Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My latest adventure was to break in my new mtn bike. I now realize the bike can and wants to do way more than I will ever be able to do. I'm holding it back.
Headed up to Irvine Lake for a race thru the overthehumpseries midweek races. 3.75 mile loops. My first race I only had to do 2. Doesn't sound so bad, does it? 7.5 miles should be a piece of cake!
Well, I headed out to pre-run the course. Not so bad, flat straight out to the first turn up a pretty good hill but it was quite a view up above the lake and looking out to where we were headed. Basically almost the whole course could be seen from there. Actually a good spectator course.

Anyways, got thru the climb, flattened out briefly and then downhill righthander marked with double down arrows! It was steep and if you didn't make that turn you would end up in the lake!!! So I wobbled and skidded my nervous nelly of an ass thru the turn and surprise, didn't hit the water! I'm thinking ok can't get worse than that, can it ?! Not too bad for a little while but the next downhill was WAAAAAY worse than the first. It was already chewed up and powdery and this was only pre race, what the hell was it going to be after 300+ riders go thru it? I forgot to mention it kind of fell off to the left but you had to turn to the right... So MAYBE halfway down there was some sort of incident and I ended going over the handlebars . Once I got up from the dried brush I noticed a slight pain in my elbow and knee . Picked the dried brush off of my jersey and decided it was time to tackle the rest of the course! Hell, I was only like maybe a mile into it! So with my bloodied scraped up elbow, sore knee and a little bit of pride still intact I headed out as graceful as I could be. From there was really narrow off camber section . One side was up and the other down.One mistake and no room off the side!


In this area a kid was stopped and I had to stop behind him but couldn't put my left foot down cuz I would have toppled over the edge. Well I have trouble getting out of my right clip and just come to a stop against some prickly bush against the hill. The kid says to me, "This is really rough stuff". I was tempted to use my standard No shit Sherlock response but could only manage "yeah, it is".
Right at that point I started thinking if I ever mention another mtn bike race I hope to hell someone smacks me hard enough back to reality!
After floundering and flopping thru the first mile or so the rest of the course wasn't nearly as bad. Had a lot of downhill off camber turns but nothing like the first section . It was pretty straight forward.

After that PRACTICE lap headed back to the truck to assess the damage. Elbow, knee, ripped cycling shorts... Other than that I was looking pretty good. Was really thinking about loading up and calling that my mtn bike career. But, only quitters quit but only true brain dead idiots continue something so totally agonizing and fruitless!
Actually the race wasn't as eventful as the fun of that practice ride.
No major problems in the race and I finished! In one piece!
Not so bad after all and am looking to the next race.
Thoughts of not racing again faded far away on the drive home. I'll be there!


Lauren said...

Hi Rich! Things have been so hectic, I haven't got the chance to say that I really enjoyed your race report -- especially your pre-race report. Hilarious! (I don't know if you meant it to be, but I enjoy that kind of stuff) My advice, though I don't have much credentials: Don't worry too much about "sucking". I mean if I didn't do something just because I "sucked" at it, I'd be basically sitting on my couch all day : )

Rich Merritt said...

Thanks Lauren. I run, bike and play hockey and am just THERE. But still keep at it. Hope eveything is ok with you and family