Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Bumps, Dirt, Mud, and Blue Sky
This is what we got instead of sleeping in like regular people do. Oh, and also there was some serious pain.
My hands ache as I type this, a little over 27 hours after my 45 minute pummeling in the singlespeed race. The course wasn't as muddy as I thought it would be, but there was actually a little bit of it for the first time at a Cross Crusade race this season. And we can thank that for the extra lap of bone shaking terrain. There were no donuts, no cupcakes. There was horse dook, plenty of it. It can be considered a warm up for the fecal fest that Clark County Fairgrounds will be if it rains enough this week. Last year we all got the pleasure of riding through the rodeo ring that was a soupy concoction of bull shit and piss, and plenty of frightened rodeo clown pee. It was filthy, and I found myself thinking about whether or not I had any cuts or scrapes on my feet as I waded through that sewage portion of the course. Wow, Hillboro, I can't wait to be further dazzled by your beauty.
Anyhow, I'm off task. I'm here to wrap up our outing to the 3rd installment of the Cross Crusade Series. We had some of the usual suspects in tow this week. Tad, Joel, Danger, Griz, Charlie and myself. It was the perfect amount. Any more and we would have been grumpy because we really like to stretch out. Rachel showed up with Ira. Bobby and his mom arrived a bit later as did Megan, followed by Hazel and Jo. It was a pretty kickass day.
The course was rough and generally not what I was looking for. It was apparently attacked by a giant melon baller the night before. It was very rough and punishing. I wanted everything to be easy. I was feeling a little under the weather earlier in the week and didn't ride at all after work, so I was hoping for a course that would cater to this situation. But I suppoooooose I was just gonna have to sweat it out the old fashioned way. These things aren't gimmes. Every race finisher went through a lot to make it happen and I'm stoked to say that this week we had all of our team finishing the course.
There was a lot of single track. Passing meant leaving the sometimes smoother single track to pass on the rougher grass. You were gonna get wailed on at some point. It was a matter of waiting for it, or giving in and sucking it up. The slower you went the more bumps your wheels would find. Drilling it meant hitting fewer bumps harder. There was no cheating this course. You were going to get pummeled. The final hill leading back to the start finish was soul crushing. Loose gravel steep front section, followed by another uphill stretch after the midway point, veering quickly to the left on in to the finish area.
Aside from the actual racing portion there was beer, the wave, and heapin' helpin's of heckling. With the Timbers out of the playoffs, we have a formidable heckler in Todd Danger and Griz is no slouch either. Countless people were annoyed up that hill and I was berated to a few places faster on the last climb. A healthy dose of tough love from both the crowd and the course. It's always gonna hurt a little, but it's better in the end.