Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Checking the final results and lap times
It was a morning that I had rehearsed in my mind for quite a while. Waking early, hearing the soothing sounds of coffee brewing and oats on the stove. There is nothing better than having that time in the morning to just sit in silence, and prepare for the day. At 7:45 I hopped on the bike and pedaled to Tranquility. Many thoughts passed through me on the ride, thoughts of how the race will unfold, who will be there, and what I would eat afterward. Every know and then fear will creep into these thoughts, trying to disrupt your confidence. You've just gotta stay positive and remember who you are and what you can do. It also helps to remind yourself that hey, this is going to be a lot of fun.
After signing up I rode to my parents house to relax a lil bit until the race started at 10 am. When inside I saw my nephew Alex, plopped down directly in front of the TV cross legged watching cartoons. Moments later I'm seated beside him stretching and finding myself locked to the cartoon as if a tractor beam had fixated my eyes on the tube. At 9:35 after the water bottles were filled and the goodbyes were exchanged, I rode back to Tranquility. Under the shade of a tree I got my tire pressure dialed and ready to rock,then carefully assembled my food & drinks at the edge of a picnic table.
The race started after a roll call of each participant,I took off with no one able to match on the gravel road leading up to the dirt. I glanced back on the first climb to check if anyone was closing, I saw no-one. So I continued to hammer the first lap on my single speed Karate Monkey, never hearing the brakes of other competitors behind me just the daylight and open trail in front of me. The laps started to click by...2...3.....4... at the culmination of each lap there was first my parents, then Lucas, then Tim & Jen. Each lap I would look up and see a different face. It was quite a surprise. Thanks for the support!
Still feeling strong going into the fifth lap, I tried to match the pace of the other sport and singlespeed riders who had just begun their xc race. I managed to lead some of them until my arms were caught daydreaming on a descent that left me covered in dirt on the ground. I had some good ol' scrapes on my left leg, but adrenaline made me quickly forget it as I continued to plug away.
To start the sixth lap I went into auto-pilot until I heard someone squeal from behind me on the trail, as I looked back I saw the skeleton on a bike named Lucas. I rode the next few switchbacks of trail with him behind as we yelled random things at eachother. Moments later he overtook me and I just sat on his wheel, the whole lap as we pushed towards the end of the lap. Knowing that I had to get in before 1 pm, I yelled at the photographer on the descent for the time, it was gonna be close as he said it was 12:57. We made it back a minute later, Lucas rode on determined to catch 2nd place as I prepared for a 7th and final lap.
This final lap I finally began to let the killer instict rest and just kind of roll to the finish. When there I was greeted by my family and repeated alerts that hot dogs were available. Looking back on this race it's a breath of fresh air to finally get a result that I knew I was capable of, Hopefully I can keep it going with the Dakota Five 0 up next followed by the Branched Oak Road Race.
Legs finally at rest
(Photo's courtesy of Lucas)
Tapped out by EB at 10:04 AM