As in the Bogus Basin ski resort, and the mountain bike taking place thereat, rather than an ineffectual explosives aficionado.
Not really that eventful. Drove over Friday night, slept on Beckyís couch this time. Saturday I hung out with Ron, stuffed prize bags again. Then at five when Becky got off work we went for a little ride.
On which one of my (spoke) nipples broke, encouraging a slightly tire-rubbing brake pad to cut a hole in the tire and tube. Pssht! Wobbly wheel and a flat, hey presto. And these were the known good wheels from my hardtail, the ones that I am using because they have not shown a tendency to release kevlar beads under high temperature. So then after I changed the tube I got to ride down the hill using only the front brake - I really got to test the hooks on those rims, you betcha. Somewhere in here the oil cartridge in my Judy decided to explode. After a whopping 140 miles ridden on the bike. Itís a little bouncier up front without the oil damping, as one might expect.
But there were no further incidents. Leaving me with the problem of finding a 14 ga spoke nipple at 9pm on a Saturday night, with a race in the morning. I called Davey, and he said he could probably find something. So I went over to his house, and the nipple he was using to hold some bolts onto an old spoke, sitting in the top of his toolbox, was a match. For the threads if not the spoke wrench, but it tightened up fine with the crappy circular wrench in the bottom of my toolbox. Problem solved. Then I chatted with Davey for a bit, picked up a sandwich on the way back to Beckyís house, and hit the couch.
Up fairly early in the morning, I had a good time driving the worldís-curviest-road up to Bogus and arrived in plenty of time to help set up for the race. Comped entry again, you see. Though initially a little chilly, it soon warmed up nicely. Dust was the theme for the whole day, as it had not rained for about two weeks. There was quite a bit of help there, and we actually got set up and had time to goof off. Or in my case, time to put my piece of old tire casing on the inside of the cut in my rear tire sidewall and hope that I had adjusted the brakes for sufficient clearance of the bulge.
There were 14 different starts to try to compensate for the dust. Eventually the separate start for just the Clydesdales rolled around. On to the course. The first half mile was through the Bogus parking lot, and was neutral. Then after a sharp turn and downhill through the "pickle pond" area, it got really dusty. In fact, in this area I was unable to see some ruts obscured by hanging dust, and performed a quick knee-dab dismount. Back on the bike, I soon passed the other Clydesdales and started moving into the people from the previous start, the senior beginners. The course soon started uphill, and by about 2.5 miles it shows up in the parking lot again behind the start line and heads off on a road in the other direction. I was cruising along on the road, as it was a very slight uphill which then turned to downhill. Quite the most enjoyable portion of the race.
Then, since it was a mountain bike race after all, the course left the gravel road and took a trail which turned into a cat track going up - yes - the ski hill. For several miles. Grunt grunt grunt. Here I encounter and pass Ronda. Then Anna, not on her Merckx but on the titanium Kona. Both of them claim I wasnít even breathing hard, though I beg to differ.
Reaching the Pioneer Lodge where Jim and I had cheeseburgers at my first Banzai, the course heads down again on some dusty doubletrack. Around the pile of chairs at the bottom of a lift, then up again. After some climbing it levels out somewhat, and I saw the 10 mile marker. Meaning half a mile to go, so I made best possible speed the rest of the way to the finish, crossing in just under an hour, 59ísomething.
I was finished, but the sports and experts had to do two laps. Hot and dusty, good thing I didnít race as a sport. I found employment riding sheets of time stickers from the finish awning to the tagboard, mostly spending time in the shade of the awning. I beat the next Clydesdale by about five minutes, so I was concerned about the handicap; if he weighed 20 pounds more than me, his adjusted time would beat mine. But this turned out not to be the case, I was secure in first place. And conveniently enough, I already knew what I would win.
Eventually everyone finished who was going to, so it was time for prizes. Davey got second, losing to Alex Gardner. Becky got second, losing to the only other pro/expert woman, a 39-year-old member of the New Zealand Olympic team who happened to have won a couple PowerBar stages two weeks ago. They all got cash. I got my Smith Sliders sunglasses, ovoid interchangeable lenses oh boy. I guess they look kind of cool, but are they worth 85 bucks? Well, I didnít have to buy them, luckily. I talked some more with Anna and her brother, just moved here from Virginia.
Then we started taking down the start/finish banners as the raffle prizes went out, and I won a disposable camera so I canít whine about never winning anything in a raffle. Ooh, a camera. I would rather have had the 1-hour free massage.
Down the twisty road, and Ronda had the bright idea of going up to the beach at Sandy Point to cool off. An excellent idea. After stopping for burritos, Becky and I and John Benson (winner of todayís sport class, Beckyís good pal and my short-lived replacement as Caraís boyfriend - a fun guy) met Ron and Ronda and her two kids at the lake. Two dollars for parking, and take home all the unfriendly microorganisms floating in the water you can pick up while swimming for free. Which I did. That was fun. Well, it really was until I got sick driving home. Ick.
Thatís about it. This weekís Tuesday nighter was marked by my ingenuity in attacking early, enough to get myself dropped from the lead group, and by Tylerís very close encounter with an oncoming pickup. Unfortunately it was his fault, and he missed being hamburger by about a foot and a half. Brooke was once more absent, and thus passed my last chance to casually mention that Iím going to the Olympics. "Hi, Iím Henry, and Iím going to the Olympics." Apparently this is how I should have been introducing myself throughout the summer. Oh well. What can you do.
Later, (maybe much later, but maybe youíll get a full Olympics report then too) hah