Saturday, August 20, 2005
Race Time Part Deux
I really felt like I bonked on the last lap, but something was different. I drank a bunch of cold gatorade, 30 ounces of Endurox, ate a banana, an orange, a handfull of chips (the salt does wonders for cramps), then took an impromptu shower by dumping bottle after bottle of water over my head. I toweled off, went into the cabin to change, and laid back on the cot with the fan blowing on me. WOW did that feel good. I decided to take an hour break to try and recharge my engine. Excuses were beginning to develop in my mind.
By the time I got the drive train lubed, batteries changed and hit the road up to the staging area it was past 2AM.
Lap 6 - Unbelievable. I've NEVER been able to "get it back" after a rest during an endurance event. This time I did. My legs felt even better than when I started. I rode almost the entire course. That dam logpile was no problem, even slime hill. I dismounted to get around a few steps built into an uphill, that was it. Did almost the entire course on the middle or big chainring. WOW! I didn't fall once! I'm sure this was my fastest lap, no doubt about it. I was actually passing people! Man this is fun.
Lap 7 - A continuation of 6, really had some flow going, I tried not to push too hard with still 5 hours left on the clock. I stopped briefly to get my camera as the sun would be coming up on the next lap. Slammed some more Endurox.
Lap 8 -
The scoring/staging area. I think this is at about just after 5AM . All the volunteers were absolutely outstanding. The girl with the helmet on, waiting for the baton in the background is on the Cobblestone/Natures Path Team. They were ALL fast. She'd pass me later in the lap.
I simply LOVE2ride during dawn, it's an awesome time to be on a bike. I was motoring down one of the fast sections of the course around the lake and slammed on the brakes to get a few photos:
While I'm standing across the trail camera in hand, the Nature's Path chic comes flying by.
"Are you OK?" she asks.
"Yup, thanks, just enjoying the sunrise" I answer.
"Good luck!" she yells as she disappears on down the trail.
Now usually the "Are you OK" thing applies to potential physical or mechanical ailments. Maybe this time it had a bit of a psychological angle? Who would stop in the middle of a lap at a race to take pictures!?
The heat is rising as the sun comes up. It was over 80 all night, and now getting close to 90. As the lap continues I start to fade, then on an uphill about 1/2 way through the course I slam a shift with "I've been on my bike for 14 hours" lead hands, and hear that nasty crunch/grind sound we all dread. I look down to see this :
No problem, I have a master link. With tired hands arms and brain I 'm up and running in about 15-20 minutes. It's still getting hotter. The excuse factory is now working overtime. I know I'll have time for one more lap. If I was a real glutton I could probably start lap 10 just before 10 AM.
- My butt is raw and sore
- My legs are tired
- I want to be able to race 7Springs in 2 weeks
- My legs are tired
- I don't have another master link, what if I break another chain?
- Its very hot
- My butt is sore
- My legs are tired
Over and over these go around in my head. I had a few other good ones but forgot what they were. I got to ride a bit with (solo winner) Bob Anderson toward the end of the lap. We chatted for a while before he left me in the dust. Great guy and STRONG rider. I really need some of this stuff---------------->
Down the last road I stop at the cabin before checking in. Fully resolved that 8 was my last lap. I sit my sore a$$ down and dump some water over my head. Its just before 8AM. Phil comes by and tells me that 9 laps might be "up there", the heats been getting to allot of folks. Hmmmm
I go relax by the fan in the cabin, taking some fresh clothes with me and hoping I don't find a reason to put them on and go back out.
Phil comes back and tells me I'm in a tie for 3rd with 3 or 4 other guys. It takes me about 2 seconds to jump up and throw on some new duds. I surely can survive another lap.
The last lap - As I started there was actually a breeze coming across the field. I felt good. I just wanted to survive this lap with NO mechanicals. This first time I shift onto the granny gear my chain gets sucked up and stuck. Looks like I bent a tooth or link on the last lap and the chain was getting caught on the small ring. Arrrrrgh. Now I'll have to ride the entire last lap on the middle ring. Single speeders will be saying - Shut up and ride you wimp! So that's exactly what I did. The breeze I felt at the start was either an illusion or very short lived. Half way through the lap the heat REALLY starts to hit me. Especially when you come out of the woods.
I rode for a while with Scott who I'd met from CCVA and a group ride at Powhite. He was a lap ahead of me, and STILL looking strong......great job man!
As I went up the last hill to the finish my head and arms felt had this this weird "tingling" feeling, like my whole body was about to fall asleep. I checked in just after 10AM to a round of applause. I sat down and felt like I was going to pass out. For the first time I noticed it was Mike at the scoring table, I think he was there all night. Unofficial results 5th place. I didn't want to get up for fear of keeling over. The experience was priceless, the 5th place was way more than this fat ol' flatlander could've imagined.
Blurry photo of Loretta and the guys in the AIR CONDITIONED dining hall
I eventually made it to the air conditioned dining hall where there was a HUGE spread of food. Everything from tater tots to venison. WOW. Once cooled down I felt better.
I fell asleep while packing up camp and missed the awards. I wanted to go just to give everyone applause and cheers. I get home and am surprised with an email from CyclesEd the RD saying he was sorry to miss me at the awards, he'll mail me the prize money! Turns out they paid down to 5th!! So is winning cash like making the podium?
The whole night I was looking for Snow White, but never found her. Now I hear tell of wandering nymphs from Red Bull! Man I missed them too!
Thanks to all involved at the event. A truly awesome venue and great folks.