Monday, August 27, 2012

Dark Days Bright Nights

It’s over.

The 2012 Southern Classic Series has come to a close, and I’m somewhat relieved.  I had fun “racing” all season, but I’ve also kinda had a shitty year.  It was nice to see things through until the bitter end.

The day started out earlier than I had planned, because Little Miss Sunshine wanted to race.  Her wave went off an hour and a half earlier than mine, so I had to get up extra early.  I didn’t have a chance to make up for my lost sleep, but the little lady and Lunchbox did on the way up to Wilkesboro.

Since I didn’t have to get ready right away for my race, I got to watch the little lady get out there.  She was nervous for some reason, even though she likes riding the trails at Dark Mountain.

She took off slowly, but eventually worked her way in the middle of the action.  When we saw her coming by, she was flying.

Photo credit:  Lunchbox

She ended up in fourth place for the day, and I was happy that she put in a good effort.  About the time she got back though, it was time for me to start getting ready for my own race.

I had a little issue though.

Shit.  I had no choice but to race though, so I lowered my seatpost a little bit to keep my frame from breaking all the way.  Because of this small adjustment (and certain failure), I knew my race would probably suck.

I was spot on with my assessment. 

We took off, and I didn’t do my usual “sprint to the lead” technique.  Instead, I played it really safe, falling into the middle of the pack somewhere.  With my misadjusted seatpost though, I was having trouble getting any power out of my legs.  Also, I was afraid to sit down too much for fear of breaking my frame all the way through.  Because of this, I was already hurting at the one mile mark.  A downhill section was coming up though, and since I usually stand up then anyway, I knew I wouldn’t have any issues. 

My kid was waiting on the side of the trail for me:

After that, another climb.  I let a few guys go by, and concentrated on just trying to finish.  Every little creak coming from my frame scared me, because I figured that the next sound I would hear would be the sound of failure, and probably pain and suffering from a crash.  I somehow held on the entire lap, and when I saw the last section of downhill I knew I would survive at least one.  

Once again my kid was waiting for me.

And I had someone else out there taking photos as I exited the woods.

Photo credit:   Eastwood 

I made it through one lap, and I cruised through the start/finish line for one more.  My legs were hurting because of my seatpost height, but I didn’t really give a shit at that point.  I promised myself I wouldn’t quit, even if my bike broke into pieces.  The second lap felt a lot better, but I still wasn't getting all I put into each pedal stroke.  At least I didn’t feel like I was out there all day.

The time was passing quickly (sort of), and before I knew it I was coming down the last section…as fast as I could.

When it was all over, I didn’t even come close to the podium.  I ended up in 9th, but I got some points towards the overall standings.  When they announced the series standings, I got called up to stand on the number two podium step.

When they announced the standings for the North Carolina State Championships, they asked contestant number three to step down (because he didn’t have an annual USA Cycling license.)  Todd and I stayed right where we were though, and Jack joined us up there.

In addition to an extended podium stay, I won some shit.

In the end, I guess I did okay.  I have more thoughts on my “season”, but I’ll get into that another day. 

I have beer to drink.

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