what happend at the cranky monkey number 4?

yesterday was the fourth cranky monkey
the last and final event of this local mountain bike series was held on a Marine base in Quantico, Virginia

I went into the event with a certain level of excitment

although I had not ridden much in the last two weeks I was excited to get out and race hard

the bike was well tunned
I was well rested
with the late afternoon start time I was able to head across town and grab a cyclist friend of mine who needed a lift for the event
picked up max in petworth
max is a messenger who races his single speed and recently joined the DCMTB team
the same max whose house hosted the art show/house party where I set up a laptop with a rotation of some of my cycling image thing

fueled up with water, gatorade, red bull, and a cold hamburger from grilling the night prior
was feeling pretty spry in my fresh and new never before worn City Biks shirt and shorts
warmed up and did the parking lot meet and greet
with numbers on the bike I lined up and listened to Jim Harmon of EX2 Adventures give his prerace thing

was at the line with the 35+ big boys
was in the first row but not muscling or blocking anybody out
thought about the day before me and waited for the 30 seconds to count down to the start
having no idea what to expect of this unfamiliar course I decided to go with what I heard in the parking lot... climbs like Fountainhead/flowing like Schaffer Farms
or something to that effect
that sounded like some good terrain for my style of riding
although I am not that familiar with Fountainhead I do not remember it being all that full of climbs

having raced against a number of these guys throughout the season I thought I had an idea what I was up against
thought about where I finished at the Richmond Xterra event
what my efforts were that day
thought about my success at first Cranky Monkey at Wakefield
even though I had no idea what this course had in front of me it sounded like a course where I could be strong
perhaps, less disadvantaged by my clydesdale status

so when that long thirty seconds had finally counted down I skidded forward along side a number of fast riders in the thirty-five plus category
the ground was loose
a slight grade up on a wide stretch of trail
with the energy of the moment and thought that I wanted to try and fit into the top five at this event I figured I would try to start out fast at the start

not far after the start I found myself in the front of the pack
was behind a fast and fit cat named gordon from ncvc
have seen gordon at the races over the last few years
watch him get faster
watched him move up in the classes

with the big wheels and the big gears I decided to slip in front of Gordon when we dipped into the singletrack
we rode for a little
and I mean a little
this is real early in the race
and I found myself passing soem racers from the classes released ahead of the 35+ers

not sure if I was concious that I was starting to slow down
but I cheered for the racers that past me
the top three turned into the top five
the top five passed me along with the top ten
I was not slipping into a groove
I was slipping
I had slipped

early in the race I had gone out hard and bonked hard
it was hot and I know nothing about pace
the course was completely infamiliar to me
the steep climbs were actually super steep hike-a-bike trail
very steep and not so short
exhausting for me, my heavy body, and my heavy bike

early in the race I wanted to stop
one lap sounded hard enough
two laps sounded impossivle
the shenadoah mountain 100 was on my mind
the shenadoah mountain 100 was sounding impossible
the weight of the 100 miler ontop of the miles in front of me had me riding in quick sand
and there is nothing quick about quick sand

along with my lets, went my lungs, my strength, my power, and my confidence
my head was out of the game
I foolishly let my mind wander about how to approach not doing the shenandoah mountain 100
while I should be focusing on the moment I am focused on the future
definitely not where my mind should be
the heat had me sweating and swollen
my stomach was bloated
my efforts to stay hydrated had me bloated
my gut was so engorged that it was hard to breath
I fought to roll the bike forward
the trail seemed to be too tight for me to get any real flow
just as I tried to accelerate and roll through a section I had to decellerate then try to accerate again
it takes more effort to get me, my big body, and my big heavy bike than to get the little bikes and little people started
I was expending all sorts of energy that never got me any where

finally lap one finished
it was funny...
some of the trail started to look familar
I was expecting to recognize a twist, a turn, a rock, a root, a section of quick stand
then I crossed the start finish line
I thought I had started lap two already
I grinned as I rolled though the start finish section
laughing to myself
asking ryan of EX2 Adventures if Clydesdales do one or two laps
he does not hear me or he does not get my joke
ryan cheered me on as I chug on through

being familiar with the course helped
it always helps
a little more knowledge of course allowed me to know what to expect
this knowledge did not help me move forward faster
just allowed me to move foward with less pain

the battle in my head of the Shenandoah Mountain 100 continued
my race was finally finished

across the line I can do nothing but laugh about my day on the bike

I am growing
I am learning
I am still trying to figure it all out
I could have tried to pace myself and finished a few spots further up
but instead I tried to finished on top

yes... educational? sort of
will I make the same mistake again?
more than likely

I am also considering getting a unicycle
putting my old skateboard trucks on a new deck
I am accepting that being humbled is part of growing up
I am still growing up... still learning... still trying to figure stuff out

the house party/art show was hosted by Bryn
Bryn at myspace
hopefully he will do this again
I will try to get a more coherent collection of images
many less quantity and more quality
perhaps create the slideshow in iMOVIE

looking forward to the Kevin Dillard images from Quantico
at lap one I was feeling like crap and gave him the bird
here is Kevin Dillard Raw

the tale of the tape
last Cranky Monkey I was ten seconds off the leader
this Cranky Monkey I was ten minutes off the leader per lap

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha - just this past weekend I took my old and battered G&S Chris Miller out and did some sketchy kick turns in the driveway. Then skated the mile from my house to the steep downhill near the community pool. My style definitely reminded me more of my endless downhill kickturns of the mid 1970's than my late 1980's ramp "prowess". I AM OLD AND I THINK I AM GOING TO PUT MY OLD TRUCKS ON A LONG BOARD. Now, if I can just get my hands on a set of brand new Sims Pure Juice wheels I will be stylin.