At Little Washington 'Cross, the single speed race was the first of the day. After I got to the Washington American Legion, I went out to do a lap of the course.
It was steep with lots of tight off-camber turns around trees. My bike was creaking horribly.
Back at the Grumbler, I started oiling and tightening every bolt I could find. It still was making noise. Then I stripped a chain ring bolt. Crap. I love making things worse when I'm fixing my bike.
Fortunately, Rob came to the rescue with a spare. I put the new bolt the creaking went away. Race time.
The Pfluger, Josh Matta and I started to gap the rest of the field pretty early. I got out front and attacked. The Pflug dropped his chain and I started to pull away.
I kicked the first barrier and launched my face into the dirt. Josh caught back up.
I pulled away from him and started to gap the rest of the field, but the Pflug was coming back.
He caught me with two laps to go, then at the start of the last lap, he dropped me. Damn. I finished 2nd.
I hung out for a few hours, unsure if I wanted to race again or not. Shortly before the start of the 1/2/3 race I decided that I should. I pulled the bar ends off my mountain bike and threw my jersey back on.
The fast people started going really fast. I felt like I was going to die. By the second lap, I was in last place and falling back.
I needed a new strategy.
I stopped at the top of steepest hill on the course, sat down with my friends, and started heckling. Since I still had a number pinned on, I had a rare opportunity. I didn't need to stay behind the tape.
Gunnar's age and feebleness made him an easy target.
I sat out a few laps, then when I was feeling powerful, I would re-enter the course and crush the old man with my superior riding ability.
Practicing my trademark over the bars dismount.
It's all about the style. When he saw my supreme gracefulness, Gunnar screamed "What a hack!"
I assume that "hack" was a compliment back when I was in diapers and he was racing pro.
Showing a little skin as I float over the barriers:
And finally, the sprint to the finish:
Even though Gunnar was racing dirty and running me into the tape, I was still able to beat him at the line.
The next day, Don Powers and I got to Moraine super early to do a pre-ride lap. The lap took almost an hour, which was 30 minutes longer than we were expecting. We got back to the car with five minutes till race time, so when we sprinted off the line, it felt like we were already nine miles into the race.
Pre-riding is stupid.
I spun up to the front with Sam, Rob Spreng, and Evan, but when we hit the first hill they dropped me. I lost about 10 places on that opening climb. My legs weren't working.
Couch. Need couch now.
I caught and passed JPok before the end of the first lap, but I couldn't hold it. The climbs were too steep, and I was too tired.
I got complacent for a while, and Aaron passed me on a dirt road section. I was cool with it.
"Get out of the way you hack!" someone complimented me on the power line.
Not realizing who was coming up behind, I moved over to let him pass. Then I saw the blue and white jersey and realized that I had just made a grave mistake. Gunnar was about to beat me.
"Dude, leme get around you." I frantically said to Aaron.
"No." he said.
"Alright, fine." I said. I sprinted into a jagger bush on my right side and passed him. But I couldn't pass the other guy in front of us before the last down hill. Gunnar scampered away.
I cleaned the last climb and looked back for Aaron. Suddenly his tire lost traction. He had to get off and hike. I laughed at him and pedaled up to the finish. 3rd SS. Not my best work.