5.17.2004

12 Hours of Lodi Farms
This is where the BLOG began for me. In the beginning the purpose of the blog was to post my race reports, reports written as an email to my city bikes mountain bike team mates, while here I am starting a blog that may be copy and pasted into an email message and sent along to the team...then again...maybe not. as my 1,000 word race report on michaux was actually a tale about dean and myself battling the rodavirus (perhaps I will post this tale later, if desired, comment if you want to hear the tale in full) that race report did not get the best reviews, it may have lost some of the city bikes audience on my reports as a whole after that entry.
The 12 Hours of Lodi Farms

The twelve hours of lodi farms is a grass roots down home mountainbike race relay race just outside of Fredericksburg Virginia. I have participated in this race on a three person sport team for the last two years. This year I joined up with the City Bikes Team Manager Mike and the City Bikes Mountain Bike Team Captain Brian and raced expert. Big, Bald, and Bossy was the team name, I was not sure why Brian named the team after me, but before the words left my mouth I learned that I was Big, Brian was bald, and Mike is bossy, well, it took the 12 hour relay race for me to really learn that Mike was bossy. Big, Bald, and Bossy registered for the 3 person expert team. Anxiety flowed around the city bikes team/support area. There was talk about how to approach the race. Mike was adamant about us doing two laps back, "doubling up" We discussed it. Brian backed off without opinion. I wanted to do single laps throughout the race. We had all brought single speeds, although we did not register for the single speed class, I was going to try and run this race on my Karate Monkey. Having not raced a rigid 29 inch single speed before I had the twenty six inch blizzard on location. We discussed our abilities and our strengths and came up with a compromise...we each go out for one lap, then we each double up, and then we re-evaluate our strength and race out the morning, this approach would give each racer more time to sleep in the night, having just under 4 hours between laps rather than a buck thirty or so. I agreed to go second just to get on the bike, the anticipation was great...I wanted to ride...the sky was clear while the weatherman called for scattered thunder storms, I wanted to make sure I got some dry laps in before the dry earth became dinosaur shit and the off camber roots became ice-like in texture and grip.
There was a race meeting, the before I could put the bike in the stand to see if it survived the drive, it was time for the LeManns style start. I was in a pack holding Kemler's bike right along side Brian holding Mike's Phil Wood single speed. The racers came screaming out of the woods and the race had begun. Mike was on his bike and I was off to get dressed and to check over the bike. The bike went into the stand, the wheels spun and I thought outloud...IT IS A SINGLE SPEED! and headed over to the start to wait for mike's lap to end and my lap to begin. Mike pulled a fast first lap, somewhere in the range of 50 minutes. So fast that when he arrived I was gloveless and just back from pissing in the woods. At the handoff of the numbered pink scrunchee functioning as a baton I awkwardly tried to turn on my lights and put on my gloves.....the clock had started for my lap....the race had started for me....I got on my bike and started pedaling. The gloves were on, but the lights had not powered up....before I could get frustrated the beam came on, first dimly, then in all of its blue HID glory. I made the turn down a dirt road and saw a stream crossing in front of me...."oh, they are running the course backwards this year, guess I lack the advantage of knowing the course." cleared the water crossing with ease, zipped up the mud embankment, then over a pipe, then a set of roots, my heart race, then my lights unveiled a short steep climb. I was off my bike and galloping up the hill. my heart felt like it was going to explode. questions came my way, "do I pace myself or do I go for it?"..."how will a 29 inch single speed with no suspension effect me?"...."where is the meat of the message for my blog?" at the top of the first hill I was back on the bike. Red Bull pumped fast through my veins. A smile peeled across my face and I thought to myself....ride the bike, just ride the bike, and have fun.

that was the start of lap one
at the end of lap one I was a mixture of smiles and popping veins. I felt good. my time was fast and my body was not exceptionally sore....the karate monkey had won its roll for lap two, my team mates would retire the single speed after one lap. while I would learn that this was the bike for me, well at least the bike for me on this course.

more on this later
I will post this for now without a proof read
maybe after a reread in the morning I will delete and start over
or I may continue from this point

only joel the unlikely editor will know the fate of the electronically typed text

No comments: