done dealing

Man the rain will mess with your mood. I’m done dealin with the rain and my office re-paint/carpet. Totally bummed about the rain and out-of-towners bumping our garage sale to next weekend. Bummed about Survivor being a recap of unaired footage. Aggravated I fell asleep during idol last night. Upset that I ate a Snickers bar today. I wanted it and was alright – but it wasn’t great. Stressing that I probably will not ride tonight. Stressing even more that I probably won’t get a coupon e-mail out tonight. Regretting I did not scrape my ceiling or rip the back splash off this week. Lamenting doing it tomorrow and this weekend. Most of all, I hate complaining. Red Dragon

Trails are alive and nobody asked me

Turned some hot laps at Red Bug, seeking redemption from this weekend’s spanking. First lap felt uncomfortable. Still don’t have my legs back. We need some more rain because the trail is still really loose. I came to this concuclsuion after some near misses and one crash. Neck did not hurt as bad and made a real effort to not crack it. Changed strategy from bulldog to smooth. Climb within my abilities, pedal the flats, cruise the downhills. Relax my grip and try to groove the turns. Smoother is faster. Also realize I have lost alot of handling skills. The MUNI is great for balance, but does nothing for speed. Second lap felt better. Legs did not hurt as bad. Lap was quicker which is not the norm for me. Maybe Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday are starting to pay off. The trails are really alive with something. Could not help but think about the Predator. Every time I looked around to see what was making the noise, I could see something but then it was gone. Could be the pollen, could be the Predator in cloak mode.

Nobody asked me but I think:

HWB is stressed out right now
Jim is really fast
Mark is faster
Ric is stupid fast
Tim is a bad ass
Steve and Ken are faster than we all thought
I’m slower than we all thought, especially me
Big Worm needs a hug
Zak needs to follow his dreams (while you still can)
Darien is close to a comeback
Dan is faster than his RBC performance
Tyler will win his first race
DoubleNought could be for real this year

——

Flea markets and smoked mullet – that’s what Woodville does!

Red Dragon

Trying to get some wood

Woke up at 3:44. Had an alarm set for 3:45, 3:55 and 4:00. Tried not to scare the deer off and bagged a spike. Showered and loaded the Tahoe. Met Tim, Silk and Foster at the office, rolling by 4:45. Headed North. A few errant turns were corrected by years of traveling the same roads and a Tom Tom. Three hours, fifteen minutes and two Egg McMuffins later we pull into East Macon Park. Meet up with Mark, Big Worm, Big Jim, D and the Mackerel. I try to take it easy. We are excited and have plenty of time to prep for the 9:30 yellow wave. The start is a 50 yard motocross style sprint to a right hander, then another 50 yards to a BMX track (which spills into the singletrack). One by one, we watch the yellow wave starts. In Expert, Silk runs into the woods 4th. Mark is somewhere near the back of 19 riders with Darien in the middle. Tim and Ken have good starts with Ken mid-pack and Tim top five. By the time we get back to the 180 Energy tent, Ric, Darien and Mark have already come through our little U-turn area. This is a big hard pack/grassy area built into a field to add length to the course – it’s about a third of the way into the lap. A few minutes later, Tim comes by in second as he’s marked the first place rider. Ken comes by looking good mid-pack. The next few hours are spent handing our boys the wrong water bottles and trying to prep for the white wave. Ric battles with two other guys and comes 10 seconds shy of winning and beating a pro. Darien has a bio-mechanical. Mark turns out a solid 9th with more left in the tank. Tim flats and still battles back to a third and Ken has a mechanical. His 29er was freshly built and his rear wheel’s spokes stretched like taffy. By far the weirdest wheel thing I have ever seen. He decided not not to trash the rim, parked the bike and of course sniffed out some micro-brew a few tents down.

Big worm, Steve, Big Jim and myself are all doing our thing by this time. The start was delayed by 30 minutes which threw everybody off except me because “I knew” we would start late. Everything felt great. Close to start time I finally get on the bike and settle into to a medium warm up – just to wake the legs up. Everything feels great. I pair up with Steve and we do some laps around the baseball fields. Close to start time now. We’re in the fourth wave, with Worm in the second and Big Jim in the fifth. I’m kind of jammed so I pull an old school, move up first move when the wave ahead of starts. Steve pulls up, giggles and says smooth. We’re both excited. Of course I want to beat Steve in this race but most importantly I want to ride solid. They blow the start whistle and I surge ahead. I have the holeshot easy. Then some guy powers by and I decide not to contest. Damn it’s Steve! We take the right hander clean and step on the gas. We run through the BMX track with ease and go into the woods 1, 2. I decide I am good to ride his wheel. Steve is talking us through it and we use our old school skills to gap everybody. We dial it back a little to recover and I feel pretty good. Everything is good. The plan is to: Chill at the start – check, Smooth through the BMX – check, settle down until the first climb – here’s where the trouble starts. We are going slow enough through the single track at this time that I am ready to go. I pull around Steve and say “come on let’s grab another gear, they’re catching up”. We do the big u turn and I hear Steve says it’s shitty. Good thing he warns me just in time for a crappy drop off. We groove thru the single track and I ask him if that was the climb. The way he says no should have scared me. By the time we get there and he says this is it – he didn’t need to. I try to ride it smooth but it is a grind and I am gassed at the top. So much so that Steve is now on my ass saying come on Kent – meaning step your game up. We have a group of four and big gap. The two guys behind us are talking shit and Steve keeps repeating “if you’re feeling froggy” leaving out the punch line – jump. If I wasn’t in pain, I would laugh. At this point I still feel OK but the climb was a huge burn. I snow plow the first sandy section with my front wheel. Luckily I have enough speed to carry through. By the time we get to the cactus section I realize something is wrong and I’m in trouble. I’m not bonked, but there are way more ups and downs than I expected. Normally an advantage, Steve and these guys are taking me to school. We finally let the two guys around – more like they ride around. Climbing up to the u turn area field we see Chris bombing the downhill. About this time we hear Big Jim say “Steve, Kent.” All I can think is man he is riding fast. After Jim makes short work of us, Steve says out loud “he’s going to catch Chris.” Steve comes around to bump up the pace. I grab his wheel and we come close to pulling back the leaders in our race. Pop out to the start of the u turn area. Steve glances back to make sure I’m on his wheel. The small gap and look on my face tells him he’s off the hook – I’m done. I crest the hill, roll past the tent and stomp on the pedals fueled by cheers from the boys. Slight downhill after the turn so I pull back # 234 and we’re not far off Steve. Bomb the big down hill and we’re fairly tight (it’s Steve, 234 and then me).

This is where the pain really starts. Up down, up down. I’m pissed. This mofo course is all climbing! I’m at the when does it end point. Stay smooth, try to breath. Try not to kill yourself on the climbs. Legs full now. Try to groove the bottom of one of the downs and crash. Not bad but hard. Look back, it’s clear. Back on the bike, stay calm. 234 and Steve are gone. Roll through endless up downs and really struggle with the last two climbs. They hurt bad. Get off the bike bad, but I keep pedaling. I’m dripping sweat, elevated heart rate and have no idea where the lap ends. I get teased several times when I hear the announcer. Finally break through and luckily pull back a three hundred series rider. I ride his wheel through the VERY long start/finish area. Oddly enough I’m able to pedal fine on these flats. I’m able to speed up and finally shake loose “pretty boy” – another rider Steve quipped was meditating at the start. I called him pretty muscle. I finally feel like I am able to pedal. The second lap comes easier and it does not hurt as bad – except for the first climb. I have to dismount and scramble the last 20 yards. While this lap doesn’t hurt as bad on the legs, I’m now in survival mode. Not in danger on not finishing, more of I feel like I should be able to go faster. Just pedal, smooth. Up down, up down. I am going as fast as possible and pushing as hard as possible. Any harder and I would not be able to finish. I am riding hard enough to lose track. Now it’s just climb, smooth, climb, smooth. I’m hurting. I’m picking off 100 series riders, and 300 series riders that passed me. That tells me I’ve picked up the pace. Pleasantly surprised when I pop out of the woods. I was so focused on climbing, going as fast I could that I’m now done. Power through the start/finish – nearly pulling back another rider. Make my way back to the tent and sit down. Boys try to talk with me and realize I’m not there yet. Takes me awhile to come back. Load my bike and finally crack a smile when Mark offers me a 180. I’m finally back. Later find out that Steve pulled a 4th, and I got 9th out of 16. Could of easily been a 16th for me. Jim won, of course. Chris had a bout with survival mode on his third lap to score 5th out of 6. Tough race for all of us. Great race for all of us.

Red Dragon

standing out in a crowd

Wow. Inspired by my cuz’ recent post (all-pro, HOF 2009), I set out to find my own doubt. Instead, I fell into two twins – misery and despair. First, there was misery. Awful bike fit, new shoes, think I’m late for a ride. Not a real warm up, just head backwards to the the ride. See cuz WAAAAY out in front – says he’ll be back. Get to the tittie hill before the church and see the group. I hang a U and let the pack consume me. Smile at Berg, pick at Tim and congratulate Gillis on his win in Rome. Berg dials it up on his cross bike and I follow. Nobody chases. The quick effort makes me feel good. The pack reassembles. We chill down both hills but just before the last hump. I am out of position – I’m near the front. I’m fat, slow and haven’t been on a road bike all year – I’m miserable.

Unfortunately it would get worse, way worse. Lil Ball pulls through, Berg latches on and I easily fix myself into third. Ball jumps on it enough that I start to hurt. At the top of the last hump, I sneak a look back under my arm and see that we’ve got a small gap except for Rita who’s dogging my back wheel. Ball pulls over slightly left and Berg pins it down the start of the false flat, I follow. He looks back a few times and clearly does not recognize misery on my face because he pegs it again. I have to dig deep, twice. I can handle it – no I can’t. I pull over to the right defeated as Rita rockets forward. Then the pack blasts around. I pick out people I know as I struggle to try and make it to the bricks. I’m last. I have to work way to hard to catch the group after the sprint. I don’t even know who won. OK, get back on, recover and play it smarter for the second lap. I work my way back to the front for the big hill after the lake. Plan on starting out up front and fade to the back as we climb. This is not working. I work way to hard to maintain position. I am breathing hard, sweating and starting to really hurt. A few turns, a flat and then Lt. Dan’s climb. I am last and hurting. Misery but no despair – yet.

Back on, Arbor hills, AJ Henry, Gardenview climb – more misery. Somewhere in there get the best of wrecking ball running smack – which rarely happens. Beat him with his own game, the rapid fire cuts. Easy Shamrock. Easy Church. The screws turn back up. Still on at the humps and positioned well in mid pack. False flat now and headed toward the bricks. Pace ratchets up another notch and I twist the throttle. The engine bogs. I whip the horse again, and again. Nothing works. Come on. hammer, hammer. I push it again. I’m last. I’m dropped. I’m miserable. I throw up in my mouth – literally. Spit out some sort of bile and fully embrace that I’m miserable. That’s when I learn misery loves company. It’s a twin called despair. Despair will mock you. Despair will make you beg nobody turns around to come get you. Despair is the devil. Despair is like doubt but with a dash of panic added. Am I going to black out? Can I make it home? Why aren’t the pedals moving? Why am I so slow? Should I walk it? Did I really just throw up? Holy shit, am I really going to race this weekend? Confidence shaken, I am totally blasted. Not bonked at any particular point. Just a series of hard efforts with little or no recovery. I am miserable. I loved every minute of it.

Dragon

You spin my head right round, right round, when ….

And, all the way from out-of-the-blue, put your hands together for the-one, the-only, Doubt. Doubt just showed up today, and no telling how long ‘ole doubt will be hanging out. One thing is for sure, since he showed up, everything has fallen into place to comfirm his belonging. Some latecomers to follow his arrival were: Mr. Sore Legs, good ‘ole Confusion, Despair and the ever popular What-was-I-thinking. Unfortunately, to make room for the new guests, we had to get rid of some long time favorites; Self Respect and Confidence. So yeh, tonights show is going to suck. Sorry ’bout that. Lets just hope it gets better soon, or there may have to be some changes made at the ticket window. I know I am not going to keep paying way over priced admission for a crappy show. Not that crappy shows are THAT bad, its just, who wants to pay Broadway prices for off-off Broadway shows! Anyway, I am off to ice my ego: ‘dya think sucking this hard is a good enough excuse for a race refund? Would USA Cycling buy it?

Step your game up

OK. so I/we have been called out. I have to step my game up. At the end of the day and all of the distractions – I need to ride. Forget the training plans, diaries, excuses – I need to ride. I plan to ride something at least 5 days a week. I know people think I am wacko but I am working on the Mountain Unicycle. Why? Because I want to ride it. It’s something I can do from the house and it’s an action sport that doubles as core training. 5 days on it and I notice an improvement in balance. It may be that I am more active now but I feel like it has made me stronger. I’ll keep at it and let you know.

I have placed a moratorium on complaining. Complaining is like a disease that can completely consume the host. I’m in dark days now trying to bust through the funk. Hoping for a Kitchen Pass this weekend to race Macon. Not in shape for it but that has never been an excuse. Plus, there is something about being chased by Big Jim that has got me motivated. No pre-ride and a 3 1/2 hour day of commute – should be interesting.

Dragon

Good one RD

Its been so long since RD busted out some good / raw humor, that it was actually worth a post. I think RD likes to refer back to his stand-up gig at a Fowler Christmas party one year as the last time he was funny. Well not anymore. That whole HWB as a server bit was a good one. Glad to have you back, keep ’em coming.

O BTW, good job on the race. Aside from the snot freezing temps, and tent damaging winds, it was awesome. Just glad the 180 tent survived this one.