May 7, 2006

Funtucky, CA

I made a mistake. And it hurt. Thanks for the bike Elk but in the end I believe the damage may be permenant. Fontana (Funtucky) CA has a strange composition. As you drive in it looks to be industrial truck lots, dusty and chainlinked. But a block later you find yourself amongst cultured green lawns and houses half hidden by privacy walls to keep out the chainlinks. On the edge of this prefab planned community sits Southridge Park. Baseball and soccer fields perfectly manicured for parking a thousand bike racing people. The back of the park is bordered by treeless scrubbush filled foothills that are perfect for mountainbike trails, rattlesnakes and paintballers.
The Marathon race took me 4hrs 13min to complete 7 laps totaling approximatly 50+ miles. 20min off the winners time. On my bike with one 34x16 gear and no suspension there were times when it was no longer a test of mind over matter. Matter almost won. I broke down after the race, but it didn't matter anymore, because it was over. I ended up 11th in the Open class of 20 mostly pro men. So though I would have liked to break the top 10 that might have been a little unrealistic. I lost three places in the last two laps.

Thanks Elk, Going to Fontana

Going to NORBA National Fontana CA

Mark Ellsaser has stepped up to the plate and is lending me his fully ridged TI Indy Fab single speed and I’m going to California. Gonna race the Marathon and Maybe the Single Speed Division. I’ll be covering the Pro XC and ShortTrack races for Look for my photos and words and if you like them let someone know.
My friend Ben Parks and his fiance, Jen, are putting me up and loaning me a car, while I’m in the Inland Empire. Thats what they call the region between LA and Redlands. It seems rather ominous. I’ll be on the lookout for pirates, expatriots, missionaries and exiled dictators, or maybe I’ll fit right it. Bike Murderer.

AMBC, Boya

GreenBriar AMBC 4-30-06

As my friend says I “punched my hardcore card” again this weekend by breaking my bike. I always thought there was something extra in a person who had a couple broken frames under their belt. I’ve now got one. “Stupid” might be a better word than “extra”.
The Greenbriar race looked to be a real showdown, with all the local Trek boys and a couple other Pros showing up for the only NORBA AMBC race in the region. For some reason us Mid-Atlanticians dont seem too fond of the MTBing’s governing organization. The extra pressure was on since the Pro’s were in a seperate class and at the end if you are last your name is at the bottom, no matter how stacked the list is.
Going into the woods I ended up with the hole shot. Jeff Schalk of Trek was willing to rub a little elbow at the start, but conceded before the first climb. I didn’t really want to be out front, and would have prefered to to let someone else set the pace. I led the troop of 8 to the top before Chris Eatough came around and controled the pace on the first technical decent. He kept looking over his shoulder, I think to make sure his boys were within range and then he began to slow.
This is where it pays to know the course, I decided to go around him while he waited for his boys, only to find the reason for his slowing had to be the rather long and technical climb just ahead. Once again I found myself out front when I didn’t want to be and had to set pace on this next climb. About half way up Brandon Draugelis comes around and sits in front of me for half a minute before attacking and pulling away. I was content to let him go since we were only half way through the first lap of four, and none of the others behind me seemed to concerned. At the top with Brandon out of site I decided to let it role and maybe close a little on the super fast decent.
This is where things went wrong. I was feeling great, pedaling big-little, through the corners, over waterbars and BLAMM-O. I clipped a pedal and was instantly thrown on the ground. I would have payed to see it. Trek boys got a good look. It happened so fast that one second I’m rolling and the next I see Trek colors on their brakes from a grounds-eye view. They all slowed asked if I was okay, and miraculously I was on my feet saying ‘yeah, go, go’. A little dazed I grabbed my scattered things, straightened my seatpost and got back on.
I started slow, making sure I was really together and not fooling myself by letting adrenaline mask some dangling appendage. I could never really pick up the momentum, but really wanted to at least get a good ride in, even if it ment going super slow. After starting the second lap and coming to the technical section again, I didn’t make a corner and ran head on into a tree, effectively loosening my headset. At that point I figured I better cut my loses and walked in.
After cleaning up and inspecting my bike I noticed my crankarms were spaced unevenly in relation to my chainstays. And upon closer inspection i found I the chainstay had cracked almost clean through at the non-drive side seem. I murdered my bike! Feels sort of good. I should get some health insurance.