Mar 23, 2011

The Keyesville Classic

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend we were racing the singlespeed a few minutes from downtown L.A. and things went pretty well. This weekend we were 3 hours from L.A. up in beautiful Lake Isabella at the Keyesville Classic and, while on the geared bike, things took a turn for the worse. Even the drive up on Friday night was tumultuous, especially for poor little Ryder who got car sick going up and over Walker Pass and had to blow junks. If there’s anything worse than buying your 5-year-old a Happy Meal from the golden arches, it’s having to clean it up after its been semi-digested and spewed all over the floor of your car. I felt horrible for the kid because he kept apologizing to Tricia and me as if he had done something wrong by throwing up. I kept reassuring him that it wasn’t his fault and silently vowed to myself that I’d make it up to him by putting in a good race the next day, even if it meant I had to vomit too.

Weather reports called for rain on race day, but we were lucky enough to arrive at the Keyesville Campground with only windy conditions. Under the cover of menacing clouds, the Pro field consisted of about 20 riders with notable names such as Adam Craig and Tinker Juarez. I started on the third row directly behind Craig, with thoughts that I’d just follow him through the field to the front of the race. Not so much. As it turns out, he didn’t ride to the front of the race like I thought he would, and it didn’t matter much because I could tell within a few minutes of the gun going off that I didn’t have the legs or the lungs to follow much of anyone. I did want to vomit, but not because I was riding hard: it was because I was so disgusted with myself. Something about cold weather and I don’t mix well. I spent the remaining two-and-a-half hours riding by myself. The only consolation was that the 8-mile course was mostly singletrack, so why not finish all 4 laps even though I was way off the back?

When I finally finished, Ryder and Tricia were getting ready for the Kid’s Race, which Ryder enjoyed much more than I enjoyed my race. Next weekend we’re back to an urban setting (or should I say ghetto setting) at round 2 of the US Pro XCT in Fontana, and I’ll be back on the singlespeed hoping for another podium finish.

Don't let the short sleeves and lack of leg warmers fool you. I was freeeeezzzzzing!

Thanks to Jeff Stanners for the choice photos.

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