Sunday, September 13, 2009


Got up early this morning to drive to Banner Elk,N.C. for round # 3 of the collegiate racing season. It was a crisp morning to say the least, while driving through Elk Park heading through the small pass that takes you to Banner Elk I saw that the temperature was a chilly 45 degrees this morning. I arrived and was informed that the slalom racing was not completed yesterday so they would be finishing that up before the XC races started. I had my camera with me so I thought I would take some pics for our new ETSU Cycling blog. I forgot that I used up the battery taking pics of the local cult hero Mike Thomas at his wedding last night (more on a separate post).

Anywho, Ben made it through a couple of rounds of slalom kickin' butt before he was eliminated before the final, we rode over to the xc course to get a warm up lap before they started the XC race. We took it easy trying not to waste any energy. The climbs were technical with some short steep pitches, lots of roots and rocks too. After you climb the ridge the trail sends you down a very steep and rocky DH section. It's also is part of Lees McRae's DownHill course. Now mind you, if you have a bike that is built to handle that type of terrain it's ok. The XC bikes we ride are not made for that stupid stuff! I have no clue why they routed it that way, simply insane! I rode half of it on the warm up lap all the time thinking " I'm not doing this during the race". My first lap I start into the upper portion and hear a metallic pop noise in the fork/headset area. Hmmm can't be good! I manage to clean a couple of the huge boulders ( I say boulders because these things are bigger than truck wheels) then I dismount and run it down the 50 yard section of trail. I'm doing well with this type of "riding?" so I finish out the last part to the road running down the steep rooty trail dragging my bike loosely behind me. I mount my epic and the steering is SO TIGHT. Something is wrong. I have to use a lot of effort to straighten the bars so I can ride in a straight line. I manage then start up the gravel road. I start weaving back and forth like a nascar driver warming up his tires trying to get an idea of what's up with my bike. Every time I steer left the bearings in the headset seem to get tighter, wow. I roll through the start/finish line and tell the scorer, Im out with a mechanical, DNF me please. He acknowledges me so I pedal ahead to our feed zone and just drop the bike. After riding the huge bouldered section of trail I really didn't care if I did anymore laps or not. I sit here as I type looking at it on the work stand wondering if I should tear into it or not. I have more school work to do but I have finished half of it so far........ I may after I get through blogging who knows.

Like I said earlier last night Angie and I attended Mike and Hillary's wedding in Jonesboro. We had a wonderful time. Mike entertained us all very well. I will dedicate a single post to this because I have about 100 pics to download and sort through before I do. In the meanwhile...


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

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