snippets from Big Bear

still trying to let the weekend settle in a bit before I write my race report
was looking to wade through some photos from the race as I let the stories come back to me and settle into place
so much happens in a 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race
that is a lot of walking active hours for stuff to happen
not much happens when you sleep
and well
I did not do much sleeping this weekend past

where do I find these race photos?
there were some people taking pictures
but what are their web links?

let me get some quick thoughts down...
vital details
but details perhaps too specific for the report itself

on the first lap I flatted out
this flat tire will be mentioned as much as possible
because I want my lap time average to look faster than it is
maybe we can think about this flat as we look at each lap time
I am pleased with my efforts
not sure if I wanted to be slow guy on a fast team
yet that is how it worked out
sort of anticipated it before the start
that 35 pound handicap does not help

on with a snippet
while our selected first lap runner/rider/racer kent was out on lap one I was zipping around the camp getting ready
checking for my helmet on my head and my shoes on my feet
burning off anxious energy and caffiene
lots of both
I paused for a seconda and I noticed my brother wrapping up some duct tape

a long strip of gray duct tape was slowly folded into one not so thick thick square
I asked what he was doing....
making a tire boot... want one he said
sure I said as I shrugged my shoulders
so I took the virtually weightless precaution and put it in my camel back pouch

sure enough
on lap one I was cruising fast
starting to think I was pretty cool
thinking to myself that these long rolling streches of straight single track were perfect for a 29er and not so bad for a Clydesdale
sure enough
that hissing of a snake
I cursed to myself camps and his notion of karma
the hissing was a sound that I recognized not the flat fast loss of air of a snake bite
but a high pitch scream of a slow leak
like a tear in the wall....
sure enough
a sharp rock had stabbed into my tire
not on the side but through the knobby tread itself
the tire was well worn
not that I felt it needed to be replaced
but perhaps I should have swapped it before the race

I held the point where the tire was damaged
then let the rest of the air out the presta valve
still holding the tire where the cut through the tire would need repair
I took the tire from the rim

somewhere in the process of removing camelback
unzipping camelback
taking off gloves to tear the ducktape
taking off eyewear due to foggy blindness
somewhere in there I lost focus on where the damage to the tire was
somewhere during this time I watched multiple racers pass by at a rapid pace
it is a difficult feeling
kept the emotions in check and kept reality in hand
knowing it is a long race
and that this repair can be made
I thought to myself this lap can be salvaged... no I will not beat my buddy CityBikesMike second lap lap time
but I am still in this race

with several layers of tape hidding the passage of the tube from inside the tire to outside the tire I was ready to roll
it was a difficult little tear to find
but it was covered when I found it
then the use of the race only CO2 cartridges came in handy

wrestled with the monkey nuts
(a karate monkey thing)
repacked the bag
wrapped the tube around the seatpost
helmet/gloves/glasses... check
got on and started to hammer
stopped... got off... attached the rear brake
then got back into the race
started smiling again
with a little caution as I did not have another tube for another flat

this course was such a pleasure
the first third rode like a pump course
sure I have never ridden a pump course so I do not really know what I am talking about
this course rolled up and down with the rhythm of a pump course
maybe the first two thirds rolled like a pump course as I have no clue what a pump course rolls like
maybe this course just flowed
flowed like a flow course

totally psyched to be racing
totally psyched by the quality of the course and the trail
totally psyched by the weather
totally psyched that on my first lap even with the flat I was able to manage an hour twenty three minute lap
not world record
but pretty sweet for me

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