hey all - here is the long write up for the snowshoe race. only have time to write up this one race tonight, the suicide 6 write up will be tomorrow. check back!
8.16 - travel to morgantown
after my AM early spin, work and a brief ride later in the day to work out some minor shifting issues on one of my bikes, it was time to make the way south with jennifer. got down to morgantown by nightfall. did this so i could pre-ride the course at snowshoe early in the day on the 17th and rest up for the remainder of the day.
8.17 - arrive at snowshoe
arrive at the venue a little later than i had planned, but late enough that we could check in as soon as we got there. we stayed at rim fire which is "the" place to stay there - underground parking, outdoor hot tub, etc. it was nice to get there - i think both jennifer and i were ready to strangle each other as my pre-race nerves were at an all time high. so i went for a ride and she hung out, rode the chair lift and walked around a little.
the course - well, some people don't like snowshoe for every reason i love it. rocks, roots and climbs. oh, and throw in some mud - lots of it - and then make everything really slippery. it's the kind of course that is very unforgiving and can make a bad day seem even worse. pre-riding the course i discovered that it covered a lot of the old snowshoe 24 hour course, and the remainder of the course i had ridden in a NORBA race a few years back -- so in my mind, i had a pretty good advantage. i had raced well in very bad conditions here before, so i could do it again.
course was muddy, but the air was cool and the sky was blue with some light fluffy clouds.
oh, how that would change.
8.18 - race day
awoke to misty thick fog and about 60'ish temps - you could maybe see 100 feet max as the fog was so thick. weather channel so no rain until after 1pm - ya, right.
we line up, the gun goes off and the rain starts almost immediately. rain was slow at first, then harder. the pace is blistering, and the small open pro field is shattered almost instantly. i make it into the top 5 and i feel like i am flying when all of a sudden i come up to a mud pit and my front wheel gets stuck. somehow, i manage to stay upright but my pedal hits the back of knee REALLY REALLY REALLY hard and it sends a shooting pain down my leg to my foot like the pain when you hit your funny bone really hard. almost immediately my foot goes 100% numb. i try to take a step and i nearly fall over. i take another one and then really do fall over. at this point i think my foot is broken and i start having thoughts about how the hell i am going to get out of the woods, i can't believe this is happening to me, etc. so i start to think rationally and then remember that i didn't hit my foot - so i try to start walking it off. i walk for no less then 3-5 minutes, get passed by about 5 riders, and then hop back on when feeling comes back to my foot.
i pass all the riders that passed me - but now my chain is skipping like crazy. i pedal on.
at the half way point i am about 20 minutes behind the leaders and still in the top 5. after the feed zone, i drop the other riders that were near me only to get caught by them again as i have to stop to adjust my now skipping like crazy chain. i stop again for at least 3-4 minutes.
i catch everybody that passed me AGAIN. i then get into some of the old snowshoe course and my pedal starts feeling funny - i at first thought it was my ankle. i looked down, saw that to my relief that it wasn't, but was bummed out by the fact that i wasn't going to be able to finish.
in the end i pulled out when in my mind i feel like i could of came up with a third place finish. yes, it stunk, but i would of rather it happened at snowshoe then two weeks later at whsitler - and at least i didn't get hurt as well. it could of been drastically worse, by far.
8.19 - dan the man works his magic
get to shop later then what i wanted due to the fact that we had to travel back roads to get to the shop. wanted to get there by 10:30am and we got there at 12:30. dang.
i got the bikes in the shop, dan stopped what he was doing and looked at the bikes immediately. after a minute discussion with shop owner chris, he came up the steps with my saviors - two XTR cranks.
MAY THE CYCLING GODS BLESS SPEEDGOAT.
new SRAM chains on both bikes, new brake pads, new cassettes, new rebuild kits for my crank brothers, new schwable tires, new lever on the one bike, new cables - and probably 100 other things dan didn't tell me about. by 6:30pm, i had rides in on both bikes and the bikes were 150% working super duper fantastic. now the bikes would be ready for tomorrow AND whistler. yowza.
and, then the long back country ride to syracuse. we didn't get to sleep until 12:30am and had the alarm set for 6:30am. tomorrow was going to be a rough day.
but that story is for tomorrow. gotz to get some sleep.