OMG!!!! My white shoes! Someone will pay for this!
Being in a rental car sucks. If you're familiar with my earlier writings as a roadie you'll know I have great disdain for most rentals. I even have a scale I would use to rate rentals based on the worst rental I ever did rent, the Jeep Liberty. This weekends rental, the Ford Focus would get a solid five Jeep Libertys on the scale. It was horrible. My head had to stick out of the sunroof cavity just so I could drive (un)comfortably. Worse still, I have become certifiably addicted to satellite radio and my rental Focus does not have it. How do people listen to regular radio? It's terrible. Terrible. So I downloaded some Josh and Chuck from SYSK and set out this morning for Rhode Island under rain-soaked skies with no radio in a rental made for someone no taller than 5 foot 6. Where was my bike? In the trunk of course all disassembled. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
I got to the course and parked where directed: a field apparently reserved for large volume swan and goose defecation exercises. Actually, it was pretty prime parking I just like to work in "goose defecation" when possible in race reports. After getting dressed and applying my industry standard anti-aerodynamic number plate to the front of my rig I ventured off to see the course. I was amazed. The trail area was gorgeous. Spindly pine on dark dirt with lush greens. . . striking. About a mile in I came across the first of several rock gardens which I would clearly be running the first lap/cursing all to hell on the second. There was also a bog with a bridge which required a dismount post-bridge but pre-bog. The ground was covered in wet roots for most of the course but it was pretty wide open so it looked to be manageable.
I didn't really understand where we were headed when the gun went off so I got out quick but let a couple guys come around so I could follow. Then there was some riding and some backing up and the course got all clogged and people were falling and I was running and presto! I was in the lead for a while catching the groups in front of us. Then I dropped my chain and everyone went by. Or bye as it were since I never saw the lead guy again. More riding, more running, more catching. . . If I could just stop here for a second. Mountain bike race reports are kinda generic. I mean there's no real attacks or team tactics or reeling in the break like in the road world. I mean sure, there're crashes and mechanicals and stuff but the races are basically time trials where (maybe) some (maybe) interesting things (maybe) happen. But the drama is lacking because a mountain bike race report is basically this: I rode the course as fast as I could. I went faster than some people and some people went faster than me. I was faster/slower over the rocky stuff/climbs but made up/ lost time on the ____________.
Hey is that a tick on my leg?
Suffice to say all those things happened to me in no particular order that would lend narrative suspense. I also had two wicked crashes. For my skill set, as it were, my race suffered from the lack of climbing and fire roads. I had to run a lot of the rock gardens and other scary things. I finished fifth. And I truly enjoyed myself! So good on ya Glocester Grind!!!!
Nope, just some goose poop.
Plus I got a full three and a half hours of SYSK in! There's nothing like a two hour drive home in the pouring rain in a car you can't stand surrounded on all sides by weekend idiot Massachusetts drivers after being battered in a mountain bike race and listening to a quantum suicide thought experiment. Next week Weeping Willow!