Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Cool Mtb race

Last night after a long night in the restaurant I was greeted by a white out for the lovely dirve over Mt Rose. One hundred mile an hour winds and the snow combine to make for a rather sluggish drive home. I began to wonder if it would continue how would the drive over Donner Summit be, and was it worth taking my newly wounded body out for a full on race pace effort. I imagined crashing again, was the crash in seattle just a warning, and all fashion of other things. So after a short 6 hr sleep maybe less I awoke to snow, here in Reno, and for a moment stayed thinking why bother with all the travel and possible not being at my best because of the injuries.
After tearing myself from the warm embrace of my bed I started through the morning routine of coffee and running through the pre race checklist for the 10th time so as not to forget any key ingredients or items for the day. "wouldnt it suck to get to the race just in time and not have my shoes or my helmet?" I kept asking myself what else I might need. Finally the checklist complete, I loaded up and headed out in to the nasty weather. If my drive was precursor to the day I was in for a real treat, even if the sun miracuriously came out it had been raining cats and dogs in the Auburn, Ca area for the better part of 36 hrs. The Cool race has a way of bringing bad weather and since they moved the date from February to March the gods obliged and opened up the heavens for our racing and driving delight. Well the drive over was filled with bad drivers and on the lighter side a deep talk with my mother. I was worried about getting there on time, not worried enough to leave early, but certainly worried. I arrived with a few moments to spare, dressed got my number plate and prepared to suffer, mental I felt relaxed and ready to go, I wondered just how my body would respond. After the crusier class full of inebreated cyclist took off in the opposite direction, we were ready to race and the skies were just about to open up.
The mega phone told said go and we were off at a sprint, the course quickly funnels in to singletrack and it reallly helps to be out front with all the mud we were to encounter. I got a great start but that was not the case for everyone, a woman was cut off by a rabid back of the packer and sent to the pavement, it turns out she broke her collarbone, all so someone could get ahead. The start is important but not the end of the world. Those who want to start fast should get up front to begin with.
Soon I was out front with the leaders of the pro expert, me and my pal Roger and Rich Maylay? one fast older fellow on a single. We diced it up for awhile, and when we hit the first real climb Roger seemed to be struggling a little with the mud, he looked to be carrying a massive gear, Rich and I got away and that is the way it stayed. For the next two laps we traded back and forth and tried to keep our eyes from sealing shut. Half the time I could not see a thing. Toward the end of the second lap I was able to get a slight advantage on the last of the steep climbs and thought I had sealed it up, that is until my eyes crusted over and I had to stop for fear of crashing hard in the deep puddels. Rich caught me and we were once again locked in a battle of which he ended the victor, by a couple seconds. I thought for a second I was gonna catch him, but he got me. I ended up 2nd but first because he was in the older age group. On the whole this is a great race. It goes to benefit trail work in the area. Big props to Auburn bike works and fatrac on this one. My teammate Monty ended up second in my class and Roger ended up 3rd. So it was a podium shot. Unfortunately I thought I had to work and didnt get to stand up there with them. However I didi end up with the evening off and oh how sweet it is to put my feet up and relax. I plan on watching the Tripplets of Belleville, and having a tasty malt beverage. Ciao

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