Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yargo 6 Hour

The second race of the Chainbuster 6 hour series was at Fort Yargo today.

 Yargo Building

I'm usually at these things by 7 AM, because I usually fail to pre-register, but today I was on the ball, registered early and didn't need to get there until 9. As such, I ate a lazy breakfast at Waffle House, meandered over to Yargo in no specific hurry and arrived with virtually nowhere to park.

Eventually I got my chair set up with all my crap in it, but it took so long that I missed most of the riders meeting, didn't get to hang out with Baldwin at all and got lined up way at the back. Next time, I'm getting up earlier, even if I pre-register.


Lap 1 was the typical festival of suffering. Bound up behind slower riders, dodging crashes, and after pushing though that, caught up in team riders at a pace just slightly harder than fun. That's how lap 1 always is though.

Lap 2 was glorious. Railing twisty singletrack and plenty of energy.

Lap 3, I usually have to fight cramps. But not today. Today I preloaded on the Enduralytes and no cramps. Just more of that lap 2 goodness.

Lap 4, I started to get a little twinge in my upper hamstrings. I have literally never gotten cramps or anything like them there before. It was weird. The twinges never turned into cramps though. I had both energy and legs to put it into and I spent most of the lap trying to ditch a GATR rider who's name escapes me now. I eventually did, only to pop my chain ten minutes later. As instantly as it happened, I realized that I'd forgotten to bring a powerlink, and it was devastating. A 30 second fix became a ten minute ordeal, maybe longer. Many trains of riders passed me. To make matters worse, my chain tool is part of an Alien from 1998 which has so much play in it now that you can push a pin out, but not back in, the pin just tries to go in sideways. At length, a rider came by and offered me a powerlink. I'd passed Clark a few minutes earlier, so he stopped too and gave me a hand. My brain had disabled itself somewhere near the end of lap two, and at that point, I was functionally insane and furious for having made such a stupid mistake. Clark led me back to clarity with the words that I've said so many times to so many people, but was just too far gone to think of myself: "Hey man, that's bike racing." Ahh, yes. These kinds of thing happen at bike races. They are Adversity, and Adversity is a gift in all its forms: hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, injury, heat, cold, negativity, bad planning, bad luck, and a thousand more. For each form there is the tolerance of it, the lesson it brings, and also the chance to just not have it next time. Such is bike racing. Such is life. Such was the clarity I received. The rest I got from having to stop allowed me to put it right down for the rest of that lap.

Lap 5, I was actually looking forward to for once. I usually dread it, but not today. Today I felt great and put it down so hard that halfway through the lap I got that whole-body pain with greater intensity and duration than ever before. Even when I was done, it was hard to shake.

No time for Lap 6.

I checked the results. All that effort and energy... 18th place. Yee. But, I got a bad start and had a bad mechanical. I can improve in those areas next time.

Norma and Johnny I think either won or got second. Milliron got 6th. Russell was there supporting Sunny, he didn't even race. Baldwin wasn't racing as much as just testing his fitness, rode 4 laps, which was all he wanted to do, and bailed. Becky and Matt I think were in first for the 12 hour. I talked to the Addictive Guys for a while. Shey and fifty other people asked me about the TNGA.

I'd set up next to the South Georgia Cycling guys and spent most of my recovery time hanging out with them. Josh Fix won. I never caught Vonnie, I think he got 11th. I'd caught Steve, Clark and Bill. They'd camped out the night before and invited me back to their campsite to hang out and eat.

Hanging out...

 SGC Guys

Steve literally hung.


Clark cooked up Brats and Stove Top...


...which hit the spot so hard that I'm going to remember it for a long time. Like that soup that Greg had cooked after the Bull Mountain Mock Adventure race. He even brought potato roll buns. Potato Roll Buns! I'm getting hungry again thinking about it now.

We ate and talked about random stuff for hours. It was so cool to hang out with those guys. I've known them for years, but I never get to spend much time except racing, getting ready to race or recovering from a race. I don't think I've ever even ridden with them socially. Now that I think about it, I have lots of friends like that. I wonder if that's unusual.

The next 6-hour is at Conyers. Me and Travis rode there a couple of months back. I've never even considered riding more than a lap or two in a row, though in 04 and 06 the BOR guys and I won the 24 HOA's there. It'll be interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Glad we got to decompress after the race. I feel the same way about all my racing buddies - I never really see them outside of competition, so it was nice that you had the time to come and unwind with us.