Saturday, July 16, 2005

Chris Farley Moment

Remember that episode of SNL where Chris Farley is interviewing Paul McCartney? You know where he was pulling at his hair and hitting himself in the head. "God! I feel so stupid!"

Well that was me today. I was rocking and rolling at the Carvin's Cove time trial today. And went the utterly wrong way for like 12 minutes before I figured out what I did wrong. Oh well. It happens, no one to blame but myself.

The course was an out and back on this fire road with a few off shoot sections. I decided on the dual suspension because it had a big ring and my hardtail only has a middle. There were not many people there and most were just local riders, not your typical racers you'd see at mountain bike races. It was pretty cool actually to see these local guys come out to get on the pain train.

A fire road with a touch of single track is pretty non-technical but my god it hurt. I started out with the strategy of going good during the first half, but holding something back and then blowing it out on the way back because it is hillier on the way back.

30 second intervals and I was the last one out. It was awesome catching the :30, then the 1:00 then the 1:30 then the 2:00 and so on. The dual suspension actually felt pretty good on the fire road, some times it was bobbing which robbed me of some energy. There was one small single track section, and it was such a wierd feeling after being on the fire road to go into that, I had to remember how to flow and be fluid on the bike again after sitting and hammering for the last :25 mins.

If you've ever ridden a tandem there is a thing called 'tandem butt' It's where your butt hurts just because you don't get off your seat a whole lot. On a single mtn bike normally you are on/off the seat all day long, on single road bike it's easy to get on/off. On this fire road course, esp on a dual suspension I was in the saddle the whole time and it started to hurt a little.

I kept telling myself that at every juncture to turn right and I'd be ok. Except at the turn around it is a 360 and come back the way you came. But I was just so in another world, and we got to the turn around and there were two marshalls in lawn chairs. And it was not clear at all how to do the turn around as there was no orange fencing as elsewhere at any course juncture. There was a little single track that I thought we were supposed to go on to u turn around them, then they said to come behind them, so I turn around behind them and started going back.

And I had this red jersey guy in my mind to chase, and there was a fire road right turn just after the turn around, and I just went right onto it thinking of catching that guy. But he had gone right by me when I was putzing around at the turn around and I hadn't even noticed. I guess they were yelling at me but I didn't hear anything.

And I just kept right on climbing thinking that I'd catch the guy and thinking that the road would loop back on to the course or whatever. I don't know what I was thinking. Just trying to get into a rhythm, yada yada. Finally, I mean like 10 mins later I figured out that this isn't right.

God I felt SOOO stupid, turned around, and I had come FAR. Got back to the original road and started going back. A lot of wind out of my sails. I tried to get mad at myself but that didn't really work, but I did keep the gas on as best I could till I finished.

1:16, with at least a 14-15minute siteseeing detour. If I hadn't of done that smooth move I am confident that I'd have made right around and 1hr.

When I saw the medals they were passing out I was bummed. These are not your kid's type medals, these are like 1/4" thick real medals. My friend Chris was hauling ass. He made :57 with a flat and got gold in his class.

But consider it a good training race. As I would never have been able to ride that hard by myself. What surprises me is that I am just trashed right now. That ride really took it out of me. Which is good. All and All I'm really happy with my performance and having been able to hold a good steady pace the whole way, and not blow up early, and not just putz along. I was able to stay focused a lot, and not daydream. Obviously too focused to have stayed off course for SOO long before realizing that this isn't right. Unbelievable.

Still not sure if the dual suspension was the right choice for this course. The road was rough in spots, which this bike dealt with better, but other times I know it slowed me down.

It was cool that the event went off, as it was the first ever bike race there. Kudos to the promoters, organizers and volunteers. Though they had never had experience with people like me, as I can take anything that is idiot proof and break it.

The Roanoke Times had a story in the Sports section on this morning's paper. And On the third page there is a picture of a rider from the back all blurred as they are flying. A closer look shows that it is ME! It's a big picture, like 1/3 of a page almost. Pretty cool.

Next year I'll pre-ride the course the week before!


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