Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let's try this again...

Wow. Has it really been 200 days since my last blog post? I swear that I had good intentions... I meant to post about cross (which obviously was so much fun that I didnt have time to blog - Or I'm lazy). I wanted to post the trials and tribulations of the winter riding season. I even had an epic trip out to Fruita, Moab and Boulder to talk about - failed there too. So let's give this bloggin' thing another try, shall we?

Fair Hill

On Sunday, Bike Line put on the first official XC race of the MASS at Fair Hill. This is a first class event for sure; Huge attendence, Smokin' fast course and Awesome competition. Its a great way to put yourself in a world of hurt and officially kick off the racing season.

Sunday morning, I roll up to the venue with all three of my 29ers in tow. Usually, I know which bike I'll race on any given day, but today... not so much. Long story short, I wanted to ride the singlespeed that I built up this year but it's having some issues - okay, it's only having one issue: chain tension. Its kindof a big deal. For some reason I found confidence in the loctite that I slathered all over the EBB the night before and raced it anyway. More on this later.

So it begins.

We stage at the starting line and Ron saved me a sweet spot in the middle of the scrum, row two. Then they unexpectedly move us up about 20 yards to the actual starting line. Fail. Now we're in row four - I'm not sure exactly how that happened.

The horn sounds and we're off. Much to my surprise, I'm in the mix for the entire mile long downhill start. Sure, I'm spinning like an idiot, but I'm in there. I figure I was top 20 into the woods - which I was stoked about. I knew I'd be riding up people's backs in the singletrack, so i wanted to get out as hard as I could. The turns were so fast that you had to line up the passes perfectly. I got a couple of them, but the first short steep climb was it... I think I passed four or five people there. About half way through the first lap, I found myself riding Wes Schempf's wheel. At that very same time, I found myself thinking: "what the hell am I doing here?" But I felt great! So I rolled with it. I passed Wes coming through the feed zone at the start of lap 2 and pushed hard for the first half of the lap. I held him off until the field. Those fields get me every freakin' time - I think I'm gonna go do repeats in the fields of Fair Hill. Wes rolled past me and slapped me on the ass? Mmmmkay. I rolled with him for another mile or two until he opened a small gap he then made a pass that I couldn't close. I got stuck behind whoever he passed and I never saw Wes again.

Somewhere in the mix of the first to laps was Mike Montalbano whom I chatted with after the race. Super nice guy - animal - that was pushing a ridiculous 35-16. He destroyed me. He said he rode my wheel for a while until my drivtrain started making all kinds of racket and I started cursing at it... That's wierd. He said, "that's when I knew it was time to pass" Great. Fortunately, he did give me some outside of the box ideas on how to fix my EBB woes.

Anyway, The third lap was a bit of a blur. I was "battling" with Adam Driscoll from Adventures for the Cure for most of it, and there was nobody else in sight. Man did his Superfly creak - a lot. It was bad enough that I considered unleashing a barrage of Carbon Fiber jokes upon him, but I decided to save my breath instead. I knew It'd be me and him at the line. Unfortunately, he's pretty strong and It was tough to drop him. Annoying. We chatted it up for a couple minutes and as it turns out, he seems like a pretty nice guy. Wait... Did I just think that on a race course? WTF? ... I meant to say to myself, "that guys a total asshole and you're in the last couple miles of a race. F him, it's time to go! Get moving Showers, you big pussy!" So I cordially sneak by the inside line of a corner, say my goodbye and push hard for the line.

Ending up 10th overall left me feeling really good about the race. Good start, good passes, and I was bangin' with a lot of good guys that coming into the race I thought I had no business riding with. The team was out in force, and a lot of people had great races. I'm pretty excited about the upcoming season.

Post race with the team was cool. Getting burnt by the sun, throwin' back some "coffee", Grillin' some burgers and dogs, relaxin'. Good stuff.

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