maybe one look back before I look forward...
okay... there will be many more looks back
just as someone who never has a short story says long story short
I will try to pretend that this is the last post on the topic of The Baker's Dozen
part of the reason we do things is so we can talk about it
that is why there are no secrets in this country and why infidelity is a bad idea
mountain biking is not so simple as a slogan...
windsurfers and sailors pray for wind...
skiers and snowboarders dream of cherrie cherrie pow pow bro bra...
of course surfers chase that perfect wave...
the perfect mountain bike setting may not be so easy to put on a bumper sticker
if you could buy a perfect weekend for a 13 hour mountain bike relay race... well... the Saturday experience was pretty much scoring on all points
there had been a steady rain for what may have been longer than a week all over the Mid Atlantic
so when things cleared up and warmed up on the Thursday before the race weekend the things started to look up in Leesburg, Virginia
then when the riders showed up for the weekend's event they were pleased to find that the rain had taken buff and dry and turned into buff, dry, and occasionally tacky
the rain did not even effect the camping
the temperatures were also well suited for heart pumping lung exploding exercise efforts
just as cyclocross is served best cold
it is known that mountain bike relay races are best served up mild.... but sadly these races are not always served that way
endurance races can been brutally hot or hike-a-bike wet
the combination are endless... many of the options are painful
none of the negatives fit into the description of this weekend that had a moderate high and a moderate low... nothing extremely bad everything extremely good...
perfect for mountain biking day and night as well as weekend suitable for camping
cloudless skies day and night
it was known that the event was going to be packed
the Baker's Dozen filled to maximum capacity last year and sold out in record time this year
so there was no shocker when the tent camp morphed into an easy up city
I entered the race with the usually anxiety that comes from a wide variety of ill preparedness
there had not been a proper test of my lights... or any night riding for that matter
my bike was... well... my only bike... I was going to ride my working RIP NINE and bring along my single speed Jamis Exile in the hopes that Cargo Mike could bleed my brakes between laps
luckily a back up was never needed because that work was never requested and never done
arriving friday night offered some time to catch up with some friends on the DCMTB squad as well as wake up to a camp site cook off
where Jonathan Wheaton cooked up some wheat blueberry pancakes and Kent Baake went with his famous bacon, banana, chocolate chip pancakes of various mixed mixes minus the bacon because MikeK over cooked it
oh man... that is an amazing start to the day
now is this where I start building my excuses?
where I mention that I showed up without the proper fuel... no coffee and only one cylinder of Red Bull... oh man... where was my training in a can?
knowing that I was going to be the slow man on a fast team I passed the opportunity to lead out the first lap to be decided by Tom Mackay and Cargo Mike
not so much as rock paper siccors and it was decided that the excited and energtic kid from UMBC would lead the charge
the concensious around the campground was to go back to back
a short fast loop done twice allowing more rest time and more rational work out time
oh man... the first lap was a cluster... well... you know what it was... and I know what it was and I did not even participate in it
only those who fought for the front were able to avoid the bottleneck into the singletrack
there were people meandering in the back who may have even had to stop their bikes before heading into the pine forrest
but by the time I started my first lap and the fifth lap for the team things were pretty spread out around the course
there was plenty of passing to be done
and a few people passed me
passing is part of the game
the race was less of the focus than riding
not sure if that helped or hurt
not sure if it added or took away
we were their to ride fast and hard
not sure of fast tom or fast cargo mike
but I was delivering pretty much the fastest laps I could deliver
well... of course there is the effort to hold back and pace one's self
I never rode one lap as if it were my only lap
well... not until I bonked at the tail end of my last lap
Cargo Mike and Family Bike Shop Tom were fast
yet there was little focus on the placement or a placement objective
there were mentions of guestimations of lap averages and classification
but I did not even know how many teams were in our class or who was in our class
all I knew was I had to work hard to be the slow guy on a fast team
the energy around the campfire was electric... solar electric...
the DCMTB camp had a good gathering of racers collected under and assortment of easy ups sitting in wide variety of camping chairs talking about... well... pretty much bikes
bikes were being ridden... bikes were being repaired... bikes were being talked about
there was a fair amount of heckling going on while there was the usual team support
although it is not a well polished machine... the machine is up and running
there were times in the weekend where I was having so much fun that I wished that there wasn't this bike race thing to not only distract me from hanging out
but it also made me a bit tired and after a third lap crash also a tad sore
on the bike... it is all better when on the bike
in all honestly... I love it on the bike
when the lap starts and I am on the bike... oh man... that is the gravy
my three man squad worked hard for its fifth place finish
falling right behind Vettori and the C3 squad
there was never any contention for their position so I did not bother going out for an 8th lap when Cargo Mike came in a few minutes before the hour
should of... could of... would of...
it made no difference... it would have made no difference...
but this was the sort of thing that would have taken the focus of someone with a brain to understand
by this point in the game my mathmatical averages were weak and off the mark
or maybe they were right on.... I thought Cargo Mike would just make it in.... but I did not think I needed to go out
the energy was not just on the course
there was energy all around the course
each and every tent village had their victories
each and every racer had their experience and their story to tell
out of my riding gear and into some casual clothes
then around the village and to and from the campfires
it was a good time
there was no shortage of beer or pizza
and my buddy Kent happened to have his mandolin which fit in perfectly with the blue grass band that played well into the night
racers were asleep before the campfires burned out
I woke to what appeared to be a product of too much of a good time
when actually I had fallen victim to a stomach virus that my five year old had had earlier in the week
my sleeping in another room while he slept with mommy was enough to post pone it
while I got it sunday morning... his older brother got it saturday night... and here on tuesday mom is starting to feel it
what a weekend...
what amazing timing
the weather with its rain
and my body and its sickness
the timing was wonderful
my timing was a little off on lap three when I crashed superman style and busted up my side where I have bruised or broken some ribs
but... life is a live at your own risk proposition
no worries... I am pleased that the injury was not more serious
would be more pleased not to be injured at all
need to keep things in perpective
a fantastic mountain bike race weekend with good people on some good trails
with an after party good time
what a great way to start a mountain bike race season!
previous posts on the topic of The 2009 Baker's Dozen
too late... too tired to proof this... you get what you get