Posted on 9:19 AM by Schottler

Last years race with Butthead, Green Beans, and myself vs. DRJ was close. It came down to me going out for a 2nd night lap with a 20 minute lead. My chain broke, I had no tools, and then my lights went out. We finished 3rd. I had a small grudge this year.

This years team changed to Mike Best, Green Beans, and myself. It came down to a close battle the whole day with DRJ again. Everyone was riding well, Ploch was rocking a single speed all day because he can't seem to keep derailleurs attached to his bike. My cortisone shot didn't take effect yet, so I was in pain the whole day.

I went out 2nd after Mike, who had a strong first lap. I wasn't too smooth at the start of the lap, but still wanted a new record as this was the best chance of getting it with a traffic free course. 3 miles in, I broke a rear spoke through a technical rock section, but I kept going and let it dangle in my gears. Shortly after, my SI joint flamed up, great. Thankfully this course had a number of sections where I could stretch my back to get a few seconds of relief. Shortly after the spoke and SI explosions, I got in a good rhythm. First lap finished in a time of 58.47, beating the old record by 1 minute and 12 seconds. Mission 1 accomplished.

Lap 2 I still felt strong but managed to have one of the most violent crashes I have ever had in a race. Through a fast flowy section at about mile 8, I was cruising at probably 20 mph when my left pedal grabbed a small stump and my bike came to a complete stop. I however, did not. I flipped over the bars, landing on my head and shoulder. Then I saw my bike go flipping through the air about 10 feet above me, landing on it's wheels nicely in the woods. I laid on the ground cussing for about a minute staring at the daytime stars, waiting for some adrenaline to wear off and make sure I didn't break anything. Nothing was broken, so I got up and kept going. A little sore for the crash, I finished the lap at about 1:01. At the finish I checked the destruction. My helmet was cracked to hell, my left Time Attac Carbon pedal was cracked on the side and through the body, and my cleat ripped out of my shoe. I haven't ever seen that, but I am definitely lucky, that could have turned out MUCH worse.

Lap 3 I felt great, pain was starting to disappear and the course was faster than ever. A few stupid mistakes, but still a fast lap of 1:00.08.

Lap 4 was my night lap, lap 11 for the team, the last of the race. It was down to me again. I was stupid worried about flatting or breaking something and ruining it all for the team again. I think the time gap was only about 6 minutes or so, so I didn't feel comfortable about just turning on cruise control to the finish. If I were to flat, the race would be too close, so I thought it would be good to at least put on a few more minutes just in case. The lap was perfect, no mistakes, I took all technical sections and descents slow and easy, picked perfect lines everywhere, and hammered where it was safe. The lap was finished in 1:03.59. Two Disappearing Panda's and a Confused Opposum win the 'Wicked Fast' category. Mission 2 accomplished.

Mike Best was putting in some strong times and was even able to stuff 6 fig newtons in his mouth while racing. Green Beans took over my bad luck with 2 flats. However, we wouldn't have been able to win without his cooking. I eat better camping with Beans than I do sitting in my apartment.

I won the fastest day lap (new course record) and night lap of the race, all 3 day laps were the fastest of the day.


David Henderson said...

Dude! Heck of a ride! Sorry to hear about the big air. Glad you're ok.

Hey, could you add a "navbar" or a "subscription links" gadget to your blog. It would allow me and others to easily follow new posts as they are published.

I've subscribed to your RSS feed, but all it seems to do is put a link on my toolbar of my internet browser. The "navbar" has a "follow" link which puts all new published posts of blogs that I follow into my "reading list".

David Henderson said...

I got it. Added it to my Google Reader, then synced it to my dashboard.

I'll never miss another post. (Unfortunately for you that means, I will probably comment on most of your posts from here on out.)

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