minutes. I just didn't have it in me to head out for #9, plus 8 was my stretch goal so I was honestly thrilled to do 8 in well under 6 hours. Claimed climbing per lap was 847 feet so that new math thing tells me 6776 feet. And it's a damn good thing I can climb well because I still descend like a pansy. Having already written the race report on the club site, I'll cover the lighter side of the event here:

- They had a lemans start... it never fails to amuse me how much bikers, especially mountain bikers, despise running

- Lap 1, first downhill turn, Bad Brad washes out his front wheel and biffs in front of me. I was not feeling optimistic about my own fate

- As you can see from the pic, I followed Brad's lead... repeatedly. I think the count was 4. You might be able to tell that my right knee is swollen from when I cranked it off the stem. All the rest is superficial and the result of me sucking.

- I don't care in the least about all the skin needing to be regrown. This is in stark contrast to past experiences on pavement. I'm fine with taking myself out because I suck, but I have no patience left for sketchy guys aiming for me.

- At one point I rode by a guy in the camping area and that nice one on the outside of my left knee was bleeding down my leg a little and he commented "Hey, you're leaking". Definitely made me laugh.

- The crowd rocked. Family members and loved ones sitting around all day reading a book just to fill a bottle or get whatever a rider needed every 30 to 45 minutes and cheering the hell out of everyone else who rode by.

- The biggest reason I could never have finished the 12 yesterday: My hands had absolutely no strength left by the end of the 6. Like we're talking my thumb was too weak to shift from the little ring to the middle one. I know it's mostly a result of me sucking on the gnarly downhill, but it was an unexpected problem.

- I came in at the end of lap 7 and Wild Bill Doonan was sitting there relaxing and taking pics. I yelled to him to do me a favor and grab me a Coke. He said "OK, where do you have them." and I had to reply "I don't, I need you to find me one." He very kindly showed up at the tent 2 minutes later with a Coke... now there's teamwork :)

- My distinct level of suck went down progressively as the event went on. I switched from making mistakes because I sucked to making mistakes because I was tired.

- It was lap 3 or 4 that I was telling Art and another guy that I'd pony up some serious money for a giant iced latte. Sadly neither had one on them.

- I downed 160 oz of grape gatorade (plus some good old fashioned H2O) during the event. I don't think I'll be drinking grape again for a little while until I forget the taste.

I'd definitely do a 6 hour again. I could probably even be talked in a 12, but only after I suck less so that my body gets less tired from the crappy riding skills. Right now I just need to replace those 5200 calories with some barley and hops.

7 comments:

badbrad said...

I biffed? on that downhill? no way...

Maybe i did. I forget basicaly everything that happened.

Good work dude! you killed it!

solobreak said...

I'd suggest you start doping.

trackrich said...

Why, because my legs are that skinny, because of my weak hands, or are you implying that you would have done 15 laps and laughed and mocked me every time you passed by? :)

JSmith5780 said...

You are effin' crazy if you ask me ;)

solobreak said...

All of the above, plus no one will ever suspect you...

trackrich said...

The skinny legs give people a false sense of security before I put on the beatdown...

solobreak said...

I just read that more carefully. No, I would not have done 15 laps. MTB racing is sadistic. Two hours is about one too many for me. You should race Putney this year so that I can vicariously share your immense suffering.