So, this past weekend had us driving to Athens and Winder for some more bike racing. Saturday was Ft Yargo for a pre-ride and post Xterra excitement. Mostly just me getting an Xterra race shirt which features a picture of yours truly on it. I hear they are going for $60 on ebay already so pick one up while the prices are still relatively low. Saturday night was a trip to Athens (where we stayed) to watch the Athens Twilight Crit. The crit was cool, same as usual – ‘cept this time there wasn’t quite as much beer and not near as much walking around. After little sleep, and a longer-than-expected commute, I was a little late getting to the race. I had about a five minute warmup and a sick stomach from stuffing down poptarts and muffins an hour earlier. Oh, and I had a frozen Jimmy Dean sausage biscuit also. Read about that little dietary secret in the Carmichael training systems book. Late to the line, absolutely and competely in last place on the start out of 26 finely tuned racing machines. Pick my way up into the top ten and have to fight off a late bloomer in the closing minutes of the race. I beat him, but he made me hurt. Nothing like reaching your MHR after 2.5 hours of racing and holding it there for 3-5 minutes. Well, no podium for me and Tally was calling my name. Me an the ‘ol lady headed out before the white wave was over. We didn’t get to see our boys finish, but we got the updates on the road. I hated leaving early, but it sure was nice to be home at 6:30 (they got back at 9:30). After half sleeping through work all day, I finally got a chance to see the results posted on the goneriding website. Not too bad. My lap times weren’t consistent, but they consistently fell off as many others did. I am starting to recognize some of the names in my class and seeing how I beat them sometimes and they get me sometimes. Looks like everyone is picking up the pace since Macon, except for me. I am pretty sure my problem is the lack of rest leading up to the race and some very poor nutrition choices. With better planning and more rest, I really hope that I can serve it up to some my middle-of-the-packers at the next race. All in all, I am happy with it and very proud to be competing at this level. As for the others, well, BW looked to really be putting in a good fight on the first lap. I think his mind was writing fitness checks from Donald Trump’s/Ryan Woodall’s (depending on your own interpretation) account; unfortunately his legs and lungs were trying to cash them at his bank. He will have to recap the race, since I wasn’t there. BJS dished on his blog about his race. Here is the recap of BJS’s race – taken from the wonderful Big Jim Blog (since he refuses to write on here)…”Then there’s my race. No doubt I had become spoiled after winning the first two races in this series. I may have been a little overconfident (but I don’t think so). I knew I was in trouble during my warm-up. The legs felt really tired (not a good sign). I figured they would come around near the end of the warm-up but they never did. So I line up, Dave yells go and we’re off. I had a horrible start. In the woods about 5th place. I figure if I can just keep the leaders in sight that I’d be OK, but I just wasn’t feeling it on this day. I lost sight of a couple of the guys. Then, of course, I get mixed up with the slower guys in the classes that went off before me. I road clean, but again the legs just didn’t feel fast. When I crossed the line I had no idea where I placed. I was very disappointed in my race and my effort. When it was all said and done I got 3rd out of 19 guys. If this was a Florida series race I would have been very please, but considering this is GA where the competition if nothing like FL, I felt let down.”
Just remember: fast is fun, slower is faster, it’s all chicken but the bone, lips on my belly, good food and good times.
The more things change the more they stay the same. I have to have the attention on me. Old schoolers will remember the BP gas station incident where Bobby D fell out. Then I had to have the paramedics look at me. In that same spirit, and because wrecking ball posted about his pain, I wanted to let you know that I am out as well. I unloaded a trailer this Monday and that’s about the last thing I remember until last night. I re-injured my back and it’s bad this time. I’m doing the pills, stretching and ice but it will take some time before I’m right. It will take even longer before I can trust it – like a running back planting for a cut after knee surgery. Let the BUMP waffling begin.
The PAB formerly known as Red Dragon
I’m amazed at the way I feel. I’m really tired. Leg tired, body tired. BUT I feel great. The race was less than an hour – about 59:30. Really don’t feel like I was going any faster than any other time when I’m trying to go fast (aka trying to hang on our group rides). The Garmin showed an average heart rate of 174 so you know I was on the gas. My start sucked. I was behind the one guy on the front line that cheesed the start. I was near last and knocked off about five people before the first up in the field. Grabbed a few more before the rock turn and settled in about 3 or 4 behind Steve. Steve was about 4th or 5th place with the leaders in sight. Cool, back it down and just groove. Some strunz messed up the half pipe. Made the guy in front of me dab – which pretty much killed my mo. First sky rocket. I man it and slowly start to pull the leader group back. Up that first small switch back I see the leaders have a small gap on Steve’s group. Steve tells me to come on and just try to keep it smooth. No problem. I pull some guys back and pass a few. Steve’s just ahead. Up the rocky switchback, this guy dismounts but does no get out of the way. Second time that’s happened to us. Guy in front of me flips out. I tell the dude to get out of the way and of course he does not so I have to get off. Sky rocket two. Lump it, I just run it. I keep seeing Steve and try to methodically pull him back. Not sure of the sequence because of dealing with my neck and most of it was a blur – but I see Steve right there – just ahead of me on the rocky step up. I got him. No. Dude in front of me dabs. I have to switch lines to the steep part on the left. Crap, I don’t make it. Third sky rocket. Working my way back again, I catch a vine and stack it up. And another sky rocket. Somewhere in there I have fought my way through and I was only one guy behind Steve – maybe 30 yards. Just nut up and pull him back. Every time I tried, I either screwed up or somebody else screwed me up, and ahad more sky rockets. Pure suffering for me. Some time guys by and I just want to see the flat/road section. Then I know the bulk of the hard stuff is done. Finally make it. I cruise by the bikechain/180
tent and Mark tells me I’m doing great. Tells me I got a bogey and that I need to serve it up. Damn, it’s porkchop (aka 234). He passes me as I’m grabbing water. I don’t have much fight left but I’m going to do my best. By the time I get my bottle holstered, we dip into the singletrack. Porkchop attacks. He is hammering. I stay with him as long as possible. Just hold his wheel. Damn, I have to let him go. Don’t sweat it. Just keep motoring. This stretch is long, flowing single track that leads up to the start/finish area. I’ve got it pegged through here. I’m chasing and being chased. My only regret of the race is losing two spots when we pop out into the field. I’m leading. I know their there. I pedal smooth and back it down, waiting for them to pass. I knew I was gassed so my only hope was to suck a wheel. Two guys come around fast. I’m able to grab the wheel but it hurts. My mind is telling me to skin that smoke wagon. But my legs are garbage. Come on PAB, one minute of riding. Stay on the wheel. I’m completely gassed. A few surges and I realize my goose is cooked. They drop me and I putter in – 13th.
Bad news – my neck was completely jacked – I have to work on that
Bad news – 6 minutes off the winner
Good news – Only 6 minutes off the winner – Macon was 12 +
Good news – Only a minute off porkchop – 4 + in in Macon
Good news – Only about 2 minutes off Steve – nearly 7 in Macon
I must be getting faster because y’all cant be getting any slower. See you at BUMP.
The first one does not have a countdown. It is planned and has an era of beginning, but no seconds to count. Instead, there is a lot of confirmation. At the bottom of the hill, right? Heads turning. Now? Are we going now? Bleep, bleep, bleep. Garmins are set and it is on-the-gas for three minutes. BW is anxious to BTP and takes an early lead, as expected. BJS, WB (cameo appearance) and myself settle into a similar rhythm just off the pace. With 15 seconds to go, we are all nuts to buts and about to head up a short little riser. I jockey for position and put the 18lb SS hardtail in first place coming out of turn four; so to speak.
The remainder of the intervals go somewhat similar, with different triumphs along the way. There was an explosion of power at the end of one of the two minute reps; an out-of-the-saddle full bore sprint – impressive. It was BW making sure he got his notch for the day. BJS won a couple, of course, complaining all the while that he “isn’t feeling it today”. The WB gave it an all out attempt; I mean all out. He attacked and put 75 yards on us, before BW decided that he wasn’t going to let that happen. Another one for BW, as he shut it down with 5 seconds remaining. The surprise appearance of the Mac stunned us all. I think it was the WB who was the most affected by his company though. It started going south immediately as the Mac shows up mid interval, and barks some orders to the WB as he passes by. The Mac, just sat in, did his work, made his deposits at the bank and just got a little bit faster. O, he also rode us all back to our trucks, so he could get in the extra miles. As for myself, I realized that 20mph on a single speed is hard to maintain. An interesting note though: Going north (against the head wind) down at the bottom by the lake, I was able to ride with the boys, and even beat them a couple times. Going south (nice tail wind) I was getting dropped because I didn’t have enough gear. There appeared to be about a 4mph difference, depending on which direction you went.
All in all, these things are getting fun. The first few interval days hurt; mentally and physically. They start to come around though, and really become fun – in a sick way. But, whatever you do, don’t start doing them now (if you race against me).
The sun had just set in more ways than one. I’d put on a performance in more ways than one. My body was completely shredded. I was embarrassed to be at this place. I was a John looking for pleasure. Except this was the good part of town and my fancy was a #1 combo. Double steakburger with cheese, add mustard relish. Hot and greasy it felt so good on my lips. As I stopped and started, going fast and then slow, I washed it down with syrup rich Coke and party ice. In between breaths I shoveled those crappy fries in just as pack fodder. I was toying with my burger, wanting to make it last. Just a little longer.
It was at this point that I realized I am the Street Bike Tommy
of our group. I’m the sort of funny overweight guy that’s not really good at anything. But I’ll try (mostly) anything. People are happy to see me and they laugh at the jokes and antics. But when I’m flopping and flailing they just feel sorry for me.
Big Jim beat me like a drum last night. Tim couldn’t believe I was really riding that slow. And the Mackerel just gave me the smirk. The smile that says I know that you know that I know I’m faster than you. The smile that says I’m going to talk your ear off when you try to drop me. Except it’ll sound like Charlie Brown’s
teacher because you’re breathing so hard. A smile you can’t really see because your eyes are bugging out of your head.
I think it is time for the dragon to go away for awhile. A journey. So let it be known that I will be there Sunday for my ass shellacking. Then you will only see the Dragon when he wants to appear. Otherwise he shall be invisible.
Don’t feel sorry for me.
Did a road ride yesterday, I was on the bike for about 5 hours, hoping for a vision quest. All I did was piss on my Sidis. It was somewhere in the 3.5 hour mark, I had to piss so I go into the park bathroom and start. People who don’t ride ask me, “doesn’t that hurt your junk?” Never thought it did, but after yesterday, I think my junk found a way to revolt. Here is what happened.
Nuts: “Hey dickhole, when he pulls down those bib shorts and tries to piss, give me two streams.”
Dickhole: “Are you sure, I feel fine.”
Nuts: “You ain’t the one reading FIZIK for three hours, stop being a bitch and give me two streams.”
Dickhole: “Ok, here goes.”
I look down from the “partial hunched over bib pissing position” and see a renegade stream killing my right Sidi. I redirect and finish, there is nothing I can do about it now. I fill up my bottles and head out for another two hours.
Conspiracy or just bad aim?
Pull the KHS down. Flat tires, rusty cables. Even the front derail is stuck. GT-85 shower gets everything working OK. Air up the tires, center the rear brake and do a quick once over to make sure I’m not going to kill myself on this ride. Roll out and realize the seat is forward from the freedom springs tri last July 4. The HB tape is loose because I took off the aero bar. I just roll with because, after all, I am from Woodville. This bike rolls fast, steers fast and I wish it pedaled fast. I hate riding road bikes and this wasn’t my first choice for tonight. But that’s where everybody was riding so whatever.
Riding backwards to meet the group I try to keep it backed down but ride enough that these aren’t trash miles. Try to remember that I need ten minutes of warm up. Everything is great except I need to do my neck exercises. My neck hurts and the position and stress of riding makes it hurt.
At the top of Garden View I see the 2 live crew on their 20 minute training interval. They yell “see you in a little while” but I never did. Feeling pretty good so I decide to climb AJ Henry. A big concern here because last time out my legs were full, a repeat of the Macon race. That last ride was Tuesday night and I pretty much suffered the entire ride. I took a leap of faith this climb would not put me over the edge. At the top of the climb I got hung out to dry because the Joe’s ride passed by me on the last turn. It’s a blind corner so I had no warning they were coming. I was able to turn around quickly enough and the worm was there. So was the mac and some of the other boys. The worm and I pulled through about half of the group down the hill I just climbed. We didn’t lay the hammer but we got a little speed. Up Garden View and I’m still OK. Turn the corner at the church and it starts to heat up. Chris tells me to grab Tim’s wheel. Sounds like he’s directing Steve a little ways back. I grab Tim’s wheel but he pulls through a group. I think Rita is there. Tim has pegged it pretty hard. Some tall dude is just off the right but rolling good. I give him verbal cue to get on – the type of sound you make to make a horse a giddy up. He must of heard because he immediately grabbed the wheel. I tuck in behind him. I’m about 5th place. Not really where I want to be. Tonight I’m supposed to sit in. I know the leaders will pull off and I will have to pull trhough. History says that I will make a few little climbs and then blow up. So I do something different. I actually pull to the side and float around to see if I can survive. I see Tim pull off to the left and the group surges. The ride is all over the place. We’re about 10 back, in a cluster of folks side by side. The worm pulls through and over to give me a wheel. Up the last hill the group has leaned out. We’re all single file now. Chris looks back to see if I’m there. I’m still on. We’re about 7 or 8 back. Will I really make it? Mid way down sprint alley, the pace gets pushed harder when Berg and I think Zak come around on the double yellow. I could care less because I’m in pain and just glad to be here. Chris checks a few more times. We float to the right but make it all the way to the sprint. Feels good. I look around for Steve but he’s way off (I think he took a piss).
Can’t decide what to do. Do I go back for Steve or try to survive the switch back? Sorry Steve but I have to try and stay on. I ride with the group and Berg gives me motivation for the climb. It hurts and I’m a little off the back. I make a little time up down the chicane and we get back on at the 4 way stop. Up Lt. Dan’s hill I just want to survive. I sit through the first up and then see Steve! No way. I’ve never seen that before. Big worm and wrecking ball have pulled Steve back from the dead. All of them are breathing hard but their there. WOW.
Secon lap, in arbor hills I decide to move to the front. I want to bomb the downhill. Do so easily out front by myself. This gives me a little head start for Garden View which really, really hurts. Worm asks me to pull back Terry’s wheel when we get on Shamrock. I think I’m doing a good job of slowly pulling us back. Trying to not gas us – but get us up there. Not quick enough because Chris comes around and says ride the train. Just ask for another gear next time big worm – glad to do it. We’re back on and it gets lit up again past the church. Brendan is pulling. Tim’s out front too. This time it’s a little more spastic. The first couple of ups and downs hurt. I’m in better position but behind white jersey who keeps yoyoing. Steve’s there and I hear the worm barking direction. White jersey and I are off to the right. One of the guys were tracking pulls over and white jersey falters a little. I’m looking for a place to get back on. Off to the left and a little back is Steve and company. Not sure where Terry is. I’m going to have to pull through by myself. At the top of the last tittie. We’re about 5 wide and some guy in the draft trys to stomp on it- his drive train takes a nasty puke and scares the shit out of everybody . We all scatter around and it’s fuzzy but I think I hear worm still barking to grab a wheel. I ride through and go for it as far as possible. Don’t quite make it but I don’t blow up and I’m able to grab Rita’s wheel to mostly make it with the group.
We go through the motions and the switch back HURTS. Terry and Steve scream up it. Then on to Dan’s hill, I suffer. That SUCKED, but I made it. Say later to the worm and roll home. Feel pretty good. Now I’m glad i didn’t bail on the ride. I owe it all to race director worm. I’m so tired.
The Dead Rabbits was a gang in New York City in the 1850s originally part of the Roach Guards. The name has a second meaning rooted in Irish American vernacular of NYC in 1857. The word “Rabbit” is the phonetic corruption of the Irish word ráibéad, meaning “man to be feared”. “Dead” was a slang intensifier meaning “very”. Thus, a “Dead Ráibéad” means a man to be greatly feared.
So I’m driving to work and dreaming about snickers eggs and peeps. Out of nowhere I see this group of bunnies scattering at the sound of my engine and glare of headlights. Momma said never to swerve because she’s seen a lot of people in ERs that swerved for any number of animals.
So I stayed the course but I did tap the brakes when one of the bunnies looked over his shoulder with a WTF cartoon face.
Something about the look said “not on Easter buddy.” Most of them made it to the side of the road but one of them checked down with some redirection. As I passed over him I cringed and waited for the bump – the tell-tale sign of road kill. In a flash I was clear, no bump – no kill. Some would take this post as sign of sleep deprivation. I just say it’s a sign that things work out. I hope I see all of the gang at BC this weekend.