Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let's go!

Sorry about the delay. Monday night I got a call from work, things got heavy quick. So blogging wasn't anywhere on the agenda yesterday.

Annie and I drove down to Wilmington Friday night. I was mortified to find out we'd be leaving town via Independence. It's the greatest traffic F of all time. Friday night would be no different. The scary thing was that we would be taking Independence/74 the ENTIRE way, so my fingers were tightly crossed that things would open up at some point. It was slow goings and took way too long to leave the traffic behind, but we finally did. I was super tired and we eventually got to our hotel around 11 pm. I could feel that I was dehydrated, but I was honestly too tired to do anything. I will go ahead right now and say that that was a mistake. 

Saturday morning I got up and had myself a little breakfast in the room as I prepared. 

Thin bagels. Too thin to have one, so I spread my cream cheese (with onions and chives of course) and threw an entire bagel in between. Now it was more like a "real bagel."

After I ate I got to creaming my chamois... with Chamois Butt'r. I had no idea how much to use. I didn't want to skimp, thus making it pointless, so I used the whole thing. 

Halfway through the first lap I knew I used too much. I had a nice "squishy" feeling between my butt cheeks, fun!  Too much cream or not, my but felt good through the ride. 

When we arrived at the venue I claimed a pit spot and texted TheMutt. He claimed he had just woke up, but knowing what a jokester he is I didn't believe him. I went and registered, getting my number/food ticket... or was that just a motivational thought to keep one riding for 6 hours?

I also got a free t-shirt (love me some free t-shirts!) and a sweet tattoo to let others know who they were passing. Later I was told we got free water bottles - missed out on that one!

I helped haul some of TheMutt's stuff down to the pit area and started to prepare for the race. Time was tighter than I normally like, but I managed to get everything together for the prerace meeting.  The cut off time for your last lap was 5 hours and 30 minutes.  My goal was to get in 6 laps.  I thought I'd be able to do it, but wasn't sure how tight I'd be on getting in before the cut off mark to make that 6th lap.   

As we got lined up for the start I was trying to focus on the advice I had gotten from a number of sources: don't get caught up in racing off the start.  TheMutt was lining up towards the front, so I stood next to him, but wondered if I shouldn't be further back?  At the start he took off like a bullet, I spun, but didn't try to over do it.  I was happy to let those geared riders crank it down the flat dirt road as I spun at a good clip towards the singletrack entrance.  From there on we were in a train.  I felt good and didn't feel like I was overdoing it so I was fine sticking to the wheel in front of me.  Soon enough I saw TheMutt in front of me, really?  I caught up to him.  That meant one of two things.  I was going too fast, or he was dying.  

Some geared fellows jumped around me when I could let them by, but I still had TheMutt in my sights.  I was certainly willing to let him go, but I was hanging on ok.  All of a sudden the rider in front of me pulls up to the side - I guess he was tired of having a line behind him.  The trail normally went straight OR left, but the straight (black diamond) option was taped off, so I hit the hard left blindly as the rider cleared to the side.  I have no idea what my front tire struck, but I hit something and over the handlebars I went.  The train came to a squealing halt.  I quickily pulled my bike off the trail and let 8-10 riders go.  Most were courteous and called out to make sure I was ok - or point out  my water bottle rolling across the trail.

A few choice expletives later and I was back up and off.  Now I knew I was pushing my pace, but I just wanted to get back on someones wheel for at least this first lap - it's nice to have a "guide" on an unknown trail.  Going over a few roots it felt like my back tire was a little squishy... but I had just put air in both tires before the race...

My seatpost then started slipping.  My damn seatpost.  This thing has been slipping on and off for a while now and it is a royal pain in my ass!!  As we jumped back out on the starting dirt road I decided to floor it as I knew I was going to have to stop to adjust my seat height... it was getting too low to be effective.  I stopped quick, tightened down my seatpost and was off again, after the riders I had just passed on the dirt road passed me back.  

Going out on lap two was like a breath of fresh air.  It was so nice to not be in a train on the beginning sections of the trail.  I soon caught two riders from the one hour race who offered to let me by.  I told them we could wait until it was safe ( I didn't need them to pull over and stop to let me go) but they were going a little slower than I would have liked.  As soon as I was able to get by I powered up a hill and BAM!  My chain dropped.  I pulled into the trees, swearing as I went.  I got to removing my rear wheel and getting the chain back on.  Of course, then I had to loosen my slipping EBB and re-adjust and crank it down.  I started to curse my EBB but then accepted that I've been neglecting it, so maybe it was my fault.  As I was getting set to take off I reached back and squeezed my rear tire... yup - soft.  I decided I had taken too much time already so I would wait to pit to use the floor pump on it.  As I took off I tried to think of why it was soft... do I have a slow leak?  Could I have burped it when I crashed?  I just hoped it would hold till I finished this lap.  

Now I would have to pick up my pace if I was going to reach my goal.  Again towards the end of the lap my seatpost was slipping... looks like it'd be another pit to adjust.  A quick stop to adjust my seatpost and pump my rear tire back up - I was down to around 15psi.  I headed out for lap 3 in no mans land.  My seatpost quickly started slipping so I pulled off to tighten it back down.  Back on the trail I found a good pace.  I wasn't concerned with the other riders or my place - this was a personal challenge and not a race.  I was enjoying the trail and before I knew it I could see the Trail Mayor up ahead.  I turned it up and caught up to him as we hit the dirt road.  I hadn't gotten a chance to chat with him prior to the race, so I took the opportunity to chat as we rolled down the dirt road.  I thanked him for inviting me down as I was enjoying the trail and the challenge.  Unfortunately, he was going to miss the cut off for the 3 hour race.

Once again I pulled into the pit to adjust my... you guessed it... seatpost.  If you've been counting along, that would mean I was headed back out for my fourth lap.  This is where things get interesting, and where I will have to stop for today.        

1 comment:

  1. What a PIA, sounds like you need a new seat clamp, I had to buy one cause that sucker was slipping too. I went with Surly, not light but burly and has not moved a mm since I got it last year. My chan has never dropped on my SS, was your chainline off I am guessing? Your have quite a few problems for a SSer lol