my bad... sorry I slammed you into the fence

my bad
sorry to the guy I slammed into the fence
other guy... sorry that I slammed my handlebar into your butt on a tight pass

okay... everyone else that I crashed into, bumped, cut off, or passed in an awkward or aggressive fashion
I just was not feeling it today
but I tried

my head was not in it
which well... dictates how much my body is in it
cargo mike was feeling it
while I on the other hand... was not feeling it
or efforts of the day reflect the degree to which each individual is feeling it

winning is not what marks feeling it
operating at your potential and delivering personal best would mark feeling it

the day approached the evening race with a lackluster anticipation
neglectful was my approach
so neglectful was my approach that I packed my gear the morning before work
rather than the night prior
did not even glance at the bikes
as the bikes had not been ridden since they were prepped for last weeks summer training race at Wakefield which was cancled due to heavy afternoon rain

late preparation and no real focus on the race that afternoon
no checking weather dot com
no glances at the p v c website
no concern with proper fueling at lunch or in the late afternoon
no purchase of red bull for the race
no late afternoon coffee

I could have used an afternoon coffee
after slamming out a decent amount of work I stepped out of work a few minutes early to make the six o clock single speed race
on my pedal home I considered not attempting the back to back
got home and pulled both bikes; the geared karate monkey and the single jamis exile were put out on the curb to meet with my fast guy neighbor chris mcgill for a carpool to northern virginia for the third wednesday at wakefield mountain bike race
it is not just about saving fuel
it is also about the use of the HOV lane

the anxiety was not there
the anxiety that we hate can fuel us in very postitive ways
I had no caffiene
I had not anxiety
I was slack on my energy levels

chris was on time and just up from an afternoon nap
we were on the same level of energy
chris had a better excuse
chris rode and raced more miles in the last 7 days than I have ridden in the last month
chris noticed my lack of intensity

I admitted my fear that I lacked the energy for one race
much less the back to back
considered focusing on single clydesdale event ranter than pairing up the single speed and the clydesdale event
riding the single with the clydesdales
as wakefield is an excellent course for the single speed

then I realized
if I did not race the single speed race at 6
then after the clydesdale race at 6:55 I would not have a choice for a second race
so I opted for the single speed race
which allowed for deciding if I had the energy and the spirit for the second three lap mini race

my lack luster approach was visible as I rolled down to the startline without warm up
I had signed the waiver just as they closed the registration for the night
when I got to the line up I said hey to a few familiar faces
cargo mike looked calm and ready... ready to defend his current first place seat
the usually suspects held their spots
butch and rickyd had matching socks
scott scudamore called out a two minute warning
I rushed to the tall grass to try and pee
I had to go... there was no way to hold it for two races
Larry Camp questioned my ability to deal with the two minute pressure to pee
I met the challenge
I released my bladder then stepped up to the line

there was just enough time to get a cleat in the pedal just before the realease of the single speed class

the fight for the hole shot is competitive
I just looked for a spot to settle in
fell into a good spot around a few familiar faces
butch lead a cluster from the road into the woods
john "the wuss" clayman then rickyd were some of the bodies ahead of me
others were tucked in there
some I can not recall
others whose names I do not know

we entered the single track and i sat back and took in the show
just ahead of me rickyd danced beautifully on each obstacle he approached
the pace was not as hearty as I would have liked
but it was a nice flow
I sat back and watched... wondering if ricky was part kangaroo
or if ricky had traded his bicycle for a pogo stick
rickyd lauched pretty airs off each hump
rickd did gracefull hops over various obstacles

the first lap went by nicely
I never found a groove
things were not as they should be
my rear tire was riding like a pancake
the pressure was low
a low pressure that I accepted with my quick squeeze as I loaded the car
things were dry and dusty
not moist and slick
things were amusingly dusty

the first and second lap went past
I was feeling sluggish
never once checking my watch to see if I would make it to the Startline for clydesdale event
I was at ease with missing the start
I was at ease with missing the second race

half way through the third and last lap of the single speed race I collided with the rear tire, a tree, and the ground while trying to make a sloppy pass
I went down
it was not fast
but it was ugly
clayman fought not to run me over
I got back up on the bike and tried to grab clayman's wheel
trying to stay in the game
trying to finish the lap and the race

things were sore
my body did not feel right
my knee was bleeding
my shoulder was aching

I finished the lap losing a place at the line
lost a spot last week at the line
I guess I need to focus on my sprint to the finish
because I do not care for losing the space

I rolled past the chance for hellos and tried to get my geared bike and some fluids
my bite valve on my camelback broke spilling water on me and the trail
I grabbed a bottle of accelerade and put it in the cage
but water was what I needed
dehydration and a mouth full of dust

put the number on the bike and rolled down for race two and the six fifty five start

got to the line and was feeling the heat and the exhaustion of the day
at the line the friendly fellow of clydesdales brought my attention to my knee
my still yet to be cleaned knee that had a silver dollar size piece of skin hanging off it
the blood was not running
the dirt had aided in the clotting
but the thick piece of skin looking more like muscle and flesh than a thin piece of skin

talk of stitches and steak and cheesse went about the mouths of my competitors
I lined up in the back
questioning my ability to ride another three laps
questioning my need to ride another three laps

the other classes were released
when we lined up I squeezed in alongside of brian junkins
some back and forth with scud
then our release
I could not get my right foot into the pedal
the leg was not feeling right
on the first mini-climb I pulled over and called it a day
I walked up the hill
then looked at the course
got back on the bike and decided to ride the course
even if I could not race the course

into the singletrack and I was catching some of the straggles from the clydesdale class
not the leaders greg or junkins
but some of the other large men of this class
some of these guys were really big
some large muscular beasts
others just large beasts
I tired to roced the pass when I could
but clydesdales tend to take up a good part of the trail making passing difficult

I fought for a groove and felt pretty good
not race day good
but felt like I could finish a lap
so I played it lap for lap
rode lap one wanting to stop
thought about pulling over at various parts of the course
but figured I could finish the one lap
then crossing the line after one lap
I went ahead and tried for two laps
two laps became three and I was pleased with the fact that I had stayed on the course
my knee was missing some skin
but the leg was working
the shoulder was sore... but more than likely not damaged
so I worked the course and tried to enjoy things
it was a lonely ride
not the social fun of racing the single speed
the only people I encounterd were people I was passing then eventually the top four experts who passed me

at the end of the clydesdale event there was a sense of satisfaction
I felt fullfilled
it was not pretty
but I achieve my goal of the back to back

wakefield kicked my ass
not many people get to say that
but somehow it happens to me everytime
every week has been a hard week at wakefield for me this year
it is not just the back to back
it is what happens in each race

in the end it was all good
the injury may be ugly
but not life threatening
I managed to finish both the Single Speed and the Clydesdale races
although neither race was quite the performance I was looking for
did not have the speed
did not have the flow
but... I showed the spirit to finish what I started
having DNFed last week... there was no way I could allow myself to DNF again
as I am a mountain biker not some roadie putz

I feel like I got run over by a truck
maybe another glass of wine will put things right

a little more of this tour stuff off the dvr
a little more wine
then off to bed

I may well be the only person who deserves a bumper sticker that reads
I Got My Ass Kicked At Wakefield

1 comment:

Darren said...

Joel, the way you talk in the beginning is kinda how I feel about the wakefield races I lack the enthusiasm that is required to well in these races. I will be there for the last race of the series, hope to see you there.