Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mount Snow NORBA Nationals

Ah, I’m trying to get my head in a positive place before I write about this one but it doesn’t seem to be happening. I don’t want to whine and shoulda, coulda, woulda about it but I’m kinda bummed about how things went down Saturday to be honest. It’s my own damn fault, mistakes were made, results were not optimal. Wow, this post is a laugh riot so far, I’ll see if I can’t pull it out of this depressing nose dive.

Here, let me get all my excuses out of the way, I worked for 11 days straight, about 10 hours a day going into this, work has been hectic, really busy, I haven’t slept well during that entire period (that has more to do with staying up watching The Tour than anything else), I didn’t have the right tires or gear for the course, and I barely slept at all the night before the race. What’s this? It’s the smallest violin in the world and it’s on it’s tiny cell phone calling you a Waahm-bulance.
The problem is despite all that things started off well enough, better than ever really, Travis Brown, Carl Decker, and Adam Craig weren’t on the line, Gunnar Shogren wasn’t even there, it was anybody’s race, I though it could be mine, I’m not usually in that position. There was a guy on the line, with a shiny new Trek 69er and the full on Trek Factory rider kit, all red and white and scary…I just associate that get up with Eatough , Bishop, and Helmick, the bad dudes that show up to the 100 milers. From the gun, Trek guy went, I jumped on his wheel and followed him up the climb, I felt great, we hit the first decent back to the start finish, the couple riders that had slipped round before the hole shot fell apart the first time they hit a wet root and I shot passed them.
By the time we came through the start finish Richard Fries was shouting that Dusty Labarr had a huge lead (that would be the Trek guy), as we came up the grind leading back to the woods, me and another rider caught and passed Dusty. The first technical climb had been turned into a massive run up from hell by the rain, so I ran and ran some more (my hamstrings just tried to nod in agreement but they seized up again instead). Shortly thereafter the other rider cracked and Tim Haitz came up to me, we passed the floundering rider then Tim started to gap me. At some point John Foley (who had never raced a single speed before but fast guys are fast guys regardless) gapped up as well, we came past Tim on the decent with a flat, he ultimately dropped out as a result. John was having technical problems with his single-lator but he was riding strong anyway. We started the second lap together with what looked like a huge gap on the field.
We came through the feed zone which sucked for single speeders by the way, much too steep to safely take a hand off the bar to grab a bottle. I wasn’t that topped off, I hadn’t even finished my first bottle then I ejected my second bottle in the singletrack just past the feed, I didn’t notice until I went to take a drink before heading back into the woods. Eh, 45 minutes without a bottle, just like a cross race…except you get to drink after a cross race, you don’t have to do another lap. I think John had already gapped me by this time but he was in sight, only I started to fade in the latter part of the second lap, that’s when the eventual winner Nathan Wyatt came by me, I followed him into the decent…he SMOKED me, the kid’s from Asheville, NC and apparently they’ve got something going on down there because those dudes can ride. The course was extra slow, the decent was a mud bog split up by roots, ruts, and rocks, but fun, but fun.
Last lap Dusty caught me just about where Nathan got me the lap before, toward the end of the lap I was drawing him back but then I fell apart on the decent right in front of Tal and Darcy my IBC teammates. Darcy overheard me muttering “God! I’m a f-n mess” as I tried to remount and fall two more times before I was out of their sight. Somewhere in there I bashed a rib pretty good and now it’s bugging the crap out of me…but only when I breath.

The Little Kid's Podium for me. But man I have long arms, I look like a damn Gibbon or something.

In the end it was a good battle and a top notch beat down, left me wanting to go back next year with a better plan and a smaller gear, 32 X 20 on the 29er was way too stiff for this beast of a race.

Niece Lyla shows me what a gameface really looks like, yikes!


Tim said...

nice work at nats, dusty is an old friend and has been fast for 15 years! way to gut out proper east coast style conditions!

Lena said...

Well said.