Woke up this morning more tired than I usually am in the morning, nothing a couple of coffees can't fix. It seemed much colder than it has been it a while. When I got to the venue the sun was poking out a little, the wind was cold but in the trails that doesn't matter. Got registered, debated about raising my seat or not (I didn't) spun around for a bit, a couple of sprints and the racer meeting was beginning. A few words of inspiration from the one and only Jeff Kerton and I peeled a layer off to get ready to go.
It was DeCal, Etzl, and I who were taking off first. The first chain skip happened about 3 seconds in and it was all downhill from there. They dropped me pretty quick on the first doubletrack section but the gap didn't seem to be growing that fast. It started to grow as soon as we hit the first singletrack when I hit a tree and pulled a beautiful superman into the soft stuff. I don't remember too much, just being very fustrated that my chain wouldn't stay on any gear I put it in and it would either drop towards the frame or outwards off the big ring. Anytime I would try and crank it I would be spinning and going nowhere. Got a time-check that I was 40 seconds behind Etzl and DeCal was a minute up from him. The gap was growing but at least it wasn't 5 minutes like I thought it would be. After a little log I tried to tork it and, of course, the chain dropped again. This time when I stopped to put it back on she was broken.
Oh well, I have 2 laps. Running towards the start zone The Caveman suggested I use his bike for next lap. I've never ridden a single-speed or a rigid or a 29er and he was offering me a rigid singlespeed 29er, perfect. Riding a bike is always better than not riding a bike and the fact that it was SS ment that I wouldn't have to worry about shifting problems. Tore off the #69 plate from my bike and flipped it around to use the unbroken holes at the bottom. Still read 69, beauty.
Alls I can say about my next lap is that was the best full-body workout I've ever gotten in 45 minutes. Everything was hurting; my upper-body being the suspension, my core from trying to stay upright, and my legs from having to torque it everywhere and get them big wheels rollin. It was alot of fun, thanks alot Jay for letting me use the bike and for dragging my bike all the way back to the start. Won't be forgotten.
Shot the shit with Derek McCaulay, DeCal and JC Roberge afterwards over nachos and a debate over who owes who a beer. I was called out on the fact that everyone at the table had a medal but me. Dicks! Haha, great job guys.
Today I learned that mountain bike racing is not all about the riding but it is very important to know how to repair/adjust your bike so that you can perform the best you can because, like I said, it's always something. There is no time worse than a DNF.
The SHCC put on such a sick event, I can't thank them enough for their time and effort. Next on my to-do list is a lesson on derailleur adjustments from DeCal. Had my money on him for this race since the day he signed up, where's my payout ?