Tuesday, September 1, 2009

black bear 40k: part duex

(Go to part one before you skip to part duex. The whole thing will make more sense. I promise)

We were hiking up a super steep rooty section, and a rider came by spinning his granny ring and climbing like his tires had fingers. “Yeah! Get it get it!” we shouted, and by some miracle, the guy cleaned the section. I was thoroughly impressed.

Another piece of single track flew by, and I was feeling less than stellar. I got over to the side and let Don speed by, as he was pinning the turns. Finally I hit the long anticipated Black Bear downhill. Rocks were everywhere. Big, big, sharp, pointy rocks. My brain couldn’t process the information my eyes were sending it, so I just got my ass behind the saddle and hoped for the best. As usual, having my seat anterior to my posterior pulled me through. I dropped off rock after rock, but managed to stay in control and alive.

(the black bear downhill. it looks worse in person)

Again I ascended, and at the top turned onto pine ridge trail. I had heard the promoter say before the race that this was the hardest descent of the day, but at the moment I had no idea why. I flew by a sign that exclaimed “SSS (very scary.)” I rolled onto the top of a rock, and suddenly the trail disappeared. I almost shit my pants.

“Holy Shit!” I exclaimed as I grabbed two fist full’s of brakes. There was a four plus foot drop inches from my front wheel. “You got it!” yelled a woman 10 feet below the level of my head. I got my butt back, stuck my tongue out (I’m guessing I did that so I could bite it off if I crashed) and proceeded not to think. I rolled the drop, and honestly, I have no idea how. Somehow I avoided what should have been a spectacular endo, and laughed delightedly that I had cheated certain mangling. I felt like a loon.

More switchbacked descending followed, and I must say I’ve made some big improvements in that area. There’s no way that I would have made a single one of those sharp turns at the beginning of the season.

We hit the bottom and Brad from Bikeman informed me that we had one climb, one descent, and one big hike a bike left. He then told me that he thought his rib was broken and was finding it hard to breathe. I acted on his first bit of information and tried to catch Aaron for the third time. I got him on the up hill, but when we hit the down he pulled out of sight again. It wasn’t quite fair. I did hard work to catch him, and he got the pleasure of passing me on the fun sections. A mighty harrumph to that.

I hit the hike a bike and Brad was close behind. “Hey you found the hike a bike!” he exclaimed. “No shit.” I thought to myself. We trudged up the incredibly steep incline. “I always thought this would be the worst place to get attacked by bees.” Brad chirped “You’re a sitting duck. You can’t go down, and you can’t run up” I laughed. He had a point. Or I think he had a point. It seemed relevant at the time.

We went down a swoopy down hill and spilled out on to the road. “Whoohoo! Almos there!” shouted a large man with suspenders wearing a beard. We rode up a steep climb, and then rolled back down to a stream.

I pedaled along the stream and at last the finish line appeared. I rolled across and jumped off my bike. I was beat.

From Drop Box

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