Saturday we loaded up the Escort wagon LX and headed to the race at the lake. RATL #2. Amy's race started 5 hours before mine, which gave optimum time to watch the storm clouds roll in and watch the sunrise, as we had to leave at 5:45am.
Driving to Ohio has been nice. You dont drive into the sunrise like when you head to lancaster, and the total toll for getting to Monroe Falls, which is 110 miles away was $1.00. Very nice.
While warming up a dude was asking which Indiana the IRMC team was from. He asked if we were there the week before. He didnt mean it in a rude manner, but I thought it was pretty obvious that we were there the week before. We were in every move until the winning move went away, and we won the field sprint. This was like a "mental note, be more aggressive this week" type situation.
Anyway, the bike race happened and we all worked super well together to get Jake the win. That was sweet. There were lots of FAST dudes there. One of them probably has more stars and stripes jerseys than I do regular jerseys.
Drive home from Ohio, eat, pack up the mountain bike stuff for the Greenbrier challenge on sunday. Mayhew brought over free coffee and we pressed it before heading out at 8:45. "Wow we can leave late today! 8:45!"
Mountain bike racing is really hard. You cant suck wheels. You cant sit in because you have a teammate up the road. You cant fake an attack and then sit on the break when it gets established. All you do is think "am I going as hard as I can?" Then you get passed by Gunnar who started 2 minutes back and is like your dad's age.
After sliding on my chest/shoulder/head for a good 10 feet, I hopped up, hoping to not lose position. All I heard was "are you ok steevo?" It was a woman's voice. I was in the middle of the woods in a weird state, am I tripping or something? Who knows my name??? Poor Betsy Shogren had some bad luck and was wrestling her chain off her bike right where I fell down. Weird.
Anyway, I kept pedaling real hard like everybody else and got 5th, qualifying for nationals or something. Nationals are on my birthday in Vermont. I have driven that drive once, and it was REALLY far. I didnt even actually drive, I sat shotgun and my teammate Greg drove. Aside from the great roads in upstate NY, my only real memory of the drive was it being like 3:30 am, needing to find a motel, and not staying somewhere cause the guy wouldnt go from 45 dollars to 40 or some such amounts.
My neuroticism really took hold this week when I was trying to find lighter tubeless wheels for my bike. I actually called local bike shops asking prices. RETAIL prices for bike parts, who does such a thing? I got 5th in the expert race, I deserve at least cost right? (this is really thick sarcasm about how nobody wants to pay for anything, myself included)
Weekend highlight: On the line, the dude next to me says "Is Chris Horner on that team?" I gave the usual "Its me and like a bunch of fast dudes, they needed a guy from Pittsburgh." Then I went on about how I want to look through Horner's garage, because if some scrub expert racer gets stuff at cost, imagine what the real deal gets?
Potential lowlight: This is two sunday's in a row that I thought to myself "dude if you crash, you might die." Both involved a mountain bike course where you ride down a waterfall, although we got to do it 4 times at Greenbrier. I wont even talk about how I swtiched wheels before the race and the cassettes didnt match up. Oh I just did.