Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Wilderness 101. Lead in, Race, Follow up.

Last weekend there was a sweet road race in SWPA. It was hot and windy and we all got beat up on by a fast guy. When I got there, the schaf-dog said "dude why are you limping?"

Sunday night I fell asleep on the futon. Dont worry, I dont actually have a futon frame or furniture or anything, but just a futon mattress on the ground in the living room. By living room I mean the 3rd bedroom because the living room is filled with building debris. Anyway, Im lying on the futon mattress on the ground after I wake up from the nap. My back is killing me. Not like "oh I am sore, this sucks" type of pain, but more like a "who do I know that can get me illegal drugs to stop this" type of pain. I took ibprofin for the 2nd time in like 10 years and tried going to sleep. I couldnt walk, move, roll over, or do anything for the next 36 hours or so. I quickly contacted anybody who I thought could give me guidance.

I avoided all guidance and did the oval Wednesday and felt ok. 3 hour ride Thursday and felt fine.

I committed to not backing out of the 101 and took my bike to the bike shop and paid for tons of crap. New tires, cables, chain, hanger, hub bearings and cones in the rear.. I dont even remember what all was done. Randy at Trek of Pittsburgh did a awesome job and put me on top of the priority list. Rad.

4 people, 1 truck, 3.5 hours of driving and we are in Coburn PA.

5:45 am came quickly. I joked about getting on rollers for a warm up. I freaking should have. My logic and plan were this: "You got dropped by the leaders last year on a descent because you had a singlespeed. Stay with the leaders as long as you can this year because you have gears."
That lasted 8 minutes or so until the lead group freaking dropped me. A gap opened on the first climb and I just didnt think I should try to close it.

I fell into the group that I should have been in. I will call it "the group of mortals." A bunch of guys with real jobs, and me, places 9ish though 17thish. In this group I sat for the next 7 hours and 36 minutes for 11th place. The end.

-Wes stopping on a singletrack descent to move a tree that could have killed somebody. I was like "call out when you want to pass" and he caught up like 2 minutes later but only like 50 feet later, on a descent, cause I was going so freaking slow.

-Attacking guys on the road after bridging back up to them after they dropped me on singletrack downhills. I was totally joking, but I stealthily bridged back up to a few guys who thought I was gone and pretended to attack them when I got there. It was funny, to me at least.

-Not being the fastest, but being the most polite. If there was an podium for it, I would be ON TOP OF IT. Every aid station, I was so freaking nice. I went so far out of my way to thank everybody and called them all sir and mam. Each time I left an aid station I would say "you guys are the best, thank you SO much!!" Although I didnt hear it, Im sure some jagbag yelled at them, so hopefully I offset it a notch. Oh wait, maybe not this isn't a road race.

-No flats, no real mechanicals (my chain wrapped around my cranks and maybe my wheels or something crazy on one descent, I thought my race was over, but it was fine after I chilled out and fixed it), no crashes.

-Remember how shitty I felt at certain points last year and comparing those feelings to this year and thinking "man disc breaks are cool" or "the extra 2lbs of this shock fork thing really are worth it"

-Lying (again) in the ice cold creek after the race, and the gluttony that ensued.

-Finally beating Gunnar at a mountain bike race. I mean it mathematically had to happen eventually right?

-Hanging out with fun people after the race and camping out again. The last two 100 milers that I did, I cannonball run'ed it straight home.

Good quotes
-"Im not going to yell at you, this isnt a road race." -Pflug after I buzzed his wheel with mine on a climb

-"I sat on their wheel." Nicoll referring to the couple on the tandem. He attacked them in the last 300 meters.

-"I was hoping you would stick with me and share the work." Pflug after the race referring to when he dropped me super hard up this gnarly climb as if me being dropped was totally out of his control or something.

And for when you REALLY have nothing to do, like Johnturn, you can go offroading in your Euro car through corn fields in Iowa and get it stuck.

Sorry so crappy, I am tired.


Matt! said...

So should I upgrade my rigid fork before the Shenandoah 100?

Jason said...

Great job Steeveo!

Lenore said...

Sounds like a great time. Just wish toona hadn't been this weekend. And if I could've afforded the 101.