W@W#2: it is about the experience... not the results... I did not get the experience I was looking for

Wednesday at Wakefield #2

it is not about the results
it is about the experience
I did not have the experience that I was looking for

week two of wednesday at wakefield

last week I raced in the 6PM Single Speed Class then in the 6:55 Clydesdale Class
it was a tight fit
with my slowing to C02 a rear flat back to life I was just able to arrive at the Clydesdale start with 90 seconds to spare

this week I figured I would try the back to back Wakefield events again
only this time I would try it a little differently
the week prior I had raced the single fast and hard
not leaving much fuel in the tank for the Clydesdale race
so this week I approached things a little differently
a little less throttle in race one allowing me to try and finish strong for the Clydesdale event
last week I finished second in the Clydesdales
it is not about the results
it is about the experience
I wanted to dictate things as such that I would have a strong Single Speed race then a equally strong Clydesdale race
that is the experience that I was seeking

things do not always go as planned

lined up with the Single Speeders at 6PM
the usual bantor went back and forth to kill the pre-race anxiety
there was some glances at the front row to see who was fighting for top five
after that... all the scrubs are scrapping for top ten
the field is usually 30 or so racers deep

at the sound of the gun the single speeds spun madly up the gravel road
only to file into the singletrack a catapilar 30 segments deep
not sure where I ended up.... but I know it was not that far towards the front

tried to accept my place
tried not to get too wrapped up in chasing racers or making the pass
I spun things like a fool
not quite as hard as last week
but I was working it
no I was not working it top five working it
I was spinning the cranks and trying to flow the single track
well spining and flowing as best I could

the week prior I had suffered a slow leak in the rear from thorn aquired on a pass that involved some prickly brush
that was easily remedied with a refreshing burst of CO2
just enough air to get me a little more than a lap to finish that race
this also
got me to the finish in time for the start of the clydesale event
this week I tried to focus more on the race at hand
knowing that I could get their in time had me feeling less prone to checking my watch
last week I made a few glances at the watch which only compelled me to make a few more glances at my watch
glances that did not change anything except my focus
energy and attention on information not as important as listening to my body and focusing on the trail in front of me

this week I finished my single speed race without having to pause for a flat
I may have ridden with less intensity... but I did not have to slow for a repair
this gave me more time to wait for race two to start
the bike was as ready as it was gonna be
I was not enjoying the downtime after the race
my body would have preferred moving to standing still

there was time to refuel
but I lacked anythinng more than the watered down gatorade in my hydration pack and the flat coke in my waterbottle cage
no food
no hard fuel
it was dinnertime and I had nothing to snack on
a fellow clydesdale gave me a power gel of some sort
I was grateful

our race started
the gravel climb felt sluggish on the geared bike
I selected a gear to fit the easy pace that my tired legs desired
this was not a good start
I was in third
I wanted to be in first
at first chance I passed number two and slid in behind number one.... kurt
not long into the single track I made a pass on kurt
but kurt was not easy to shake
I rode the first lap making passes and trying to put some ground on kurt and the rest of the clydesdales
for the first three quarters of the lap the body was not entirely there
then the last section of the first lap then into the second lap I felt my groove return
fast was no longer fighting
fast felt normal
swooshing through the trees on the bike like a skilled skier on the bumps

there was a sensation that flowed from head to toe that brought a smile to my face
the body felt good
the body felt strong
I felt a comfortable pace that I felt I could maintain for the rest of the race
there was gratification in feeling that I could achieve my goal
Ifelt cool

I am not cool
as soo as I feel cool the world humbles me
this time things were no different
I went from cool to humble
from invincible to helpless

I felt it...
that awkward squish in the rear
that slight loss of control
that lack of confidence from the bike not doing what it should be doing

I was quickly reminded that I was not cool

in first place in the clydesdales with a little bit of space behind me I went to do a flat repair
it is a short race
but a quick repair can allow a racer to get back into the game
it is also amazing to see what the body does when it is asked
so I pulled over and started in on my repair

dnf is not an option

wheel off.... tire off... tube out...
scanned the tire for puncture
felt what may have been a thorn
it broke on the pass of my sweaty glove hand
I removed my gloves and searched that area again for the thorn
no luck... must have cleared it
I hoped

tube in.... tire on... tire on.... come on wire bead... tire on
then mini-pump.... things are moving slow
everything is drentched
like rain sweat comes down from the vents in my helmets
I try to top things off with a fresh CO2 cartridge
cyclists are blurring past
assistance is offered
more cyclists blur past
what appears to be the full Clydesdale class blurs past
I snap the CO2 together then on the stem
I put things in place
I press the button to start the process
smoke like dry ice is going everywhere
not much air is going in
the CO2 cartridge is frozen onto the stem
I wrestle to get it free

eventually the airless CO2 cartridge is free and I am back to the pump
I fill things up
packed filled... pack on the back... wheel back on the bike.... no hang up from the monkey nuts... brake reconnected
body back on the bike
butt back in the saddle
two pedal stokes... not enough air
I realize that I have a better pump attached to the frame of my bike
I stop to pump things back up
more cyclists pass
I bow out

DNF is not an option
DNF is my reality

I hate DNF
DNF is not an option
DNF was my reality

sometimes you just need to let it go
granted my focus was to have a strong Clydesdale race
there were some grand moments in the Single Speed race
it is all a blur but I rode in a nice flow with what appeared to be RickyD for a bit
but he is a shape shifter so I can never be sure if it is really him
I was certain that I had passed him
then I found myself on his tail again
which left me very confused

there was some time with JoeyP
no sign of Nick Daniels as Nick was too cool to hang midpack this week
did not expect to see Camp or Cargo Mike until after the clydesdale race
got to see them sooner with my second lap blues

it was not a perfect night on the bike
I did not achieve the experience that I was seeking
but I had an experience
I had a great ride... while it lasted

I know... tubeless... I know STANS... maybe I don't know
as I really don't know
but I am really considering looking into this tubeless technology

it was a good night on the bike
it was a good gathering of people
got to see a number of people I really enjoy seeing
PVC puts on quite a party
those guys are awesome
always love to see them
always appreciate their multiple contributions to the local mountain bike scene

yes... it is about the experience not the results
but the results are part of the experience