Somewhere back in Frisco, I left my form...and my fun unfortunately. There it was at that Nordic Center: a peak and a signal that I needed to rest and build on it. What did I do? I built a house of cards and kept going. Hard. This weekend symbolized how the human body can decompose into a shallow carcass with absolutely nothing inside. Spectacular implosion. It was awesome to witness I'd guess! Ha!
Race 1: Redline Cup at the Boulder Reservoir.
Saturday's race was held at the 'Rez' in windy conditions. Tents were blowing everywhere as was the steel orange fencing which apparently took some racer out! So, rest assured it was going to be a suffer fest. I make my way to the registration center, see some familiar faces, get signed up and then they hand me the number.
Queue in the horror music. I'd bet that the Swobo guys would have loved it. I rolled my eyes, pinned it up and just got on with it.
I got the call up once more as I still miraculously had some ACA clout. Today I opted for my white Rock Lobster with Challenge Griffo clinchers given the goat heads that were bound to get someone today. I got one within 15 feet of the first dirt section Friday after helping set up the course so I was preparing for the worst. In fact, I even went to Boulder Cycle Sport and Dwayne hooked me up with some of those slime rim strips that sit in between the tube and the tire casing. Paranoia...
ACA Al counted down "15 seconds gentlemen....GO!" and we were off. I settled in with the WB per plan in 8 to 10th. No hole shots today but would have been easy to do. I wanted to ramp into my race. After the gun, the WB said 'nice work' to me when we merged into our places in the top 10 or so on the 1st lap and was pumped as we'd let folks work and we'd sit in and protected from the West to East blowing wind. Jeff Wardell won the hole shot. Lap 2-3 and things are still OK. I am floating in about 11th to 13th and feeling OK. I do not feel a punch so to speak in the body but absolutely enough to finish within a top 10 to 15 in our huge field (I believe 55 or 60 starters).
The race continues on and the suffering begins. I get caught out after a bobble while grooving with Ward and like 'that' I was trapped in no mans land....out in the wind. I dropped my head and just got on with it. I come through mid race towards the wooded section by the beach and Rod Y and Jeff W are off their bikes, on the course, both unraveling course tape from their wheels and sprockets. The wind is blowing so hard it is throwing the course tape into the racers....reaching out and grabbing unsuspecting handlebars or wheels at will. Meanwhile, Dave Towle lap after lap is ROARING out names including mine and it is motivating. Thanks Dave!
By the 2nd to last lap, I am making up ground. I am in 17th or possibly 18th spot. No brainer finish in top 20. Not great but I'll take it. Then...."what the?". Soft rear tire. Yup. Goat head. I am on the back side of the course probably as far away from the pits as you can be. I ride ever so gingerly and like that: "whoosh....whoosh...whoosh...whoosh...whoosh...whoosh..." Jeff Wardell's group of 5 or 6 bridge to me and just roll on past me at their full gallop while I am rolling along like a snail.
I slip and slide on over to towards the pits and raise my hand. As always, the unbelievable Squires Brothers....Rick and Doug...see me. I raise my hand and they're ready. I come in to the pits and Rick grabs my white bike while Doug hands me my freshie. Total pro bike change and I thank those great team mates immensely.
I finish out the bell lap and roll in a fairly pedestrian 24th place. The placing belies the effort and threw me outside the points. It was what it was.
Thank you EVERYONE for cheering. Again, it was so intense to hear "Go Greg!" or Rock it Mud and Cowbells!" from complete strangers. So unbelievably rad. I failed you guys!
Race 2: Boulder Cup - Harlow Platts Park .
I woke up at what I thought was like 7 AM. A miracle if there was one but little did I know it was 6 AM....Daylight Savings time. Yes, I am one of those people I guess who forgets the DST thing. I pack up and roll the grocery getter over to Harlow Platts and register. Thankfully today, no 666 but I think that the bad mojo was settled in my muscle tissue already.
Warming up was another case of "Uh oh. You've got nothing Greg." In fact, I woke up in the AM and already knew (seeing a pattern in me faithful M & C readers???). The wind is howling yet again today albeit not as bad today. Tim and I talk pre-race and I tell him that it ain't in there today. He looks at me and says he hears me.
Some how, I get the call up again! Ha! No, I am not paying anyone off. We line up and I have a prime 2nd row position. I am stoked on it as it means I can 'settle in'. and just race the race. My head is just settling the need to finish in the top 20. Just grab me some points and then rest.
"15 seconds gentlemen (deja vous)....TWEEEET!!! (whistle today). We're off. MASSIVE crowds. Cheering and noise and Dave Towle is again blaring out the goodness. It is truly exciting. I'm in the top 15 on lap one. So all is good.
And then....it begins. That it being my demise. My decomposition. My spectacular implosion.
The house of cards starts to decompose. One card at a time, lap after lap.
I can not describe for you the suffering. I have been racing bikes a long time and you need only believe me when I say that I should have just crawled off my bike....but I will never do that. I paid my money, I'm just going for it be damned of placing.
There is nothing to say. The race was inexplicably hard for me and I had a body that had absolutely nothing. In fact, when I came through the finish....in my abysmal 34th place....I can not tell you how badly my jaw hurt. Apparently I had been grinding my teeth and clinching them the whole time and as I type, my jaw is STILL sore.
Here is all I am going to say....and this is more for me when I go back and read this diary and less for you who by now are sick of me crying like a beeatch:
Greg: You can't keep this pace up of family, training, racing and work while traveling all over this planet. You can not do it all. Listen to the signs. Take a break. Relax.
10-4 Greg. Will comply.
So after my race, I take off my skin suit, throw on my civies and go to say some quick hellos to some friends, take some quick photos of the pro men lining up and then I am going to head out. I grab a Boulder Cyclocross Ale in the beer garden and as I am doing that the pro mens field is in like lap two.
I keep hearing Dave Towle: "And there's Brandon Dwight!"
Up oh. I am hooked now. Dubba is on fire and I am NOT leaving until I see this out. Lap after lap, Brandon is hanging. Taking back places and settling in to what (at least I feel) is his breakthrough race. This was SPECTACULAR to watch. A great friend and true worker-racer in the absolute and utter mix with the best in our country.
Dubba: Kudos, brother.
So, all in all folks, it was a spectacular weekend. I am SUCH a cyclocross fan that my shitty placings and the depth of suffering I went through just faded away. I am 36 and stoked I can be doing this. I realize who I am. More importantly I am enamored with this sport of ours. In fact, I spent most of the Pro race yesterday standing next to this older woman who came to spectate and I walked her through what was going on. She had SO many questions and was like a girl in a toy store. She was hooked!
My digital celluloid of Boulder Cup yesterday. I noticed after positing that they are really big and Here is the direct link to in my PhotoBucket album.
Katie giving the VN interview after her shellacking.
Johannes and Stu Thorne from Cyclocrossworld.com.
Dubba called up.
Tyler and Tonkin.
Tyler and Tonkin 2.
Freakish Scotland Braveheart dudes 2
Freakish Scotland Braveheart dudes 2
Pro men front row.
Parbo and Trebon.
Pro mens start.
The beer garden.
Lane and his lady.
Vermark clothings US guy. Funny mo fo!
Jared and bud.
Tonkin the tank.
Corey discovering something is amiss.
Corey bunny hopped then blew his chain off. C was one of only two (he and Wells) who bunny hopped!
Wicks getting it done.
Kabush. A true hero of mine.
Todd bunny hopped teh barriers every time. He made it look more efficient. Insane.
Travis Brown riding his 1 x 1 (44 x 16). He is bar none my absolute hands down hero. I STILL have a Mountain Bike magazine from like 94 with him on it. Loved him then. Love him now.
Troy rocking it.
Chris G....who RUNS the race....literally patrolling picking up garbage. It's ALL in the details.
Tim and Powers.
The race was RIGHT here. Tim and Powers. Lap after lap marking each other.
Wicks just did not have the snap this year like Trebon did but was really impressive to watch.
Horner throwing down. The guys can't even remount but loves the 'cross. I got a chance to speak with him and he's a neat guy.
Ross Schnell apparently per AC2 in his 2nd cross race...ever. And nailed a top 10 or so.
Colby re mounting.
Matt P! Holy GOD. riding a Primus Mootry single speed (44 x 16), he was truly in the race and when he yelled at Brandon to motivate him near the sand section, it was EPIC. true Boulderites helping out each other.
Todd Wells post race. Unbelievable come back from a broken chain.
Dubba post race. A wink 'cause he knew the form was there?
Some Vid. More coming later.