Monday, June 22, 2009
.At least we didn't have to sleep in it.
I'm still left speechless and am finding a hard time writing about this one, but here we go. I opted for the 1x9 this race just to switch things up and I pretty much ended up riding a single speed anyway. Who would have known that grip shift is impossible in the mud. Seems when you get mud on your gloves it becomes very hard to twist the little shifty thingy (almost impossible). I went for the 1x9 mostly because at the gallop the start just eats the single speed guys up, With the Alesios ,Seamus Powell and Mike Mooradian sitting at the line I knew this would be a tough start . It didn't quite work out like that mostly because of the 99 inches of rain we have had in the past 3 weeks there were huge puddles on campground road (prologue lap) and this kept the normally torrid starting pace at a somewhat comfortable level for me. Campground wasn't in that bad of shape, some slippery stuff and a couple large puddles. I'm thinking if it stays like this everything should be cool. Hammer up the fire road towards Major Mike staying in contact with the leaders who now have opened it up because this is the first and turns out to be the only section of clean trail. I warmed up on the road mostly because I didn't want to roll to the line trashed like Roger Foco did. Rog you looked like you had just finished the race not about to start one. So I had no idea what was ahead and apparently was about to find out. Like Lemmings about to fall off a cliff to their deaths we made the left into Major Mike, after cresting the two small hills the daily soaking Stewart has gotten in the past month had reared its ugly head. The trail had sections with a foot or more of peanut butter, Total devastation. I'm glad I didn't preride because If I would have seen what was ahead I may have rolled right through the start finish, getting in the car and driving right to the nearest Cracker Barrel. The Mud was so deep in most places and so well churned up that it had the consistency of a protein shake or maybe more like a coffee coolata. I was told the darkhorse guys had built some bridges and they were helpful, kind of like a oasis only the muck was the desert and the bridges were salvation. Just make sure you launch the far end because there were sinkholes after each one looking to swallow your front wheel.
First time through there I kind of picked my way down losing a little time only to catch the Alesios and Seamus on Sara's Way, Mooradian was up the road a little and out of sight but no worry because about a half lap in he was on the side of the trail fixing his bike never to be seen again, this seemed to be the theme for the day. Second lap its Andrew Alesio, Dylan Alesio and me, Half way through this lap Dylan loses his brakes and skids off the trail into the abyss gone for the day. The third lap I take the lead on Major Mike and get a gap on Andrew, The funny thing is I don't think I used my brakes at all on the final two laps I just aimed for the deepest mud and It slowed you right down. I wasn't nervous the last lap of this race like I usually am when I'm in the lead because i knew that If anyone caught me they were gonna go right by, I had nothing left. Completely spent I slowly climbed the gravel hill for the last time, almost crashing into the scorers table with my hands in the air for the win.
......No chainsuck for me SBC, your voodoo chants didn't work.....
Roger, major props again, coming back after your yard sale, busted helmet and all. you are a true competitor.
I hope Major Mike dries up sometime this summer It's a super cool fast technical trail when dry that unfortunately it has some drainage issues, guess that's what you get with a converted motocross trail sometimes.
Finally I'd like to say this may have been one of the toughest races to date. Most other promoters would have canceled and left the racers wondering what if, but not the Darkhorse guys. You did the best you could with the conditions we had and I think I speak for everyone when I say thanks.