Friday, September 4, 2009

Weaverville 2008

I know that this race report is late, like waaayy late. But better late than never, right? Anyway, I knew that i needed to rest up after the Cool 24hr race and that although rest was important, i couldn't really stop training either, I had to balance things out just right so that I would have plenty of energy but not lose any fitness beofre Weaverville.You body does odd things after a 24hr event, the week immediately following one of these events, it feels like your body is more numb than anything else, it's so fatigued that you just don't really feel anything while you're out riding. so, although i did take an extra day off the week after Cool, i still rode quite a bit more than i should have and raced out at Prairie City the wednesday following Cool. Did pretty okay too, riding back home after the race i was completely toasted though, like completely toasted. It's two weeks after a 24hr race that the grueling effort catches up with me. I felt like complete ass two weeks after Cool and raced like a retard at Prairie City. My fatigue during this week motivated me to rest up quite a bit in the week leading up to Weaverville.More concerning than my fatigue however, was my seeming inability to stay upright on my bike in the weeks following Cool. I crashed like every other time i threw my leg over the top tube. it was getting pretty ridiculous and i was not only becoming extremely frustrated, i was legitimitely worried because i had crashed on my left hip multiple times in something like four days. every time i'd start to feel a little better, like i could actually use my leg again, i'd simple crash once more and start over at square one. My leg hurt so bad and i felt so torally beat up by the middle of the week before Weaverville, that i took thursday off in an effort to try to recuperate. I couldn't walk straight and getting out of my car hurt in more ways than one. I figured an extra rest day would probably go a long ways.So, after my thursday rest day, i worked a little on Friday morning before heading off to Redding that afternoon to meet a family who had agreed to help me out at the race. I had no idea where this initial meeting was going to lead me only a couple of weeks later, but we'll get to that later on. Shortly after the Cool 24hr race, i was messaged by a young girl who had seen me at the race. She offered her support at Weaverville once she found out that I would be racing self supported. Her father was also racing in the event and she seemed excited to help me out. She and her family were going out to dinner in Redding the evening before the event and they invited me to come along. I was eager to learn more about this lovely girl, i was intrigued. I had no idea that pretty girls went to bike races at all, much less actually enjoyed them. Heck, this particular girl even likes riding her bike! I quickly learned that not only was this girl AMAZING, but her family was pretty awesome too. They even offered to let me stay with them in their hotel that evining... anyone who thinks i'm not the luckiest guy isn't paying close enough attention. Oh, i forgot to mention that it had started to rain during dinner and by bed time, it was going pretty steady. Tomorrow was liable to suck pretty bad. As if riding a bike for 12 hours wasn't enough of a task... I was definitely not excited about trying to do it in the rain. I tried not to think about it as i lay on the floor of the hotel in the dark. Who was this girl? How did i end up here, how could i be so lucky? how could it really be raining right now? It's damn near June in California God Damnit! Oh well.Up at 5:30am so we could drive to Weaverville and pick up registration packets/set up pit areas before the 8am start time. It wasn't pouring rain, but it was far from dry, the windsheild wipers were definitely on as i drove down the winding hwy towards Weaverville, trying to prepare myself for the tough day that lay ahead of me. I set up my Pit while bringing Jaimie up to speed on where things were at and filling her in on my game plane for the race. I told her whom i was worried about in the field. A good luck hug and it was off to the starting line.Matt Chaney was my main concern, he always says he's in terrible shape or that he just crashed or that he isn't training, but he's always fucking fast. Sloane Anderson was on the line too, I've raced with him before, but i'm usually in a different class, today we would be racing against one another in the pro class. I had opted to race my single speed even though i was not entered in the ss class. I hadn't yet gotten the fit on my Scalpel to the point where i felt super confident, and if the weather went the way i thought it was going to go, i figured a single speed was going to be a better choice than a geared bike anyway in the sloppy conditions we were about to be facing.After the initial cluster fuck at the start, i positioned myself at the front of the field with Matt. I wanted to pace myself based on his riding, no sense going out fast if he wasn't doing so, he was still my main concern. Matt got off and walked portions of the climb on the first lap, so i did too. we led over the top of the climb and a group of about 5 of us went through the pit together. I decided i wasn't walking on the second lap. Matt got off, i never saw him again. Although the race now seemed to be betweeen myself and Sloane(we leap frogged for the next few laps), i was still more concerned with Matt, i couldn't let him catch me, that would be the point of no return. I would gap Sloane on the climb and he would catch me at the bottom of the hill, just before the pit, nearly like clockwork, on the next five laps. I realized that if i couldn't extend my gap and keep in front of Sloane through the pit zone in the next two laps, then my race might be over. Weather conditions deteriorated throughout the day and by the fifth lap, things were pretty bleak, not to mention dangerous. A crash on my sixth lap turned my focus from destroying the feild to just beating second place. I had landed on my hip once again, of course, and by the time i got to the pit i was huritng so bad that i wasn't sure i would be able to manage to climb. I took 2 alieve and set out for another lap. I don't know how, but i just pushed through the pain and kept on going. Just two more after this....I got the gap I was looking for on Sloane and now i had to time my laps so that I could keep that gap without speeding up the pace to the point that we would come across the line with time for a tenth lap. Or, increase the gap and hope that he didn't respond so that even if i crossed with time for another lap, he would cross too late to go out again. this is where it gets tricky and i was glad that i had decided to invest in a wrist watch so i could monitor where i was at time wise.I came through the pit after my eighth lap and learned that Matt and Sloane had both packed up and gone home when the conditions had turned stupid. Second place had just gone out on his eighth lap a couple minutes earlier... I had already won. This was a twelve hour race though, so i wasn't done yet, winner or not. I set out on my ninth lap with one thought: Don't Crash. A crash could still ruin my race and the course had become very dangerous, i had plenty of time and just focused ..ing safely. I came through at 7pm without enough time to race another lap, my race was over.I just stood there for a few moments, staring into the gloom, letting my body accept the fact that it didn't have to move any more. not today at least. I thanked Jaimie for her help, she'd done a great job, and then it was off to the showers.They gave me a cool Mountain Hardware tent for winning the race. It seemed unreal that the race was over and that i'd not only survived, but i'd done well. I'm extremely proud of this victory, I think my toughest competition was myself. anyone who knows me knows how much trouble i have in the cold and the wet. good stuff

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