Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lord I'm Blistered Oh, Yeah

irst race of the season yesterday. Root 66 tried to trip me up by having an XC event on saturday, they never have the XC event on saturday! It's the middle of what we call "Super Sale" at the shop and I was pretty sure my request for Super Sale Saturday off with four days notice would be seen as an attempt at comedy. It wasn't, I got it off, so thanks to my Sponsor/Employer (IBC) for that. This is why I work at a bike shop and it's why I work at the shop I do.

The forecast was for 48° and rain, I packed for a miserable race and post race hypothermia.
We (Greg, Colin,Linnea, and myself) got to Middlebury, CT to find blue skies, 75°, and this weird yellow thing above us which burned our skin and made water come out of our pores. I'll have to look into what that thing is, I think it has something to do with science. The funny thing was we were all whining about how warm and nice it was. Folks had packed knickers, heavy gloves, undershirts, wool socks and hats, and embrocation, but not water bottles and sunscreen. It's like Jay-Z said, quoting Little Orphan Annie "It's a hard knock life for us". That song was almost as good as the one where Tupac sampled Bruce Hornsby...that guy is one big, dead, genius.

Didn't preride, just hit the road and spun a bit, got down to the start line with time to spare for a change. Lined up next to John Foley and Andrew Freye, chatted for a minute, and we were off. I don't know what I was thinking , maybe it was the gears, but I got up on second wheel going into the hole shot, following John into the woods. I decided my best bet was to just keep it in the big ring. I'm smart. I didn't start suffering a maximum until we hit the first substantial climb. I went deeply anaerobic, I haven't been training that hard yet and going anearobic and then staying there for as long as I did the first lap was not brilliant on my part. I think John and I lead for a few minutes, then guys started blowing by like I was riding a bicycle Rickshaw with two fat, red-faced German Tourists in it.

Damage control. So I stopped trying to spin up the climbs like all these crazy geared guys do and put the chain on the big ring and rode like a Skip Brown, or a weaker shadow of a Skip Brown, but I was in the big ring, mashing away and I seemed to be recovering and moving a little faster. At one point I passed by a cheering Kerry Combs and shouted "Gears suck!", and I meant it, I wasn't really into the whole gear thing. can't wait to get my new Fisher Rig SS. It's basically the same bike as the Paragon, which was what I was riding but without all the klanky, squeaky, jamming, clicking, annoying bits.

Long story shorter than usual...I finished, caught Foley, didn't catch anyone else, felt not too crappy in the end, got 6th out of 10 finishers. Definitely have some work to do if I'm going to try to hang with the big boys all season, but I think I'll be alright.
New IBC kids Colin (4th Expert 19-29), Linnea (1st Expert 12-34), and George (16th Sport 30-39), all did great, and it was cool having an IBC MTB posse out there. Watch out now!
Gotta go, the live updates from Paris Roubaix are much more interesting than anything I'm writing here.

Oh, the title of the post...Johnny Cash, refers to my hands. You can do all sorts of stuff to prepare yourself for mountain biking but you can't fake gripping the bars. My un-calloused hands are meat right now. Like I said, I've got work to do.

I'm Pretty!


IF Chicks said...

you looked great out there thom ! My legs were not feeling the love out there despite the great weather and I called it quits on lap1.

I'll get a chance to redeem myself at winding trails in 2 weeks

Ryan said...

Don't want to be a stickler...but wasn't that Jay-Z?

Thom P. said...

Yup, you are 100% right.
Shows what I know.
It was Tupac that sampled Hornsby,
both equally awesome acts of musical crappiness.

Thom P. said...

There now I've edited that bit so that it almost makes sense, but now your comment and my reply make no sense. Awesome act of blawging crappiness. said...

I met Chris Milliman at Sea Otter... He wanted me to tell you that he says "hi", but I decided against it.