I made the trip to Snowmass, CO for the NMBS Finale because, why not, I don't have a job. The hardest part was leaving Ryder for that many days and it got even harder when the poor dude came down with the flu on Wednesday and I wasn't there for him. I owe Denise big time for that one, for sure. By Friday evening Ryder was eatting Grandma Cindy's tacos like it was the last supper and I was able to start Saturday's race with a somewhat clear head.
I got called up 77th (second to last). It was great. Just me and some other poor guy sitting 10 feet behind a huge field waiting for Larry Longo to give us props. The situation got worse because the first 20 minutes of the race was single-track climbing with no passing. We raced it slower than we pre-rode it. Gaps galore, but what can you do?
I rode much of the race with some of the series regulars (even the ones that live at altitude), so that was nice in a painful kind of way. At one point I was running inside the 50s, but brain faded, missed a left hander and had to double back. I tried to catch and pass those who got by me, but at 10,000 feet it ain't easy. Instead I blew and finished 58th. Not great, but not bad for my third race on a geared bike all year and at a Nat'l at altitude.
This was as flat as it got. Everything else was either straight up or straight down. And rocky.
The next afternoon I came down with a soar throat and ear ache, which didn't help Saturday's effort much, but what can you do? That's my story.
An actual race only lasts a few hours, but the time spent at the race lasts for days. As usual I got the chance to pre-ride and hang out with a lot of cool people. Joy's family took care of our condo, food and all the racers in our circle, which was way cool of them. They also did my feed, under less-than-stellar conditions. A big thanks for that. I rode a ton with her brother Jeremy, who lives in the Boulder area, and with the PossAbilities gang. Did some feeding with the Backbone Boys (thanks for the fleece James) and got hooked up with the hot Bontrager tubeless tire set-up (after an unfortunate pre-ride flat) from Jon Rourke and the factory Subaru Gary Fisher Team. I won't, but I could sit here for hours and talk about Adam Hart's stories, the drive, Joy's Nat'l Championship, the riding & my race. Like you don't even know.Jeremy, Adam & Eric pretend they don't know I'm taking a photo with my crappy camera.