Sunday, June 7, 2009

6 Hours of Dirt & a Crit

I rolled out of the house Friday afternoon with Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tn. on my radar. After a quick stop for supplies I managed to pull in around 6ish or so. Chris D.,Ben & Erin were already there and set up. They save 2 spots, I got one then when Steve arrived he got the other. G had told me earlier that he was up for this after work and said he was coming. I wasn't putting too much stock in it after he just rolled in from vacation and worked an all nighter. But he surprised me by showing up right on time the next morning.

All the guys geared up and wanted to get a pre-ride in but I opted out Friday evening. I'm pretty familiar with the trails so I just sat around at the campsite and watched folks roll in. I made some dinner and waited for them to return. Steve returns covered in mud. He had a few mishaps and muddied his cute pink jersey with Ben's name on his arse.

I opted to NOT stay in the hillbilly hotel and sleep in a tent on the chance that Angie might be able to get away from sky diving training to stay one night but that didn't happen. Around 2-3am this old dog up on the hill just starts barking and won't stop. I would have shot it if I could have, I was so ticked off! Then all the dogs that were camping around us would start and then get corrected by the owners and another one would start.......JEEEEZZZZ!!!!! I managed to get a few hours sleep none the less. I awoke to a very foggy camping field, got some breakfast but probably didn't eat enough. I'm not good at endurance events but I think they are fun, really! I get all my bottles prepped, food laid out and I'm ready yo. We all take our bikes up on the hill and I actually get a good spot. Now we are ready for the LeMans start. Ready set go! I trot like a poodle at the national dog show prancing across the stage - ha ha. I don't get into a real big hurry getting on the bike and casually pedal across the top. I managed to get out on the trail in the top 40% with minimal effort. I was surprised, my strategy wasn't to go out like that. I just rode the wave out and felt good. I got with some faster guys and accidentally adopted their pace. It was about 3-4 miles before I told myself to pull up I have lots of time. I did and was just easing along when G caught me so we rode together. The rock garden was a slippery mess when we got there. One dood had broken off his rear derailleur, riders laying everywhere. I unclipped and dabbed quite a bit for safety. After I managed getting through that slippery section I was coming up to a wooden bridge that you had to pop your front tire up on. I did that fine but when I went to lift the rear tire up it just spun out and slid sideways, down I went and the bike almost went under the rails and off the bridge. I jumped up quickly and apologized to the train wreck behind me. I got on the gas, dropped those guys behind me and got back to G's rear wheel before we got to the flat part for the final run in to complete a lap. We looped around, checked in and immediately went for #2. G stopped for a porta-pottie break and I said "I would soft pedal and ride easy". He did well and caught back up in about 3 miles or so, I picked up the pace a little then. This time through the rock garden I hit a root riding through. It twisted my front wheel and I went down on a huge boulder. I did manage to break my fall with my forearm and was back up quickly. That would be all the crashing mishaps for me today. Upon the completion of lap #2 I pitted and choked down some food, a couple of gels and some Hammer Perpetuem. Grabbing another bottle and I was off. I didn't wait for G this time though. My goal was 5 laps for the overall 6 hr race, I didn't know if G had it in him after working all night-I was wrong. In the back of my mind I thought that the times I was laying down could quite possibly get me in the position for a 6th. I went out with that in mind and slowed my pace a little. Steve and I managed to hook up on #3 and it was good. Somewhere on the 3rd lap I spun the rear wheel climbing and my quad had a twinge in it like the beginning of a cramp........NO I thought! It was short lived though and went away. Steve disappeared for a couple of miles then suddenly reappeared on my back wheel. He said he took a little spill. I finished with lap #3, pitted and fueled up again. I hurried to get on the bike quick to stay with Steve but he got away from me in the pits. He said I would catch him but that would not be the case. I rode harder than I wanted to but was not making any positive progress. Alas when I got to the rock garden he was there with a dropped chain, I asked if he was ok and continued on. I got a really good cramp climbing the bigger hill near the lake. It would not go away this time, it was here to stay. I soft pedaled and nothing helped. Soon Steve caught back up and I offered to let him by but he was content staying there. I told him I was cramping but he stayed there. We rode back in together and my legs were quivering badly now. I looked at my Garmin and my time was still good, still doing sub hour laps although I don't see how. I asked the scorer at the end of lap #4 what the cut-off time was and he said 2:20pm. Cool, I have an hour and 10 minutes, do-able. I look up and Steve did not stop, he goes for #5 continuing on! I have to pit though! I get some more gel and water, then a hard cramp hits me almost dropping me to the ground. I sit and massage it, I'm thinking "I need 10 extra minutes". I'm unable to get my cramps under control and realize that I do not have 2 more laps in these legs, as bad as I want to, I don't have it in me. I walk around, decide to wait for G to get back and ride my last one with him to reach my goal. After about 20 minutes or so of finishing lap #4, he gets in. He grabs his water and we are off. He's still riding well. I try to ride his pace but my legs are a quivering mess and I stop trying to keep up. I put my chain in the middle ring up front and the big and rear and just go with it. I was hoping that we could have a duel at the finish but to no avail. He did manage to find someone to duel with 15ft from the finish line and the both of them hit the ground in a thunderous crash I was told later. I arrived about 12 minutes after all the racket with lap #5 under my belt. I was satisfied for a mountain biker that doesn't train for this stuff. I sat down killed a half gallon of chocolate milk, 5 minutes later I was on the ground with some of the most painful inner thigh cramps one could have. They said I was rolling around in the "fetal" position moaning loudly. After 5 minutes of that I got up to shake it off and walk around, that really hurt!

After everyone but Ben (doing the 12 hr) had checked in and cleaned up we started working on the 3 kegs that they had on hand. I drank a couple of pints in my FREE swag pint glass but that's all I wanted. I made a couple of turkey sandwiches and rewarded myself with a diet mt. dew. Everyone started getting ready for bed, I thought "heck I could get home and sleep in my own bed tonight so I can go to the JC crit early in the morning". Not to race mind you just to spectate! I threw everything in the exploder and was out of there in 10 minutes! I was home in a little over a hour, unloaded some stuff, showered and hit the hay.

Sunday morning, I jumped in the car around 8:15 am for the very short drive downtown. I got there, sat up my EZ-UP and relaxed. I watched the masters then got my camera out to shoot some video. I also brought the trusty mtb to putt around downtown on also. I shot some descent footage, not too bad from a tiny sony camera. Dusty was busting my chops on my midget tripod....Of course I had to convert it to make it look a tad better but I was pleased for an hours worth of work for a quick job! I will get some pics posted up later of the Disc Burner race. The video of Sunday's crit is all for now.......

SANOFI ADVENTIS CRIT 2009 from A Sparks on Vimeo.

Johnson City, TN Crit Race

Final stage of Sanofi Adventis Omnium

Sunday June 7, 2009

LAter G.................................

No comments: