some thoughts on Baker's Dozen...

it was a good gathering down on the farm in Leesburg this weekend...

the race filled to maximum capacity in an absurdly short amount of time
lots of people were turned away
I was among the ones lucky enough to get a slot
my luck was actually DCMTB team member Darren Bigg's wear withal to handle registration for the team

drove out late Friday evening and joined up with a DCMTB squad
it was a good gathering of red and black...
we had an expert team
a men's vet (geezer team)
a coed duo team
coed three man
and my three man open squad
I showed up to race with Cargo Mike and Family Bike Shop Tom
two racers were are not only significantly younger than myself... but also significantly faster
although I usually ride and race with these guys on Single Speeds
a combination of my Niner Rip Nine being my best working bike at the moment and the thought that I would be faster on this rig than my single speed I showed up looking to race this short fast flat loop on a very squishy bike

our rotation was set so that our faster racers went out first
fearing that the time constraints may force some riders to do more laps than the others
sure enough... after I finished my seventh lap there was just enough time to for Cargo Mike and FBS Tom to each log one more fast lap... actually Cargo Mike came in with three minutes to spare... which could have had me rushing out for one last lap
but I was already in civilian clothes sitting with a beer in my hand and licking my wounds

the race had the usual mulit lap relay intensity
there was an effort to strategize starting off with each of us doing two laps
then dropping to single laps only to return to the double lap format
the course was a fast seven miles through some winding singletrack
there was no rest time when we attempted the single lap rotation
the back to back laps offered more time to rest, recover, refuel, and socialize

a few laps stick out in my mind
one lap I got the exchange of the baton at almost the exact same time as my brother
I lead into the woods
sibling rivalry fueled me... unfortunately sibling rivalry also inspired my faster fitter old brother
I tried to make fast fluid passes on all the racers that I over took
but when I hit the open jeep track road after the pine forest I heard the rumble of tires by my side
it was my brother... I am no match for his road strength
I made no effort to match his acceleration on the this open section
I hoped that I could be faster through the technical sections and not get held up on too many passes

alas... there was no contact
the game of cat and mouse was no more
I hustled around the course as fast as I could
a few times getting closer to my brother
only to have the Slinkey stretch and have him gap me at any point where he was able to lay down the hammer

unsure of the lap times...
not sure of my lap times over all or my brothers
it will amuse me to relive this lap when I visit the posted results

another lap that ranked high in my memories for the day was a lap late in the race where I caught up to the wheel of Chris Clarke
although I was going fast enough to catch him I did not feel the need to maintain that speed and pass him
instead I flowed behind him
chris felt the presence of a following racer and edged up his pace a tad
we worked the course in tandem

the first half of the course I let Chris lead than on the back side I took the front
I tried to be fluid and fast... the effort was for a fast lap... it was not so much my goal to beat Chris
late in the lap I was forced to put on my headlamp
when I tried to roll up a large rock obstacle that I had cleared on each prior lap I had some issues
the lighting did not offer the appropriate depth... it all looked flat
I took the rock too slow and too timid
focing me to dab as I cleared the top
this slowing at the top made it impossible for Chris to clear the obstacle behind me
I heard what sounded like his bike rolling backwards into a slow crash

I finished out the last few turns in the woods and then entered the open field towards the finish
Chris Clarke passed me without a fight
I was doing two laps so I saved my energy for the next lap
as I rolled into the campground I picked up the pace
thinking that Chris would be passing off the baton to my brother
I wanted a second effort at the sibling rivalry

I raced this lap with the energy of the most dangerous game
that sensation of chasing and being chased
fueled by the unknown... not knowing how far behind me my brother may be
I was releaved when I hammered down the jeep road section under the star lit sky
back into the woods I was pleased that I had not yet been passed
then it happend... I bonked... too much expenditure? not enough food? or simply fatigue
late in the lap knowing there was not much course left in what I was planning to be my last lap I snailed along
accepting getting stuck behind other riders.... lacking the energy or the intensity to make a fluid pass... there was nothing left... I was soft pedaling it home
then it happened with a honk and a scream... it was not my brother but instead DCMTB team mate Kent Baake
with a positive hearty hello he hammered passed
leaving me to battle my demons alone in the dark
again... I have not seen the lap times... so I have no idea of my finishing times

there was some relief that the pass was by kent and not my brother
my brother was certainly logging faster laps than myself
but... I did not feel as if I needed salt in my wounds

1 comment:

BicycleXC said...

An extra lap would not have helped. We did the right thing in not chasing it.