Saturday was the Mountain Bike National Championships and I was pretty realistic about my chances but I punched my ticket, I was going to the big dance. Opportunities to race in a national championship race are few and far between. And when they are less than 2 hours from your house, you gotta take that shot. As Hunter S. Thompson says, "buy the ticket, take the ride"
Coming in I had no delusions of grandeur, and instead set a finishing time goal of 2:03. The race started fast, and I felt good. I felt like I was climbing well, but the field was flying. I was having a tough time staying with my group. Perhaps because of this I was extra aggressive on the downhill and technical rocky stretches that Bear Creek is known for... It was working . I was passing guys, moving up and on track to meet my goal. (39 minute first lap)
The second time up the climb was tough, but again, I stayed steady and rode cleanly to the top. I stayed within myself. Oh, I was suffering, and not climbing particularly well, but I was moving, and I was riding the technical very well. All the while, I kept saying, " make up time when it gets technical... "
Top out of the climb and I get aggressive again. It was rad, I felt great, I pulled back 2 dudes that passed me on the top of the climb. I'm thinking to myself how much I love this course, this style of racing... Quick time check, and I am still on track to make my goal. I cross the bridge that dumps out on to a rooty, gnarly mess, and I drive to the outside to pass another rider. On the edge, the trail undulates, and I stuff my wheel into one of these divots. I'm launched over my bars and do a Hulk Hogan Leg Drop/hip drop on a pile of rocks.
Reality sets in. I might really be hurt. Throwing yourself on rocks sucks. I can't seem to put my legs together, or stand up I seriously thought I broke my hip for a few minutes. (I didn't).
A couple of guys passed and asked if I needed a medic. I said maybe. I was trying to do a mental check list to see what was wrong, I still couldn't get up... Big thanks to both Mike Stevens and Hal Batdorf who both stopped to check on me. Class Acts.
I got up, and got going again. My hip and my ass were killing me. Strava tells me I was on the ground for almost 3 minutes. My mojo was pretty much gone at this point. My bell rung. I crawled my way to the heckle pit and I punched it through the heckle pit one more time, because heckle pit:
Heckle Pit was awesome. Thanks Heckle Pit. Will remember coming through there forever...
I then limped my way back to the start finish. My ass/hip were throbbing and I was pretty defeated. I didn't feel like I could get any power down and so I just drug my ass through the start finish, and sat up at the feedzone, calling it a day...
Disappointing for sure. I was on track to meet my goal, I was suffering, I was having fun. I'm still very tender in an uncomfortable place. Diane and I hung out for a bit and cheered on friends, drank a beer and had a hot dog. And Advil, I took a lot of Advil. Getting away from the crash, I'm guessing that I gave myself an Atomic Charlie Horse in the gluteus maximus. I'm still struggling to sit, get comfortable, and get going...
Nationals was an amazing experience, and while it was my third time riding Bear Creek and my first time racing Bear Creek, it will not be my last. That was awesome.
|Photo Norm Z..|
Thanks to the Monkey:
We had a really fun weekend, atomic charlie horse to the gluteus maximus aside. The Cat room (that's a story for another day), that we stayed in was very nice, even though Monk and I are clearly not a bed and breakfast couple. We had an amazing dinner at the Bethlehem Social Club, and had a nice visit to the Velodrome. Saturday it was amazing to see so many racing friends, that was amazing...
I didn't however, catch up with Scotty too Hotty. Dude owes me some hugs.
Thanks for everyone's support, and kind words.
thanks for reading.