Saturday, September 15, 2007

NORBA Root 66 Landmine Classic
Short Track
Hingham, MA

Here I am again, the night before another race and I still have yet to blawg it up about last week’s events, I must break the cycle of procrastination now. Brue and I arrived back in Boston from SSWC, Scotland last Thursday night. Friday we went by Independent Fabrication for a quick tour then shot up to the exotic Middlesex Fells Reservation for a rocky 95° ride. Brue was impressed, the relentless technical was alien to him…I wish he’d been able to ride it in the wet.
Saturday AM we headed down to Wompatuck for the big, crazy short track race and NEMBA Fest. We were running late. The drive into the park dragged on and on, we jumped out of the car, that field was just baking, it had to be a solid 100°, we scrambled to get chamoised up, dashing over to registration, no time for a warm up, crap! The race was delayed…for TWO HOURS. Brue had to be at Logan and on a plane at 6, with the 1 O’clock start time this was doable, now it was looking just plain stupid. I called Miriam my “Rick” (like Magnum’s buddy who always called in one last mob favor, c’mon, you remember) she did some quick calculations, checked flight status, and told me it was just barely reasonable, any contingency and we were sunk.
While we waited we went over and saw Mark And Bill at the Trek/Fisher demo truck, we took out a couple bikes. We’d do a quick loop of the short track course then sit in the shade and pant for a bit. The new 69er geared hard tail is pretty sweet as is the Hi-Fi 29er, that thing is like driving a skidder through the woods, just crush everything in your path, amazing. They didn’t have the new Rig, I’m itching to see what if feels like with the G2 Geometry and Fox F-29, guess I’ll have to wait until I get mine in December, that fleshtone color scheme ain’t too shabby either.
Finally it was time to roll, I was so glad that I’d downed a bottle of pedialyte the night before, it was bound to save my ass. No one was at the start line…the race had been delayed again, this time twenty minutes, contingency number one. We lined up, me and two other Semi-Pros, Brue and Paul Curley making up the Expert Single Speed class, and a bunch of Experts in rows behind us, no head start for the foxes, the hounds would be breathing right down our necks from the gun. Brue didn’t know what it meant that he was racing against Curley, I tried to explain, told him whatever he did not to pass Paul on the outside of a corner, unless he wanted to eat some dirt.
A moment of inattention and the race was off, me with my feet both planted flatly on the ground, Brue took the hole shot! Paul was right on him, like the pit bull he is, I muscled into 3rd as we took the first few pine needly corners. I passed Paul in the field pushing 32 X 16 on the 29” wheels, Paul in a mere 32 X 18 on a 26er. Brue hit the singletrack first, there was no opportunity to pass in there so I just sat on him throwing encouragement forward, when we hit the pavement I shot past telling him to grab my wheel. He was only pushing a 34 X 18 so a gap opened before I got to the one little climb on the course.
For the first couple laps my lead was just a few seconds, but every corner gave me a bit more space. Soon the chase group had changed it’s face, behind me, all I saw was a white goatee bearing down on me, later I realized that this was Stuart Jensen, one of the baddest Masters around. Soon we were ten minutes into a twenty five minute race, fifteen minutes to go…you can do anything for fifteen minutes right? It was hot, my head felt like a tomato and it was all tingly. I kept it floored, trying my best to ride like a ninja, threading through the rocky corners as smoothly as I could.
At the end of the twenty five minutes I had a decent gap, I rolled across the line, performing some lame version of a victory salute, what an ass, the first time I win a race with enough space to do something goofy and I blow it. In retrospect I would have liked to have done a little Chapelle “BYAAH!” across the line.
There was no time to wait around for podiums and kiss girls, I had to get buddy Brue to the plane. It was close (especially when I had to pass a lethargic RV in the ditch while exiting the park) I lied to him the whole way about how golden we were, we made it, but at no time was the pressure off…life imitates bike racing.

1 comment:

Colin R said...

Alright I’m just going to say it, Gloucester sucks, it’s a way better race to watch than to ride. It’s boring, it’s uninteresting,

Damn straight. Effin roadies.