Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Feeling like ass but having a blast in Davis,WV

For the fan, whom likes to analysis our races and courses and such.
Tucker County Slug Fest Road Race
WV State Champs, Blackwater Death Marsh

The first weekend of the “pro-lyfe” two months ended with mixed results. For me it would be a mix of poor body, poor decisions and then pulling off a pretty good ride out of my butt. More to come on those butt issues. Here is the tale, fan….
The Tour De Tucker County West Virginia (RR): Fan, if you have never been to Davis, WV to ride you are truly missing out on one of the most beautiful but ass kicking places to ride on the east coast. Whether you prefer the dirt or the road I suggest you make the trip. Ok, enough PR and back to the race report. Betsy, Jackie, Gunnar and I headed out from Morgantown to actually arrive on time, amazing as that never happens. We began to climb the mountain up to the wind mills where Gunnar insisted the start was but no one was there. We were not that early, ooops, luckily we saw Nick W., a local and who clearly pays more attention to things so we followed him up the right mountain to get ready for this 50milish road race which included a boat load of climbing.
Race start-- GORGEOUS!!

Now I never mentioned it to the Director but I was actually contemplating sitting this one out. I felt extremely run down all week, my legs were sore to the touch and my HR was 10-15 beats higher then normal. But it was JR’s race, I did not want to hear the Director b*tch and I have raced before feeling like sh*t and ended up doing well so I figured why not. I knew however, as soon as we headed down the 4 mile descent to the starting line that I had made the wrong decision. I felt highly uncomfortable on the bike, my legs ached, I had a funky clammy sweat thing going on and I generally had little motivation. The Mohican and 24 Hours sapped a lot out of us, ok me.

Well off we went, it was a small field but with some heavy hitters. Sometimes on days you feel like crap you can often hide in the field but on this day I would be completely exposed to whatever was out there. Instantly it felt like I was paddling up stream with only a spoon. My breathing was labored, the legs felt like planks and I still was sweating some weird clammy sh*t. I made it up the first 4 mile climb but I knew the day was not going well, I felt like ass. We hit the second climb when Nick W. and Russ L. turned in the screws a little. It was at this moment I had to decide, jump on and bury myself for the weekend or sit up and enjoy the views. What to do, what to do? Well, I felt it would be most prudent and wise of me to sit up. I have a hard 2 months ahead of me and burying myself on this day made little sense as it could send me into the over trained abyss that is so hard to dig out of. I rode in alone and easy until the last 5 mile climb. There was no easy way to get up that thing. Gunnar had a good ride coming in 4th and Betsy won the ladies race and “girled” many boys including me. Good job team. I am bummed that I DNF’d, I would have preferred to be DFL but I think I made the right choice. The course and scenery were outstanding. Looking forward to next year.

gunnar after climbing nearly 7000 feet in 54 miles, with our Malaysian friend Larry in the background

SATURDAY NIGHT… gonna party like its your birthday…go shorty…what..

Speaking of right choices, Saturday night would be filled with plenty of wrong post/pre-race choices. See, fan, I took a 6-7 year hiatus from racing and I have made my return to racing this year on the single-speed. Now many know me from before as a West Virgin’eer kid but many that don’t think I am just another uptight roadie from DC that happens to know and travel with the Shogren’s. Well it is true I road race and I do live in DC now but I am far from uptight and my heart is still in the mountains. Also, fan, the single speed world is a sub-culture with in the sub-culture that is the cycling world: an iconoclastic bunch, that party harder, get rowdier and take themselves perhaps a little less serious, yet most of the top SS kids are some of the fastest out on the course. Why am I telling you this? …Well, the WV night club crew ( SS kids) were determined to take me out for a drink or ten on this night. Now after such a shitty road race I really did not feel like going out but I figured hey a few beers and home by midnight won’t be that bad, right? That’s what SS kids do.

WV Nightclub, plus poor Goose

So Johnny M, Chris P, Andy W ( 24HRS teammate), LB, Young Morgan M (WV29’er teammate) and I left the cabin we were all sharing for the booming metropolis of Davis and Thomas, WV. (The Shogren’s stayed behind) to hit The Purplefiddle for a reggae show. This place is pretty freaking cool. It was packed with some amazing people that felt shoes were to be the exception and hugs the rule. With the exception of wearing shoes I felt at home in this place, a little mountain oasis. I kept the drinking to a minimum and still believed I would be back at the cabin by midnight which would give me plenty of sleep for the 1pm start. The band was pretty kick ass. I wanted to get on the dance floor but rule # 37 in the pro-lyfe manual clearly states to stay off your feet any time you can (refer to Cycling-Dumb for a copy) so I did, however, the last song did require some booty shaking as the cute hippy girls were plentiful and their invitations to dance were to pleasant to pass up. If you ever find yourself in Thomas, WV…good people….
Check out: http://www.purplefiddle.com/
Ahh, it was mid-night and back in the car with young non-drinking Morgan M. behind the wheel. There was some talk about heading to another bar but it seemed as though every one was pretty ready to start thinking like bike racers again…until….the drummer from the reggae band a Rasta dude from Florida jumped in the back of the car, offered us a swig of whiskey and some other things for a ride up to the other bar. The crew got rowdy and agreed to his request. At this point I decided to embrace the night for what it was and to worry about racing later. It is about the ride not the result sometimes so I took a swig of whiskey and off to the next bar we went. We shared some drinks and chatted up some folks until the nice young lady from behind the bar yelled last call, ugh 2am. The boys ordered another round and I found myself on stage with the normally subdued Andy W. playing guitar while singing Jack Johnson and others tones. Boy did the hippie girls eat that up. I should have been a rock star!! Back to the cabin by 2:45am and in bed by 3am a perfect way to spend a pre-race evening. No regrets though, it was a great time, in some rad places, with some cool peep’s.
SUNDAY…a hung over race day
Needless to say I felt like ass while I was lining up with Sue H. to my left and Jeremiah B to my right, perfect, two Olympic hopefuls and I smell and feel like a wino, so pro, oh well. Well not surprising too, I was having all sorts of stomach issues mixed with all the same shitty feelings I had lining up for the road race on the previous day. I was not very hopeful with what the day was going to bring. Now this was the State champs so everyone from WV brought their A game. I am no longer a WV resident and unable to contend the state champ crown so I brought my B game but drank myself into D game status. My hopes for a good ride had diminished in a Rasta’s whiskey bottle the night before. My only goal for the day was to beat LB so I could regain the lead in the points as the overall is my goal and every thing else would be gravy. The State Champs was not my goal nor could I have it.
Time to get popping and off to the mud bogs….
We were off and running and I found myself in around 10th place as we began to hit the first of what would be hundreds of mud bogs, lakes, deadly water holes and the like. I was 2nd within the SS kids and my WV29’er Cannondale teammate Robbie Loehr was leading us, go Robbie. Much to my surprise I was riding well, say A- game. Sweet, I was pounding the pedals and I found myself slipping away with the leaders. Wow, I can party like a rock-star and still ride well (perhaps a new cycle-dumb training plan?) cool. I won’t try this again though. I did fall into a water hole and was completely submerged from head to toe. It was refreshing but a little scary too. I went back and fourth with Joey R. all day and I think I “scharted” twice luckily it was so wet and muddy no evidence was left. I rode hard and I was in the pain box all day. It was a good day. Oh, and I came in ahead of the WV nightclub crew that tried to sabotage my race with the drink. I think I earned my stripes, boyz.
Betsy 2nd (no smiles either--soul was crushed)
Gunnar 8th p/ex (off day for the Director)
Me, Chrissy 2nd SS 8th overall
…and we all are in 1st in points again, yippee!!


Man, that Blackwater is tough. I rode here for the first time in 1996 on a 30+ pound steel Paramount on suspension with about 1 inch of travel. We had cantilevers back then that lasted for about one mud bog. It was tough back then. We all ride sub 20 pound rides now with killer brakes and suspension yet that Blackwater can still kick your ass and it did. An epic in its truest form. Thanks Roger and Matt (Blackwater Bikes)--you put on a crusher.

Shoutouts and stuff:
- To my 29er Cannondale teammates that won the WV state champs in their respective classes: Robbie Loehr SS Champ, Matt Marcus Masters Champ, Jason Cyr Vet Champ and Betsy 1st pr/ex women. You all rock!!
- Roger and Matt of Blackwater Bikes for putting on an epic and allowing to us to loiter in the yard after the race until 9pm
- JR for putting on a kick ass road race and for quitting smoking, ehhmm!!!
- Uncle Rob V. and Cannondale
- The Miller’s and Phillip’s for letting us stay at the killer chateau
- The WV night club crew: good times and good racn’
- Betsy, Jackie and Gunnar
- To all that raced it was an epic and whether you are Olympic bound or out for the first time it was truly an epic for everyone…Good work!!!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Miller, DDS

I went into the weekend a little sick and came out sick which makes a perfect time for some R&R in NY at ma and pa McGill’s house, I may pedal some. Then off to OH for some crits and then KY for Road Nationals. As the lyfe continues…..
Results and pictures:
iPlayOutside Blackwater

Ride hard, take risk but be nice!!!! Peace Chrissy

Goose looks tired. Here he is bonking while trying to help Nars work on HIS bike. What a help...

Ahhh…and the Supreme Court dropped the ball on the Exxon Valdez case….idiots! back to the revolution comrades!!!!!

No comments: