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.