some thoughts on wakefield

tonight was night two of potomac velo club's wednesday at wakefield
race two was postponed twice
last night's thunder storms had me fearing another cancelation today

there was no rain
there was heat
there was humidity
there was no rain

so we raced

went in a tad early this am and got out a few minutes early
getting out a few minutes early eased some of the stress about the drive to the race
I hate driving in rush hour traffic
it pisses me off
if I am trying to get somewhere
it pisses me off more
it was good to be on the road with plenty of time
I was able to breath
the ignorance of the people on blackberrys, reading the paper, and talking on the phone did not piss me off as much as it would have angered me if I were running late

an early arrival allowed me the luxury of watching the single speed saga unfold in front of me
for some reason the single speed class is a bit more of a fun spectator class
not sure why
but it is
not just to me
but the single speed class at this event attracts a disproportionate amount of attention

lap one rolled in and I was not in a good spot for camera work
but was in a good spot to get an idea of where racers where placing

saw the top four roll by
saw nick daniels hike it in with a flat
saw evan ellicott pedal in with one leg as the other pedal had nothing but a spindle
saw my buddy chris redlack rocking somewhere near the front
saw single speed's salvador dali rickyd hike up some single track carrying bike in one hand wheel in the other

took some photos
wanted to take some stills for some portraits of various racers and friends
but lots focus to racing

lined up with the clydesdales on my rigid karate monkey single speed
feeling that this is a good course for a single speed
as much as I would like to have a shock on this bike
this is a good course for a rigid single speed

had my concerns about the clydesdales starting behind the sport racers
but did not want to be a bitch asking for something special
but did not want to get caught trying to pass the whole class that gets released a few minutes before the clydesdale
figured that the sports could pass the small group of clydesdales
rather than the clydesdales being forced to pass the sports

sure enough
I caught up with the sports and had to struggle with the single track catepillar
could not find places to pass
some of the racers were not making it easy to pass
it is tough to have to petition each and every racer in front of you for a chance to pass
this reminds me that I need to be fair to racers who try to pass me...
and I try.....
although fatmarc may have thought I was in his path for a hundred yards too long at the 12 hours of lodi farms this year
I try.... we are all human
trying to find a balance
not always pulling over
but.... granting space and opportunity
not speeding up to block opportunity

the first lap went by and I tried to be fluid rather than spastic
did not want to waste too much energy nipping at the wheel of racers where there was no place to pass
so I played it back off the single track catepillar
tried to be less fast on the first lap and have more energy for the following laps
I think that people call that pace or pacing
not sure.... the idea is new to me

into lap two I felt stuck behind a long line of racers
some people let me get by
but some other racers were not making things easy
on a section of double track trail I passed on the rocky not path
before turning into a sandy section of trail along side the creek

sure enough
made the move too aggressive and not pretty enough
pinch flatted
rolled through the sandy twists and turns making a few more passes laughing to myself
there I was riding bareback
like a kid free as a bird
no camelback
no tools
no tube and no pump

angered I ran the bike
stubborn I wanted to stay in front of these racers
maybe in a twisted sort of way I wanted them to have to pass me
I stepped aside and them them passs
I stopped running
I continued the direction of the trail

some racers passed offereing help
a fellow clydesdale offered me a tube and pump
having a 29er I denied all offers

there I stood talking to Mike Pattisall
standing in the same spot we stood a few days prior
we talked
I told him about the article I wrote for Spokes that mentions him and larry and our meeting at that very spot
then I tell him that my dog died
we talk about a few things
then feeling lazy about walking back I decide that I will take Mike's offer of his 26 inch tube for my 29 inch wheel

with a little stretching it fits
not as much air as I would like
but I got tired of pumping
then back on the course
a little squirrelly at first
slowed my pace a little on the turns with the slighly sloppy front tire

figured I could finish this lap
and the next
where I could check the results for the first and the last lap and still get a feeling of how I measure against the pack at the end of the day

fought my way through the course
passing a variety of racers
eventually catching the Clydesdales who had passed me
jenkins and quigley were involved in their own little race between each other
more like a pursuit race than a mountain bike race

even got to ride behind some fast and fluid sport women

in the last stretch of singletrack I unknowingly passed the last Clydesdale putting me into first

it was a foolish action on my part not to fix the flat immediately
it was hard to get my head around the event
although I was totally stoked to be racing
it was great to be out on the bike
it was great riding and racing with some many great people
but in between smiles there was some malaise

I gave up so easy
in the end..... the thought of DNF came to surface and I got back on the bike
but how did I let myself take something like standings or finishing times get blurred with spirit and effort

tonight was awesome
getting back on the bike and finishing the race really was exactly what I needed to do
another great race at wakefield

for some reason wakefield is like a powder day
nevermind... it has been too long since my last powder day
it has bee so long since the last time I snowboarded
but... I think that wakefield is like a powder day

earlier this week I tried to find a seat pack for my bike
so that the pump and tube would always be on the bike
my garage like my life can be a bit of a mess at times

I need to clean my garage
I need to shave
I need to do a number of things

with the results will come more words
with the images will come more words

evan tells his tales of woe
rickyd ran into another bike and some bad luck

my estimate of hanging out for ten minutes with Mike Patisall with a flat seems like a fair estimate
gary's got some images