Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Ponca

I couldn't sleep last night in anticipation of this event. It was my first cross-country race in about two years. And I was ready,or so I thought.

Dale and I set sail from Omaha at 9 am. The plan was to be there by 11 or so and have time to fill the bottles get your gear on, warm up a bit, listen to some tunes and oh yeah, there is that registering thing.

Nearly there, we stop in Ponca at some gas station so I can use the atm. Because racing isn't free people. Problem was that the atm wasn't giving me what I wanted and the race started in just 40 minutes.

I inform Dale of my dilemma, and without batting an eye he hands me a twenty and says now all ya need is ten.

As we roll in into the park I quickly unpack the chrome bag and snagged the Surly and went out to try and find some folks to be my sugardaddy. The time is now 11:40.

I run into the bushes and change into the lycra (superman style), and then almost forget that whoa I still need ten dollars, and havent registered yet.

I then pedal to the lodge to check if they had an atm or some nice old couple to throw some cash my way. As I am pedaling back towards the other racers I see MOD, And at this point I was stressed like you wouldnt believe; so instead of saying hello mark, or have a nice race, I say, hey can I have ten dollars. And MOD came through through like the champ he is and got me that last ten.

It was freaking ridiculous, and the race was now 9 min from starting.I took a deep breath and tried to refocus with what little time I had, Then before i knew it riders are rolling down to the start. It was time.

We started 30 ticks after the experts and it felt like the longest 30 of my life.I closed my eyes as Joy Division songs rang in my head until the whistle blew.

I started quick with MOD next to me, then realizing I didn't even know where I was going,I let Josh pass and followed his wheel closely into the dirt .It was a quick descent filled with tight switchbacks, I was having a ball, feeling great, legs all loosey goosey, then josh and I miss a turn and are suddenly in third and fourth.Next my perpetuem filled bottle falls to the ground, moments later I whip through a turn and hear a pop, I kept pushing until my rim was grinding on the dirt. I look back to find that my tire had peeled off the rim and tangled itself within my chain and seat stays in a web of disapointment.

3 minutes in and my race was over.I didn't have time to pack my spare with all the registration madness, and it came back to bite me, quite hard.Carrying my bike up the paved road to the start was like a walk of shame,I sat for a while and thought about what happened, shed a few tears in the shade then tried to track down some tools and get back to it.

Eventually I fixed the problem after Biker Bob came through with the lock jaws for my stripped dropout bolt.He was a ray of light in my dark day. Thanks again man.

Even though my race had ended, I needed to get out and hammer,I hit the dirt for 2 and a half laps with a vengence and hope for next time.


Cornbread said...

Dude, that's a bummer. Flats and mechanicals suck.

Glad you were able to regroup and get on the dirt for 2 1/2 laps. That place rox.

MG said...

Jeezus man... That's one hell of a story for three minutes of racin'. I'll echo Cornbread's sentiments in that at least you got a couple of good, hard laps in anyway. It's too much drivin' to get there to not ride once you're there.

Sorry I didn't make it up. The messed up weather we've been having has the plates/screws in my right arm all up in a tizzy. Holding onto the handlebars has gotten a bit sketchy at times, and unfortunately, Saturday was kinda' one of those days. I wasn't really feelin' it anyway... As Cornbread will attest to -- he was killin' me Saturday. Like he always does, I guess.

Hope to get to ride with you soon Eric. Maybe this weekend???