I turned to reach for my bike and pull it off the ceiling. Awkward position and sharp pain means I have done some sort of damage. I’ve twisted it and it hurts a little. No biggie, should be able to walk it off. I just got off the phone with Tim and we’ve committed to riding. We know it’s gonna rain, just don’t know how hard or when. We meet up at bikechain and ride backwards towards the blairstone overpass. I feel good and we’re just chilling. No need to over do it. We pull up to the parking lot and see Tyler, little ball, iceberg and big worm. I notice only Chris’ truck so I know everyone else rode here. Don’t see Steve. I suspect that he has bailed. The worm confirms and says that Steve is actually smart. His opinion reinforced by a couple of good gusts of rain. We’re under the overpass so we’re dry for now. The worm is slowly assembling his kit and readying his new rig we’ve either called Frosty, Wendy or Tatiana. This is slow for Chris so I know he is waiting to see how the rain shakes out. A slight break in the rain and we’re on the bikes. The worm leads out pretty fast. I try not to stomp on it and gradually reel him in. Does not work. I have to ride pretty hard to catch up. Interval # 1. We ride on Goose Pond from Weems and no one wants to ride into Tom Brown. It’s pretty chill until we dip down into the woods and climb the first hill on Cadillac. Zak leads it out with Tyler following. Quick up and good pace through the ups and downs. I ratchet it back to breathe and spy Tyler and Zak doing the North Shore section. I decide to ride even. I come around the sweeper and see Tyler crossing the cutoff. I punch it. I reel him in to about two bike lengths. He is hammering everything. He must be trying to pull Zak back. Hammer, Hammer, hammer. We get to the top of roller coaster and I realize Tyler left Zak back at North Shore where he slipped. Meanwhile, I am gassed from chasing Tyler. Interval # 2. We head out on the lower section past the bathrooms. Zak is riding pretty smooth but he keeps inching up the pace. I go with him until I realize I have to ride back to BC. I wave the next guy around and it’s Tyler – I forgot to mention he’s on rigid SS. I decide to ride my own pace and the rest of the group catches me. I hear Chris waxing poetic about the benefits of a bigger tire. We finally make it to the end and I’m done. We meet up with Jason O. I’m ready to head out but someone says bucket loop. I reluctantly decide I need the miles so I take off. Ride an even pace. The rain has helped the dyke section. It’s really smooth. Over the tracks and up the clay wall. Jason O is sweating my back wheel so we take off. I decide I need to see what I can do. So I gradually build the pace. Just trying to ride smooth. My Achilles heel is that last climb to the fields so I save a little. When I get there I punch it. I can here someone back there but the sound is getting more faint. I push through the field and bomb the downhill. Pass the bucket, then break out of the woods. I finally look back to see who’s there – nobody. Interval # 3. Down the wall and over the tracks. Jason O pulls up and we talk about his race – first place at the RBC. That effort hurt me so we just relax on the dyke. Up the climb to the trail and I’m gassed. I get dropped. We re-group at the drop and talk about how nobody is going to ride the drop. We take off on the upper section to return. Tim, Berg and Zak have checked out. I’m last following the worm who is sweating J’s wheel. We’re hauling ass. J blows a corner and Chris and I go around. The worm stomps on the gas and I have to dig in to hold on. He is flying. We come around one section and see a nasty skid where one of our guys blew a corner. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Near the end now and Chris goes to switch lanes so he can rail the big berm. Did not expect that. I correct my line just in time to see the worm drifting. He rides it down trying to hold on and ride it out. He does not make it and crashes clipped in. Interval # 4. I go around but shut her down. Chris pulls himself up and we roll on. J’s right there behind us. We bog out. Jason bails up Piney Z to his house. We head back in. Chris and Co. go up the trail. Tim and I take the double. Chris comes out of nowhere through the woods. Berg and Zak are gone. Our trio ride the double in with Chris continuing to push. I’m done but still there. The last up crushes me as I see Chris sprinting out of the saddle with Tim powering behind. I’m done. Limp in to see everybody at the bike wash. Tyler’s there too so I guess he teamed up with Berg and Ball. Rinse the bike. Chris bails out at the sound of thunder. Tim and I leave shortly thereafter. By the time we reach weems, huge gusts of winds have rolled in with stinging drops of rain. Hurts bad enough that I think it’s hail. Buckets come down and we later describe it as like a white-out. Tim and I can’t see where we are going and decide to take the Heavenly Hams cut thru. More rain, more wind and big thunder boomers. I can only think get to the shop. We finally make it to the shop through blankets of rain. Words don’t describe the volume of water. You had to be there.
I’m fried. Red Dragon