Monday, May 01, 2006

01 May 2006 - Lost Vertebrae in Maryland!

Well, it's been a while since my 1st post. I'll have to do better. Things have been very busy! We purchased our "dream home" house plans at a price of nearly $1K, to later have the builder call us at the 25th hour to say they were withdrawing...WHAT THE HECK?! So, with tempers flaring Julie and I desperately began the search again from ground zero. We looked high and low for land or a current house on the market. We ended up signing with another semi-custom home builder (Dan Ryan Homes). Our new home will now be in Bunker Hill, WV. On the racing side...A good friend, Mike Simonson, came down for a local AMBC event in Boonsboro, MD, just 20 mins from our apartment. Him and his wife arrived Saturday afternoon for yesterday's race at the Greenbriar State Park. Mike is on his way to receiving his Pro license, as he is racking up the wins in the Semi-Pro class, and actually took 4th overall this weekend. Well, he talked me into participating in the race. Honestly I was not planning to race until the morning of. I had pre-ridden the course once the week before, then again with Mike on Saturday. I felt this would be too close to my 1st 12hr which is this weekend. The course was brutal! It is a 5.5 mile course with 760 ft of climbing for 1 lap. I had to complete 3 laps. Investigations during registration was showing that others were running bigger gears. I thought I might even need to go 1 smaller! 3 climbs on the course with the 2nd being un-rideable on the SS. Yup, for those who didn't know, I am riding all Single Speed again this year, but this time in Endurance. It's been over a year since my last standard XC race and immediately 2 miles in I was again questioning my entry into the race. Again I was wondering how long I would last at this fast pace with my heart rate pegged nearly at Max! Yes, my max HR is 203 and I averaged 170 for the race and was as high as 199! I know where this was, it was the 2nd lap as I dismounted my bike to climb the 2nd half of the 2nd hill (very loose rocky steep grade). As I glanced back there were 2 riders gaining from the rear and I had just caught another ahead of me. I thought I was sitting 5th, and the pay was to the top 5! I immediately took my walk to a run, almost carrying the bike over the rocks while trying not to twist an ankle. Getting to the top I jumped on the bike and began cranking. I passed the rider in-front and dropped him. My next glance showed me a great effort rewarded as no one was behind me. I continued bomming the downhills making some extreme passes. One got a few yells from a geared rider who started 4 waves ahead of the SS class. It was a muddy section at the bottom of a downhill where I kept almost all my speed. I caught the rider very fast and yelled "LEFT!" As I did so there was a tree across the trail which I cleared without pause or worry, but the rider went bezerk yelling at me. My thought is I was able and he must yield to the faster leading riders. I kept pushing and found myself crying for the finish line on the 3rd and final lap. Crossing the line thinking 4th, they announced 3rd! The Scalpel rode great and soaked up the huge rocks and jumps better than any. I feel this gave me an advantage over most of the field as they were either with only front suspension or fully rigid. The trail is so rocky it will knock your glasses right off your face! So, now I sit at lunch at work wishing my doctors appointment was today, but instead I have to wait until tomorrow! Julie has been a great help, rubbing muscle cream into my upper back and neck as I think I left some vertebrae on the trail! My next race is the one I've been training for. 12 Hours of Lodi Farms is this Sunday. Start time is 12AM with a finish time of 12PM. Yup, starting in the dark!!! This should give me an advantage, as I have yet to be out-ridden in the dark! I'm hoping to get my 2nd win in a 12hr leading into the 24hr schedule in a few weeks. I'll be ready with 2 bikes, the Scalpel and the Optimo. Below are some photos from race day:

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