Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WV State Championships ('10)

As soon as I jumped into Don Power's cute little white Mazda, the complaining started. "My nose is stuffy. Waaa. It's so stuffly. Waahaa." He sniffled and snuffled the rest of the way to Davis.

I was excited, hoping to burn some fast laps around the course. Last year the race was the first time I had used a suspension fork, and I massively fudged up the settings. The fork was diving and bottoming out the whole race. I finished 7th in SS, my worst place that year.

When we entered the old western looking little town, Don was ready to fall asleep. We checked the medication he had taken that morning. I read the warning on the back of the box "May cause severe drowsiness. Do not take and operate machinery."

Since a bicycle is machinery, we headed to the Shop N' Shave at the end of town to counter medicate. Don went for the drug section and tried to find the cough medicine that had the ingredient used in meth. With dismay, we realized that it was not probably sold over the counter anymore. He settled for some daytime stuffy nose cure and a couple mini Red Bull shots.

We did a shortened lap of the course with Brad to warm up. I was surprised how bumpy it was. The rocks were expected, but I didn't remember the dirt being so rough. It seemed like everywhere there was a chunk, there was also a hole. The bump/hole/ground level terrain gave the course two dimensions of jarringness. 

I lined up in some tall grass next to Gunnar and waited for the race to start. Hands went up, numbers counted down, then we went. The start was fast, and once we were off the first dirt road and onto the course I was about five riders back. 

Places to pass were sparse, so I made fast moves when I could. Fifteen minutes in, I took the lead, and I was feeling great. I thought it was my day to crush it.

Five minutes later, the bumps really started to hurt. Jeremy Rowand was breathing down my neck, so I moved over to let him and someone else blow by. I went backwards for the rest of the day. 

Gunnar caught back up to me and I followed him for most of the second lap. I knew the moon rocks section was approaching. There's only one line through the sandy rain rutted rock, and it's almost impossible to find without pre-riding the section. I hoped that I could keep Gunnar in sight long enough to feed off of his wisdom and make it over the slab. 

I couldn't. Gunnar rode away while I tried to hike on the rock.
Damn locals and their lines.

Joey Riddle cruised passed me and made a smart comment that "Bikes are for riding." 

"Oh really? Is that what they're for? That's so funny. I didn't even know it." I replied in annoyance.

The rest of the day didn't get any better. I had put some tri flow on the sanctions of my fork to lube it up before the race, and it was completely worn off. Now the stupid fork wouldn't move. I squished it up and down and cursed its shittyness. 

Eventually I stopped to let air out of the positive chamber. I lost a few minutes unscrewing the top cap and looking around for a twig to depress the schrader valve. It didn't help. The seals on the fork were screwed many races ago, and now it was catching up to me. I felt like a total turd. 

Morgan Miller caught me before the third lap, and we traded places until we hit moon rocks again. I foolishly led into the section, and not knowing the line, I started to hike. Morgan knew where to go. He rode away from me. 

I made up some ground on the following climbs, and I was going hard to try to catch him. Unfortunately, every time we hit a downhill, I sucked. And I was missing a little spring from the front of my bike. He pulled away.

At the top of a rise I cracked my pedal into a rock, snapping off one of the wings. My foot wouldn't stay clipped in anymore. It was the final nail.

I finished the race about two minutes back from Morgan, and was the 2nd SS. I felt like garbage, and I was pissed at how poorly I had maintained my Reba. It certainly bit me in the ass.

The next day, I went on the SRAM website and found some videos that allowed me to rebuild the fork. When I pulled it apart, there was hardly any oil in it. I changed the seals, filled it with some fresh oil, and put it back together. It feels awesome now. I wish I would have done that work a few races ago. 


aaron said... must be that time of the month for the bionic woman. you've got more excuses than a roadie

Montana said...

Bionic women don't have periods. I though a computer dwelling person like yourself would understand that.

If I don't make excuses, I'm gonna start thinking I'm slow. And that just won't do.

Montana said...

And speaking of excuses, have you registered for the 101 yet? I hear that you're the 2nd fastiest mountain PRO on East now.

Shred said...

Don't beat yourself up. Hard to find time to work on bikes when your always racing, training and working. My bikes really suffered last year. I would have been a lot worse off if it wasn't for Chris Y. at Trek. That kid got me out of so many jams and kept my bike on the trial. I would have missed races and a lot of training rides if it wasn't for his help.

Don said...

I'm glad my misfortunes can be used to gain readership in this propaganda machine you call a blog! I like how you conviently left out how you probably messed up your Reba prerace with all your tinkering.

Shred said...

The grouchy old man has spoken. Leave Montana alone and go take pill for your head cold.

Montana said...

Don't be silly Don. Your misfortunes aren't going to gain me any readers, because nobody really cares about your snuffles.

And my fine tuning only made a bad fork worse. It did not mess it up, thank you very much.

Shred said...

What! Are you kidding Montanna? I live for those moments. Every time an entry come up on my RSS reader, I think I hope Montanna's got some ragging on Don in his post. It's truely the very best part of your blog.