Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shannock Valley Festival ('10)

This past Sunday, I went to watch my lady friend Colleen do a 15k trail run at Yellow Creek State Park. Her race was in the morning, so I figured that we would have enough time to make it to the Shannok Valley Bike the Wilds race. Colleen crushed the trail race with a 7th overall, and victory among the women.

After she had eaten a few cups of granola, I asked "So, you wanna try to make it to that mountain bike race so that I can be the firstiest pro on east coast?

"Absolutely." she replied. I ran through the rain to the Grumbler and got everything packed up. Colleen hopped in when was finished with her shower, and I shifted into gear. Google maps said that the race in Rural Valley (middle of fucking no where) was 45 minutes away from Yellow Creek park. It was 10:15, so we had exactly 45 minutes to make the 11:00 start. 

Although it's easy to beat Google trip estimations in most cars, the Grumbler is not the fastest vehicle on the road. I ripped out of the park and nailed the throttle to blast up to 65 mph. I was still optimistic that we could make it.

I ate a pb&honey sandwich in route. We made the turn off of the hi-way, and did my best to keep the Grumbler planted on the road through all the sharp corners. I was really pushing it.

A few minutes later, we hit a closed road. It said "Open to local traffic only." Knowing that the detour would be slow, I decided to chance it and head down the closed road. I figured that being from PA made us local enough. 

In three miles I skidded to a stop at a half demolished bridge. I briefly considered jumping the river and landing the Grumbler on the opposite bank, but decided against it since I was carrying bikes on the back. 

There were fifteen minutes to go until the race, and I was following a pickup down a back road on the detour at 20mph. I wanted to slay the meandering red neck as we poked along down the winding road. 

With 5 minutes until the start we hit the last hi-way before Rural Valley. The town was supposed to be two miles down the road. I turned right and gunned it. 

6 miles later, I started to think that we had gone the wrong way. I turned back. When we got back to where I had turned, I realized that the detour had popped me out right where I needed to be. All I needed to do was go straight across the street. It was now 11:10. Dammit. I held out some hope that the race start would be delayed.

We rolled into the parking lot at 11:15. A couple of Pepsi signs hung from the side of white EZ Ups and flapped in the breeze. The parking lot was entirely deserted. I pulled into the middle of the lot. Rain was falling heavily. I listened to the flop flop of windshield wipers.

"Shit. Where the hell is everybody? I could swear the website said the race was on the 24th." I said.

Colleen looked at me. "Today's the 25th."



Don said...

Dude, if you didn't live in a tent in the woods you would have seen Aaron talking about his dramatic 1 second victory in the SS class on Faceboobs Saturday.

Big Bikes said...

The 101 is Saturday by the way. I'd hate to see you roll into the parking lot at 5:30AM Sunday. Mostly because I'll be trying to sleep off about twelve beers and the engine noise from The Grumbler would wake me up.
That would suck.


Montana said...

Yep I know it is. I'm heading out there today so that I can get some rest before the start tomorrow morning

kahlean said...

Solid effort though. You should definitely race the Grumbler down shady back roads more often.

Joey and Mandi said...

Best "race" write up I have ever read.