Well, that’s one way to get a season started . . . NOT!!!
One day I may learn that I’m a wannabe “roadie” bike(ROCK)star and I should leave the dirt and mud to those crazy cyclecross(dressers) and the mad mountainbike sigletrack(mind) crew. But, smarts has never been in the TURTLE toolkit so to SNOTCYCLE I went . . .
After my first MTB training ride with CHICKEN and two course preview rides with my Caribbean blood brother Omesh and his MTB crew, I was as good as I could get for the event.
Despite a feeble training week in which I fell off the "no drinking during the week" wagon and into a few martini glasses while traveling for work (stuck in Tampa FL while snow fell in DC was not such a bad thing. READ: Martinis in the sun taste better) I was ready to go. Coach Dr-$-Bill even sent encouraging words that ended with “have fun” . . .
TURTLE knows how to party and fun with a few sprinkles of pain it would be . . .
A late post indicated the course was going to be tough. I took the words to heart as I finished off my second beer while I prepped my bike, packed lots of clothes, and got my martini recovery kit ready for the day. Shaker, glasses, olives, and the Goose . . . again, TURTLE knows how to party.
For some crazy reason I decided to race the Sport Class (Cat 2) and complete two laps of the course. Again, smart was never in my toolkit. One 8 mile loop took almost an hour during the pre-ride. This was going to be the longest race I have ever done. Yet I still wanted it . . .
Met at my place by Susanne, we headed to the Farm to get my race on. We were met by a line of vehicles and had to work to get my 2-wheel truck into a parking area. Reason and rational thought began to set in . . . lots of snow here with vehicles stuck everywhere. I wonder . . .
But my little brain failed to continue the calculations. I saw my EVO brothers BIG MARK and PB&J as well as team newbie Raphael. I loaned Raph an extra team jacket so he could race in colors.
I picked up my race packet, borrowed a shovel and made a place to set my MTB up on a trainer. The pre-rides taught me that a warm TURTLE fairs much better than a cold one and I wanted to give this a good effort . . .
The CAT 2 start was delayed a bit and I started to get cold waiting. However, off we went for about 50 meters down a plowed road. As we turned to hit the single track off the bikes we all came as the snow was to soft and deep to ride through.
I grabbed my rig in my best CX look and started running. I just needed to make it to the woods where I would remount and pedal to glory . . . NOT!!!
Ride worthy sections did not come. I kept telling myself that over the next rise, around the next bend, beyond this section a path would emerge. WRONG!!!
I attempted to mount my rig a few times and only managed to get 5 or 6 pedal strokes; was even passed by a guy running once. Talk about a crushing shell blow. This was not working and I could not see myself doing 18+ miles (8 mile laps extended to get around a fallen tree) of this. 40 min had passed and we had gone just 2 miles. The little group I was with all stated we would bail at the pre-briefed 4 mile bail out mark . . .
That point could not come any sooner. As we approached it, a race organizer stated the section on the back side of the course was ride worthy. I considered going for it. But that would mean I would still have to walk through this section on lap 2. I bailed . . .
Hitting the plowed road I spun up to the finish after over an hour and half and less than 7 km of riding. It was the longest time going the shortest distance I have ever been with a bike . . .
I turned in my chip, rode to my truck and made myself a dirty martini recover drink. Frozen feet and hands gone. I watched a few folks roll in and saw that the officials had cut the laps down to one for all groups. UGH!!! I could have made that (maybe). But I think that was the Grey Goose starting to kick in; the olive was a good treat too . . .YUM!!!
Turns out that Raphael completed his one-lap race. HARD CORE he is as he carried and pushed his bike for 95% of the 9 mile loop. He has more heart than this TURTLE for sure . . .
Eyes now turn toward the 20 Feb CRIT in Chesapeake and my wannabe “roadie” bike(ROCK)star quest. I may leave the singletrack to my brothas and siztas of mud but I will give this a try again next year . . .