7.01.2009

the body is sore

the body sore
I would like to say that this is that type of sore is what people call a "good sore"
but honestly... some of my body hurts
my thumb... my hamstrings... my neck...
I am worked
who would think that a few laps around Wakefield Regional Park would have such a profound effect on my mind, body, and soul
with all this soreness I feel great
sore yet invigorated and refreshed

the rain did not exactly hold out... but the rain held off long enough that I was able race my full race as a Clydesdale
it was a good day on the bike
motivation was hard to find
attendance counts for a whole lot
and well... it is always better on the bike

I bobbled the start something fierce
an effort to retract from an almost false start had me unable to clip in with my right foot
the race to the top of the gravel hill was an interesting battle... only made a little more interesting by my delayed start
I fought with several sets of elbows to find some solid ground to place my tires
then managed to crest that short gravel hill sprint in third
passing Barry Quigley on the inside left turn onto the road that points to the hole shot
then with some effort I was able to squeak by Marine John just before the start of the singletrack
Marine John had a great start but was feeling the effects of this weekend's past 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey

having fought back my demons enough to load the car and drive out to the race had me stoked to be riding and racing my bike
the of rain was over head... but I was on my bike
on this race day I was trying to do things differently... part of me was trying to think about racing smart
part of me that was stuck on the notion of passing
before the race I had witnessed two beginner woman crash
some time passed
no one was hurt... but no one was getting back on their bikes
I had moved one of the girl's bikes to the side
after some more time and more racers passed I said... you got to get back on your bike and finish the race
one girl sheepishly picked up her bike and slowly rolled back onto the course
while the other young woman stood up and walked away with her bike
I asked her why she was not going back out to finish the race
she told me that the people passing her were being obnoxious
this thought resonated with me... because I am one of those obnoxious passers

I thought about how the entry level riders are on the course at the same time as the single speeders... the single speed is all about momentum... fast and frequent passing is the only way to rock the course on the single speed
it is also the race course on race day... sort of like a beginner driver entering the mixing bowl on as they are just learning to shift and brake

so as I rolled into the first stretch of singletrack I could already see the stragglers of the classes released before us
I thought about trying to race a more efficient race
try to brake less before and during the corners
less speed in and accelerate out
try to just arc the turns fluidly

well... that was all shot to hell when I felt a Clydesdale Knobby Nipping at my rear tire....
I tried to thrust ahead
muscling the turns... hard braking in and mechanical muscling to speed out of the turns
only to get stuck behind the racers in front of me
finding that by the time I was able to make a polite pass the wheels behind had caught me
my finding a clean place to pass created a place for the following cyclist to also pass with nothing more than a friendly one more racer

it was like I was rushing ahead to block for him
then parting the racers for him so he could effortlessly roll through
there would be no other way
no way that I would let this race be decided with a game of cat and mouse ending in a sprint to the finish
this was a battle that was starting early and could easily end late
there was no shaking this set of tires

lap one had to be the most exciting lap of the race
there was no shaking this hungry Clydesdale
he was always there
I never looked back... but I knew he was there
I could feel him... I could hear him... there was no time to glance back and see him
focus was forward

my peripheral had pieced together white as being a dominant color of the racer behind me
white bike and white jersey? maybe just jersey?
who knows what I saw...
with the space in my head an algorithm ran through a mental image of who was at the line
it seemed that it was either the kid with the new white geared Fisher 29er from The Bike Lane with a white sleeveless jersey and a tattoo that I can not recall
or the guy I called out at the line
there was that guy in the Gripped Films Jersey... when I had turned around and asked if anyone knew my friend Kent Baake I noticed the Gripped Film Jersey... and I told the guy that there were no slow racers on the Gripped Films Squad... he tried to play it down that he was the exception

somewhere towards the tail end of the first lap I was confident that it was the guy from Gripped
sure enough... there are no slow racers from the Gripped Racing squad

there was much more passing to do... not easy passing either
there were long Singletrack Caterpillars
these multi segment caterpillars making glorious turns in the woods... going fast... but not racing... like a fast group ride
I wanted to race
the only time these guys raced... was when I tried to pass

I think that I understand...
I drove from downtown DC to Wakefield Park.... I know about taking your line in the queue
but this is racing... and well... you are in the queue of your class
the pecking order in my class has yet to be sorted out
your pleasantly paced laps are interfering with my effort to race
my passing you and your friends will not effect your finishing order

yes... everyone has a right to their space
I want to share this space... I want to grant you your right to your race and your space
yet I also want a right to my race and my space
lets share this space as I go past you.... please....

I try to be polite
and more than being polite in my request... I try to safe and sensible
it is tough passing... and yes... there will be a spot to pass in a few hundred yards... but I have been behind this line of tires long enough
I want to pass you... then the guy in front of you... then the guy in front of them
it is about time to move on
if I wait for this opportunity to pass... I will just move forward in the queue
I want to pass the queue
I want to get on with my race

so... trying to be polite I tried to make my pass
more than once as I rolled along side a racer at that spot where I wished to pass my speed was matched
it is tough to pass on the Single Speed when trying to get my a geared bike
yet I try... and well... so many of these Sport racers try to fight my effort to pass

if they can go faster... why do they wait till this moment to make things a race?
if they were so intent on racing I would not be rolling a soft pedal behind them

lap two was spent trying to be patient with the passing
then the rain came... first there was thunder and lightning
then there was a sprinkle
and by the time my third lap had started there was rain
strong steady rain

the hard packed man made trails of Wakefield can be slick at points
the hard packed berms and turns can be slippery when wet
I rode the last lap with caution and concern
frustrated that my Mountain Bike Time Trial was not only effected by the long lines of racers I needed to pace with but also by my need to race smart

as I tried to race smart I wondered about how far behind me the chasing Clydesdales were
I wondered if I was slowing down and if they were maintaining pace
the last half of the last lap was ridden with a Sport racer who I had passed
we chatted a little as he wondered why I was riding in such a tentative way
I mentioned a season of injuries and just being back on the bike
I mentioned my physical therapy session from earlier that day
I did not mention that the larger rider slips out more easily than the smaller rider

we worked the turns and may have passed a few additional racers

coming across the line this racer made a dramatic photo finish...
sorry... it is a time trial
I was released minutes after you
so... even if we cross the line at the same time... my time is still faster than yours

more on this
enough on this

some words here from Wednesday at Wakefield Number 2
that is WAW@2
I think I will try to get an official race/ride/weather/traffic report once I see the times and maybe some photos


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