In the short time I've had to think about the race, I've decided that I need to go back and do the race for the sole purpose of riding, not walking, the Nose Dive.
In that same short time, I've also decided to add some new riders to my I Want to Ride Like That List. The criteria for this list is hard to describe, partly because I use a "know it when I see it" criteria, but suffice it to say that all the people on this list are more or less locals and people I like. Bart, of course, was already on it. I'll give Jon an honorary spot -- kind of like Sandra Day O'Connor has an honorary degree from BYU, but really didn't earn it -- because he rode 5 laps. The new inductees include:
- Jake Pantone
- Jonny Hintze
- The Jack Mormon Militia (all of 'em)
Jake and Jonny, fellow Biker's Edge'ers, rode Duo Pro this year and between the two of them logged 17 laps. They got third place and a big cardboard check. The Jack Mormon Militia is a bunch of single-speeders. I likely will do a whole entry sometime devoted to this phenomenon, but for now, just accept that these guys are some tuff dudes (or really dumb, depending on the way you look at it). Their bikes have one gear and totally lack any form of conventional suspension. I say "conventional" because their legs, arms, butt, back likely take the shock that your or my Fox shock takes. In any event, these guys took 1st in their single speed category and 2ND PLACE OVERALL. They routinely rode sub-1:10 laps -- again, that's without gears or conventional suspension. Chucky is my hero.
Back to the race itself . . . . One of the things I like about doing epic races or rides is that, even though I have ADD, I am thoroughly entertained for a solid week after. That's because I replay, over and over again, various things that I thought or encountered, or should have done or would do over if I had the chance (by the sound of it, I might have mild paranoia as well). Incidentally, this is also the reason I have to race every week -- to fill it back up. Several things have been replaying in my head and have kept me occupied:
I tried to go all out my first lap, but with 400+ people on the course, I kept getting stuck behind people. Because the course was TECHNICAL, sometimes it was hard to pass. On one occasion, I found myself stuck behind a guy with a stuffed penguin on his head. You can see it here: Penguin Head. I think his whole team had penguins on their heads. I don't know why, they just did. I came across Penguin Head right before a longish super sandy, windy decent. I made an attempt to pass Penguin Head on one of the berms, but failed, and was about to make another attempt when Penguin Head yardsaled (that's a verb) it. Luckily, I avoided the human, but sadly, the Penguin had a mean brush with my spokes. I got past without crashing though.
My first night lap was ok at 1:17. I felt like I put out a big effort though and felt that I wasted a lot of energy slamming up and down the rocks. I nearly cramped up. My second night lap didn't go so well. At exactly the same place where I nearly decapitated the Penguin and while I was kind of chuckling about it in my mind, I had my own yardsale. My front wheel dug into the sand, I launched over the bars, flipped, turned around just in time to see my bike flying through the air, and because I have Samurai reflexes, I reached up in the air and caught it! I caught the fork and the seatube, gently put it back down on the ground, did my CX mount, and I was off an running again.
When the Light Goes Out.
I saw some unfortunate souls who were struggling to make it without lights. One of the "ambulance chasers" showed some gumption when he got out a few miles, realized that his light was not going to hold out, rode all the way back to camp, got a new light, and then went and rode his lap. It kind of makes me think: does karma or the Good Samaritan Rule apply when you are racing? I mean, ethically, should I have stopped to lend a helping hand? After all, I tell my son that so long as he is not on the soccer field he has to be nice; but when he's on the soccer field, he's supposed to be mean and kick the crap out of . . . er be a good sportsman. Well, I didn't stop and help and I think I may have even given one of those lightless persons a sand rooster tail. Sorry.
Next Year, When I Do it Again.
Time's up. . . . to be continued.