RACE REPORT: 12 Hours of Lodi Farm

started this post earlier
did not like its direction
did not like it length
did not think it told the tale as it should be told
but... I am not feeling entirely motivated at the moment
as it is almost wednesday better get something down rather than nothing
can make a second shot at some highlights on the DCMTB site

Race Report: 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
As the weekend approached I watched weather.com
part of me was wanting rain
the excuses are always preloaded
the fears are always there
but this year at the start of the season these hesitations are amplified
lack of time on the bike and recovering from an assortment of injuries
all this can build up to be quite the black cloud
being chronically disorganized the monday before the race arrived and Chris Redlack and I had not found a third
actually, Chris may have found several potential thirds.... but I was being my usual wishy washy self and kept waiting for something better
well, better is not the correct word
searching for something more specific
it is a hard and somewhat arbitrary slot to fill... that Single Speed Clydesdale who is moderately fast and fun to hang out with
there were a few geared options available on monday
all those geared options were gone by tuesday morning
as the days of the week fell behind me and race day approached the reports of rain became less and less likely
my anxiety and excitement started to build
a strange balance of looking forward to something and dreading it at the same time
on friday night I started to pack my gear and prep my bike
a spin of the wheels
a pull of the brakes
slide back the rear wheel to tighten the chain
adjust the rear brake pads
clean and lube the chain
a pinch to test the tire pressure
and the bike is ready to race
that took all of five minutes
lots of clothing
an estimate of 6 laps had me thinking I would need six clean sets of riding gear
a helmet for the light
a helmet for the morning sans light
socks... socks... and more socks
enough shorts and jerseys to be fresh at the start of each lap
not enough gloves
definitely need more gloves
as my gear started to pile up I put the light batteries on the charger
well... put the HID on the charger and cussed about the Digital Classic 12's charger being at work
then started to freak about the absence of the HID lamp....
tried to focus on preping everything else
a little basement clean up became part of the process
my basement is a mess... an embarressing mess.... I need to clean it up
I need to throw some junk away
eventually the headlamp was found
it was right where I put it
a spot that only made sense at the moment I put it there
either way it was found.... and without the aid of St. Anthony
although the superstiious religious chant to St. Anthony was in the back pocket of my mind ready to be pulled out
saturday came and the day was too busy to give the race much concern
there were dogs to be walked and children to be corraled
four year old dean had a soccer game which I am partial coach
inlaws to be polite around
leftovers to be served for lunch
by afternoon grant was napping and I was given some time to focus on finishing getting all my gear together
the night prior I made the choice to do my shoulder therapy rather than pack
knowing that I would find time to pack the next day
the day of the race
my team mate chris redlack was at the race venue with his tent set up before my gear was packed that saturday afternoon
such is my style
not intentional... that is the way it is... that is the way it has gone
not that I like it... but so far I have been too lazy to change
after pizza with the wife, the kids, and the inlaws... I loaded up the car
with hugs and kisses from wife and children I pointed south with a smile on my face and lipstick on my cheek
okay... lisa does not normally wear lipstick... but the feeling was there
the drive was painless... traffic... but fast moving traffic
arrived at the race venue to find that the racers were all packed in like sardines
found chris without any hassle
chris was parked with a few of his rugby buddies from college
the faces of chris' rugby buddies looked familiar as I went to the same college as chris and them as well
they too were racing duo
the time leading up to the race was far more social than serious
walked around and caught up with a variety of people
talked about the course and the race to come
the sky was lit with a segment of the moon and many stars
some clouds floated about, but nothing threatening

chris and I registered for duo after a walk to the city bikes van and my admission of the reality that we had not found a third
I was dreading racing as a duo
not feeling fit
knowing that as much as I have always loved this race.... I have always been very sore and very tired from my contributions on a three person team
so we registered up as a DUO team
as we signed our waivers, release forms, and our personal checks
well, chris paid cash
either way as I we scribbled my information down I tried not to think about the CONTACT IN CASE OF EMERGENCY part of the form
respect the potential of things
do not fear the potential of things
fear can be crippling
while respect can be informative
as I tried to fill in my information the volunteers at the other side of the table asked for our team name
in a jolly way they almost pressured for this information
information we had not dicussed
information we had not arrived with
so I spat something out
as I was racinge with Chris Redlack... the same person who beat me handily the week prior at the Greenbriar Classic
while also being a person I will night ride on a weeknight with or travel to a far away race with
we push each other
he is more technical
I am perhaps a tad more fit
so when we ride together we aid the weaknesses of the other
it fit
there was no real discussion
a positive response from the friendly volunteer then back to our cars
midnight came and chris took the first lap
at the fall's panarama paranormal I did the last lap which made my talley one more than chris'
on this day chris was looking to balance the scale
from what promoter phil rice had said in an email to chris earlier this week we were figuring in on roughly 55 minute laps
sub hour laps would allow for final lap to be released just before noon
giving us the goal of 13 laps
the race took off as I fueled up at our base camp
in the surrounding areas I heard cheers when the runners arrived to their bikes after the lemans style start
I heard cheers when the racers dipped out of the woods onto the edge of the camp ground two thirds of the way through the course
I was at the start/finish when the cheers came for the first and very fast first lap finishers
those minutes passed quickly
I was at the start/finish tent for the hand off waiting for chris
not sure of his lap time
but chris came in fast.. not that many people came in before him... the stats will tell the true tale, but from what I can remember he was in fast
with the pass of the wristband baton chris gave me a few words of advice and a few word pep talk
as I gave a few words of praise and compliments
no one hears the other... there is too much confusion
with no real rush I was on the bike and pointed towards the woods
I felt great
I was on the bike spinning towards the woods
then just before I dipped into the woods my demons attacked
all the apprehension that floated through my head during the week came to surface
lack of training
only 5 times on dirt since the fall
no night riding in ages
second time on a rigid single in a long time
the weight of a two man team versus a three man team
the speed of chris' laps versus the speed of mine
then I approached a fallen tree
the tree that chris had told me to go around
he had told me early in the evening... I swore I would forgot
he said it was two hundred yards into the trail
without accessing my options I followed chris' lead
sure enough... I went right
as right was my only option
I smiled and entered the woods
in the woods I took the first twist and the second turn
"oh... baby"
I smiled and said, "oh... baby" again
would I say "oh baby" for 8.5 miles?
the smile continued but my fears were ever present
anxiety of injury occupied my mind
my demons were around me
hobbits and trolls ducked behind the trees
frogs and turtles dodged the passing tires
a field mouse got crushed by a fast moving bike in the orchard
the first lap ended
not sure of my time
but it was over
I was suffering a bit of a duality
psyched but feeling like shit
I went back to the camp
walked by bike rather than ride it
got to my camp and tried to get into the routine
as I looked over the bike for two seconds I started to wretch
was it anxiety
was it my body already rejecting too much caffiene
too many gus, gels, and red bulls?
was it the the massive amount of pollen I had inhaled on my first lap
still in my wet with sweat gear I found something to eat
took a few bites of left over pizza
ate a chocolate gu
chugged a powerade
nibbled on some pasta
then threw it all up
time was passing
chris' lap would be over soon
there were more demons at my base camp then in the woods
I stripped out of my wet gear and put on some dry stuff
still wretching and feeling like I was going to yak I crawled into my honda element and reclined in the back on a dog bed
looking through the moon roof at the moon I sighed
I thought about my body and let all the excuses soak in
in my head I was trying to find an excuse that was good enough to justify dropping out of the race
then I thought of chris
certainly chris would accept any excuse that I had to offer
then I gave myself the same line that I have fed to everyone who I have seen go through this arguement of self doubt at a multi-lap race event
"go out and ride... once on the bike you will feel fine"
so I got out of the element and got ready to ride
shaking the demons is not always easy
sometimes it is enough to just stand your ground
so I put on my soaked camelback
then my wet helmet
both were extra uncomfortable as I was in a feeling sorry sort of mood that may have been cured with some midol
so I made my way to the start finish to meet chris after his second lap
again unsure of his time we made the exchange
words were passed
"good lap"
"have a good lap"
"blah... blah... blah"
I do not know what I am saying
I am not sure what chris is saying
too many things happening at once
with the wrist band marked 434 on my wrist I walked over to my bike and pointed those big wheels towards the trail
there was a 100 yards of path leading to the woods
just enough time to start spinning the single
just enough time to get psyched
back on the bike I felt fine
the demons were still around me
but I was on the bike and headed out on another lap
so the demons were at least at bay
sure enough
dipped down around that first fallen log that forces me right then into the woods
immedately smiling again
again forcing away the demons
taking their negative energy and letting it become positive
there was respect I approached certain obstacles
it is important to let there be respect but not for the respect to morph into fear
my familiarity with the course from the first lap let me know where I could let it roll and where i needed to draw my brakes
what climbs to enter with momentum, which climbs to grind, which ones to walk, and which ones to be ready for on the next laps to follow
laps 3 through 6 were far more similar to lap two than lap one
the demons were around me
but the demons don't respond well to smiles
I spend more time smiling than fearing on each of these eight and a half mile loops

the laps were not without their moments hardship to balance the moments of glee
there were cramps and soreness
that wretching that echoed in the near silent woods
my chain broke on my 5ht lap before mile two while in the orchard
the sight of my chain limp in the grass like a snake belly up brought a moment of sadness to my eliated cycling self
a real buzz kill
but I fought my demons with the skill of a boys scout
although I had considered riding bareback I ened up going with the trusty camelback
sure it may be more fun to have sex without a condom
there may be more pleasure... but there are more risks
the same goes for riding bareback in a mountain bike race
although I never needed more than a few sips of water on each lap
those few sips were savored
the tools were there in case I needed them
and I needed them
I gently picked up the coiled chain as if I were picking up that lifeless snake
wondering if it would come back to life
I wondered why half my power link stayed with the chain and where the other half went
it was not bent or broken.... just disconnected
no worries
I pulled a replacement power link
price tag still on the packate
expensive considering it is a fifteen dollar chain
the power link does not work
I try it once I try it twice
I glace at the instructions I glance for additional parts
then I recall that this SRAM chain is a slightly more beefy chain for single speeds
not the standard 9speed chain
countless racers pass
each asking if I need assistance
each gone before I can respond no
so I pull out the crank brother's multi-tool with chain tool and go old school on the repair
manage the repair
the takes some effort with the tool and the hands to make the new connection less stiff
the wheel is all the way forward
I am lucky to have as little space as I do
the chain is so tight that the free wheel does not spin
good enough for the final two laps

enough on that
the red wine did not aid in the revisions

was more than excited that I did a sub hour lap as my last lap to get chris out for a seventh
on that lap I had the pleasure of being chased and passed by a few friends from the city bikes mountain bike team
there were many wonderful encounters with various riders at different times in the race
it is wonderful to share such a great experience with friends

unlikely anyone made it this far.... but here are some links just the same
would have put them in the next/prior post
but wanted to see if anyone wanted to read my version of the typed out tibetian endless knot

joe foley talks about how dcmtb/city bikes did in the lodi event
some good links to a variety of Lodi experiences
single speeder with mary bars larry camps speaks about his duo experience
fast folks from delaware, buddy and fatmarc each give their perspective
fatmarc plays the roll of the big fish as he lives and tells a great story
and I think buddy is from outside of philly.... but he rolls with the bomb squad from DE
there is more
if you go to any of those links there are more links about the event
and eventually the promoters will post some results

more links
jason from PA went solo.... 2 seconds of video... great post
schwarz? is that guy the terminator or what?
there have to be more

1 comment:

rick said...

you may not be happy with this write-up, but its still loads better than any of mine ever are.