Sunday, July 29, 2007

NMBS #5 - XC Sugar Mountain, NC

People came back with war stories:

Alright, so you know the ugly details of the XC race from the entry below. What a dang day. I am getting sure sick of things happening to me during my races but I am learning from it all.......I now carry tools which allowed me to tighten the bolts on the seat clamp that had come loose during lap one. As for hitting a rock perfectly and putting a slash in the tire......that is something that just happens from time to time but preferably NOT during a stinking National Race. Oh well. Luckily it happened towards the bottom of the dh and I could ride a bit until I started hearing the rim going cling cling cling as it started smacking the rocks and stuff. As much as I would have loved to just ride the rim and destroy it as I made my way to the tech zone I needed those exact wheels for the STXC race the next day so I chose to start running with the bike instead. As I ran during this sucky situation I made the best of it in my head and just kept telling myself that the running is good cyclocross training. To bad part of the run was on pavement with cleats on my shoes. That was weird.

Quite honestly I didn't really know what I was running to......would someone in the tech zone be able to save the day for me or would I just have to change the flat and hope the tube didn't bulge out of the tire through the slash? Actually.....that is a great reason NOT TO LITTER the trails with your gel packets because I had my used ones in my jersey pocket that I could have used to cover the slash if need be.
But seriously, I really didn't know what I was going to be able to get by with in the tech zone because I sent my extra set of wheels home from Boston and I had NOTHING there for incidences such as this. Luckily a savior of the day emerged as I went by the backside of the zone - someone asked what I needed and I yelled "a wheel" as I ran by. And low and behold as I came running around the course to the front of the tech zone that guy had a wheel for me to use for the last lap of the race!!! Beats having to change a flat. Mike and Mary to the rescue was Mike Brodricks wheel that he was planning on using in his race later in the day.

I guess I was sponsored in part by Mike and Mary this weekend and I cannot thank those guys enough. They helped me get my brakes up and running and they helped me get back into the race by giving me a wheel to use Thanks you two. You are the best!
Some race details - the weather was overcast and it held out until about the end of the last lap when it started raining but by then you are already drenched in a pool of your own sweat from the muggy stale air so who cares? But geez, there were definitely moments I felt like I was in an actual sauna during the race. Ugh. Everything was ridable both up and down and no running was required (except for my own personal experience).

After the race it was a total cluster because I needed to return the wheel to someone I didn't know, get my messed up one back, change the flat tire, get warm, spray off my bike and find a trainer to spin down on (the NC course doesn't have all but a 1/4 miles stretch of flat road to spin on next to it), set that up and then RECOVER properly (yah right!) for the following race the next day. By the time I did all that it was about 35 minutes after I crossed the finish line which is not the best way to recover but you can only do what you can do with what you have.
Here is Blake after the Pro Mens race later in the day. It got sloppy for them with the rain that started at the end of our lap:

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