you know....the last time I heard that sound of a bike crash up close and personal was maybe 1991. Imagine all the normal screams and yells and swears and snaps and clicks and scrapes but all of these things had a common backdrop wall of sound much like if say, 10-15 people tossed 10-15 shopping carts in the air to land tumbling down the road at 30 mph. It's not like that anymore. The sound of panic and chaos is now enhanced by a more pleasing POPPING and GRINDING SCRAPING and SNAPPING.
Here's the short version of the Baddland's Twilight Series Chapman Lake Short Course Road Race #1 (for those of you who don't give a crap about details and have clothes to iron or dishes to wash.)
My Teammates Pat, Mark and Rog all had pressing issues(dishes/ironing) that kept them from being able to make the race although I know they all wanted to be there. I would miss them but do them and myself proud. After 19 years off and 4 races worth of being dropped from the pack, I raced aggressively and came out with a 6th place (still unofficial) finish. Sweet.
I don't have a heart rate monitor. My heart just tells me, "no." in a very stern and simple manner so until I get it back I have to try and race with that in mind and manipulate whatever minds I can. It IS mostly a mind game anyway.
I'd been looking forward to this race for a while. I had a great week of rides and pushed myself pretty well. I HATE getting dropped...although these days I still smile through it.
I'd guess that our "B" pack numbered 25 to 30. Our lead vehicle missed a turn on our neutral roll out before the race started. ...We all knew it...Shawn/Sean from EMDE and I figured well, It's 4/20 so maybe he's baked or something...the pack then followed the lead vehicle to the donut shop(no)...but around a few Cheney residential blocks and we caught the turn we missed...about a minute after the "C" pack rolled by. ..we smelled eventual trouble. **POPPING and GRINDING SCRAPING and SNAPPING**
After a few minutes and a lead car tailgate party the race/ride was on. I say ride because well, i think it was pretty slow for quite some time which may have helped me...It was me who actually made the first "attack". No, it wasn't epic or anything, just wanted to say "hello, I'm here." I am VERY aware that I'm not even close to being able to make any breakaway for too long after less that 2 months on the bike..but it's in my nature so I did it and thought of Pat and 2010's first solo breakaway in the Muddy Huetter. We rolled around the course and up a little hill where I again made an ever so slight "move" to cause a ruckus. The mood was light and a few Baddlands fellows also made a few moves. Shawn/Sean did a few hammers at the front and we were about halfway done with the race. I only saw the back half of our pack once which was nice. I tried to never touch my breaks and that's why. I sat right on the front for a second and felt a lull and, like many people, tried to conjure(if only for 15 seconds) Fabian....I remained in the saddle and pretty much punched it and managed to string out the first 5-15 guys and cause another ruckus...when i knew my Fabian moment was through i slowed and told the guy behind me...."that's what I WOULD have done." It was right after that that I made my visit to the back of the pack. I breathed, calmed my heart down, told my legs to shut up and found myself easing up the shoulder back to the front just in time for a little hill, a little tree shelter and WTF...I went off the front AGAIN, this time I held up 3 fingers making my claim as the races most consistently aggressive/annoying or stupid rider.
...down into Chapman Lake and Shawn/Sean from EMDE ran over a rattle snake and from now on I will call him "Snake" which is easier to type than Shawn/Sean anyway...The day was not without questionable/dangerous moves by a few guys who coincedently happened to be on the same team. I took note of their numbers as I am sure others did and will watch them very closely. I will approach their team managers/coaches/leaders about them if I deem that a necessity.
We made the final turn home with maybe 8 miles to go...my computer was somehow mis-calibrated so I was clueless. Eric from Baddlands gave me our mileage. Thanks buddy! At this time the new faces started to appear in the front. Erika and Shannon, the two women racers in the field seemed to be pretty consistently up in the the front which I thought was pretty dope and things started to get live. There was a team with black jerseys and black and brown argyle pattern on the back that were being really aggressive and exciting (not dangerous) I admired them. There were a lot of attacks in the last 5 miles and I was almost to the point of "just hold on"..I stood up to stretch my back several times and right when i'd do that someone would attack and i'd be right on top of it. nice. With all the attacks and with about 2 miles left we finaly caught the "C" pack who had to be neutralized while we passed all lumped together and not able to attack therefor, all of a sudden....1K. I'll never trade my racing experience for anything. It put me 2 or 3 guys back just this side of the centerline. I KNEW shit was going to go down. The pack didn't even really realize that the sign said 200m....I only had just started sprinting when it happened. It's always in slow-mo...could have been a foot, a wheel a bar or an ass but something came within 2/3 inches of my right leg. Trying to out run a storm here.....go...POPPING and GRINDING SCRAPING and SNAPPING YELLING SWEARING..sprinting sprinting around Eric who's right foot popped out, watching the finish line lady leave the finish and run towards the huge crash....did she leave the camera on? ...cuz there were 7-6-5 guys in front of me...I got 6th. I dodged the crash because I raced the whole race from the same spot. The front.
There were broken bikes. Broken bones. A neck brace and arm splint for one of the black/argyle jersey guys.. :( Curt Dupuis and "Snake" and another guy only heard the crash...everyone else was affected by it speed wise.
I hope the fellows make a quick recovery.
Pat, Mark and Rog...you were there on my bike.
at :06 you can see me in old Arrivee green
Thankyou Baddlands. again.
Spangle TT Series
7 years ago