Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tribble Mill 6 Hour

Woohoo, Tribble Mill!

I had relatively low expectations today. With allergies or a cold or something and spine-crushing neck pain, basically, I planned to show up and limit my losses. I also popped my knee last night helping my wife move a big Corian counter top. But, last night my neck was feeling a lot better, I'm doing OK in the Chainbusters series, Tribble Mill is a fun trail, I'd see some friends, etc.

Right away I ran into Brian Lord! I haven't seen him in years, since the GAP series, or maybe once since then. He's been riding this bike almost as long as I've been riding mine.

 Brian's Sled

I was like "Hey is that Brian's bike? Brian!"

Up from Albany...

Wild Bill Riddle!


Vonnie McClung!


I set up my chair and my stuff under their tent and got to hang out with them a lot today.

Brad Birney was going to help me out again today, but he ended up getting recruited onto a 12 hour team, which was awesome until he broke his bike.

Man, I saw lots and lots of folks I know today. I even met Tim Winters. I only know him from the SORBA forum, and not by his real name, but I've gotten a ton of trail data from him for my trails site. It's funny, I noticed a while back that we end up doing a lot of the same events and I must have seen him, but not known who he was. Hilarious.

Namrita was racing. Eddie's tapering for the TNGA.

 Nam and Dogs

I fake-helped them set up their tent. Their dogs attacked my face with dog kisses. Well, one of them did.

I warmed up with a little spin around the park. The lake had a bunch of duckweed or something growing in it this time. Maybe it had it last time too, but I didn't remember seeing this much before.


A boy scout troop was camped out up the hill from us, cooking and having all kinds of fun.

We all lined up. Me and Bill and Becky Kicklighter were talking and joking and then everybody started going. Aaah! I guess they said go.

About 5 minutes in, I realized I wouldn't just be limiting my losses. I felt really good. Ok, it's on.

Lap 1 I really put it down, almost went down the wrong trail, slid out in a corner, kind of scuffed up my knee and passed a million riders. Tribble Mill has a spider web of trails. There are some really great trails there, but if you don't know your way around, you could be bored all day. I went out there last year with my GPS for like 7 hours and still missed a long, twisty chunk of it. Apparently somebody knows their way around though, they put a really, really good route together today. Man! Lap 1 was pure fun.

Lap 2 I put it down again, passed another million riders and made an effort to relax and flow. I was thinking more hippy thoughts like at Conyers. I've seen deer run through rhododendron and I swear the branches don't even shake. But when a bear runs through the woods, trees that are like ten feet away from it somehow get all smashed. Be the deer, not the bear. I've been thinking lots of that kind of stuff lately. Kinda weird, but it really works. Lap to was also, pure fun.

Lap 3 and 4 were recovery. I sat up a little, not a lot, just enough to make my pace sustainable. I think it was lap 4 where I managed to leave the pit without a water bottle. I was about a mile in when I noticed. My immediate thought: "I've seen at least 5 bottles out on the course, I'll just grab one of those." Seriously. And then: "Well, worst case, there are muscadines every 30 feet out here." I later realized I'd need to eat a LOT of those and it probably wasn't a viable solution, but hey, my head was kind of in the right place. A 6 hour solo singlespeed rider have me a pull off of his Heed on the short little gravel road section and on the first descent there was a full bottle lying in the trail. Score. I drank it. It tasted like tea or something. Then later I realized I could catch any number of illnesses by drinking after somebody I don't know. Probably should have opened the bottle and drank it that way rather than through the top. Or, maybe it fell out before they drank out of it. Well, too late now.

Lap 5 was cramp management, probably from not drinking gatorade on lap 4. Lap 6, I was completely cramp free and starting to pick the pace back up, but was really starting to feel it.

Lap 7, I was tired, but not super tired, still riding strong, just ready to be done. But I got a song stuck in my head. Soundgarden covered Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" on their obscure SOMMS album by playing the music and singing a speech by a Native American chief criticizing the white man's perspective on land. It rocks, profoundly. And somehow it seemed just right at that time. Maybe because of that "be the deer" thing from earlier. Anyway, I didn't just get it stuck in my head. It was way more intense and detailed. Like I was at a concert, listening to it right there, getting excited in anticipation of the drums coming in, and I got that "Dude, I'm hearing them actually play that awesome riff!!!" action. But, of course, I was not at a concert, I was riding my bike. It didn't distract me from riding, but after a while, I was like, man I really need to snap out of this. I've heard of people having auditory hallucinations when they're tired, but I've been waaay more tired than that before, and it wasn't like I thought I couldn't hear it out loud. It was just weird. Eventually I started climbing, the tempo of the ride changed and it went away. No idea. Just went a little crazy there.

I don't remember when or what lap, but I rode up on a procession of like 40 girls out walking together. At first I thought it was a sorority outing or something, but the girls looked younger than that, maybe high school. They didn't look like runners. I also passed 2 deer about 5 feet off the trail, completely unconcerned with my presence. Lots of folks were fishing at the lake. I waved to them, they waved to me. I talked to one guy, he hadn't caught anything all day. Six or seven riders on horseback were galloping across the dam. There were other things to, but I don't remember. Things I don't usually see in a bike race.

The weather was so nice today too. It was cool and breezy for the first few laps. It did get a little warm later, but nothing like it's been. A few times the sky got dark like it was going to rain but it never did. I hope it stays like this for a while.

Seemed like everybody did pretty well today.

Vonnie - 3rd in 6 hour solo singlespeed.

 Vonnie 3rd

Bill - 2nd in 6 hour solo clydesdale.

 Bill 2nd

Me - 2nd in 6 hour solo sport.

 Me 2nd

Namrita - 1st in 6 hour solo women's.

 Namrita 1st

Shane - 2nd in 6 hour solo expert.

 Shane 2nd

Best finish yet this year, and only like the 3rd time ever on the podium in a solo event. Woohoo!

Me, Bill and Vonnie kicked back for about a half hour and I helped Eddie and Nam pack up some of their stuff. I usually bail out quick because I usually end up 10th or lower. But when you hang around, that deeper tired sets in and you don't feel like driving any more. Ugh.

I did grab some good dinner at Parma. Kathryn and the kids were at an art reception when I got home, so I grabbed a shower and relaxed...

 Fishing the lake.

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