Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I Come From The Land Down Under
No dummy, I’m not originally from Australia. I’ve just had this song stuck in my head lately for some reason. Well, that and I drove up from the state under Virginia to participate in a bike race, so I thought the title would be appropriate. Remember when I started the story yesterday? Well then, let’s continue, shall we?
As I hit the trail on lap two, I knew I had some catching up to do. The four guys ahead of me were pretty much equal to me in terms of ability, fitness, size, etc., so I figured that I had a good shot if I pushed it. The fact that I had such a rough time on lap one put me a little further behind than I intended, but it was still a manageable distance. I learned what I needed to learn about the trail the first time around, so at least I knew what I was up against.
I gunned it down the singletrack, pushing myself up the climbs as hard as I could. I would go down fighting this time, letting the other guys know that B-43 don’t play that. I passed quite a few people during the first few miles, but no one in my class. I knew I was making good time, so I still wasn’t worried. I hit the downhill sections with reckless abandon; especially since my rear brakes weren’t working so well anymore. I attacked on every single climb, with the exception of one which was slippery. That particular hike-a-bike hill didn’t bother me though. At the top of it were several strategically placed pink flamingos, which had me laughing pretty hard.
As I hurried down the trail, I felt better than ever. I kept passing people in other classes, but I still didn’t see anyone from my group. Had they left me for good? Would I be stuck in 5th place until the end? That made me push even harder. All along the course there were markers that said 6 miles to finish, etc., and after I passed each one I turned it up a little more. I ended up riding the last two miles alone, until I came to the fire road with half a mile remaining. When I shifted into the big ring to get some haulin’ ass action, my chain dropped off the rear wheel. Shit. What if the guys behind me catch me? I wasn’t gonna stop, even if it meant I had to hop off my bike and run it in, Bruce Jenner style.
Somehow, after fiddling with the shifters, my chain went back on. I gave it one final push, and crossed the finish line still in 5th place. I never saw the other guys, and I still have no idea how far ahead of me they were. Lesson learned: Don’t let Tyler Durden interfere with my warm up next time. Riding a tough trail like that cold is a big fat no-no.
Since I led the race for a while, I had a chance to count all of the guys in my class that passed me. I knew where I had finished, but I asked the people at the finish line where I placed anyway. They said they didn’t know. I’m sure they did, but maybe they were just too busy to be bothered by me. I found out later that they marked me down as finishing in 6th place, which is why I asked when I stopped ( so I could dispute it on the spot.) Yeah, I know it’s a bunch of bullshit, but even if I contested the results I still had no proof. I know where I finished, and I’ll leave it at that.
Overall, I had a great time out there. It was hot and it rained cats and dogs the night before, but it was still an awesome race. The trail was in spectacular shape, and even though my lack of warm up had me struggling on the climbs at first, it was a really fun course. It’s a little too far to make a special trip back there just to ride, but I would ride it again if I get the opportunity. The rest of the event however, was average at best.
The whole setup was sort of chaotic, and very confusing. I do lots of races, so I understand that there can be some issues. However, this one could have been a little more organized. The volunteers were very nice though, and extremely helpful. The on the course volunteers were especially helpful, with their cheering and water station duties and all. When the race was over, we sat around for almost two hours waiting for the results to come out. Yeah they fed us, but I didn’t find the food very appealing. It was catered by some BBQ company, so as a Southerner I should have been excited. However, while I do enjoy barbecue, I don’t eat filthy swine. I managed to grab a plate of food though, so all was not lost.
Mmmmm. Cole slaw.
No, I didn’t eat a barbecued pork sandwich. Yuck. Instead, I grabbed a bun, put a shitload of barbecue sauce on it (yummy), and had that for lunch. Hell, I had to eat something:
I don’t want anyone to think that I am shitting on the event promoters in any way, but I think that they could have done a better job overall. And no, I’m not bitter. They had me down for 6th place when I really finished 5th, but I am fine with that. If it had been a difference between 1st and 2nd place, it would be a whole different animal. The “official” results aren’t posted yet, but I’m sure it’s the same.
The guys of the Southern Virginia Mountain Bike Association should be very proud of the trail at Angler’s Ridge. It was fun, fast, flowy, and just technical enough to keep it challenging. I could tell from the trail condition that they do a lot of work up there to keep it nice. If you ever find yourself up in Danville, Virginia, then check it out. I’ll definitely do the Shootout On Anglers Ridge next year, and at least I’ll know what to expect. Until then, it’s back to the local scene, sans Tyler Durden.
“I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.”