But first, some things I forgot to mention last week. Firstly, the weather was outstanding. About 80 when we started racing - woo hoo, no extra warm clothes! It stayed nice, too. Secondly, check out the online version of Cycling Utah magazine at http://www.redrocks.com/cyclingutah. See how many times you can find me! (My count is four, three times in results and once in a picture which is smaller online than in the paper.)
On to the expected Tuesday nighter starring Brooke Blackwelder. I think there were some girls there, but they got dropped immediately. Doesn't sound like her. The guy next to me started talking at me, and it would have been rude to say, "excuse me, shut up, where are the chicks?" Then there were some new guys on the ride, being squirrely, and I attacked several times and dropped myself, and then munched a link on my chain which seized every mile for the last 5 miles. Urk.
Moving along to the Adventure. I left town late Friday because I wanted to get my tires balanced (in order to take advantage of the higher speed limits, you see). Got into Boise around 11, discovered that there were no hotel rooms within an hour because of three high school state tournaments, so I drove up to Idaho City and slept in my car. Did I mention it was raining? The course might be a little wet.
Sure enough, there was mud aplenty. But that's part of racing mountain bikes, right? I got duly muddy in the downhill, though my special mud-proof sunglasses were not in the full down and locked mud-proof position so I got some mud in my eye. Had to slow down, not fun. Results were greatly screwed up, but maybe I tied for sixth out of 15 Clydesdales.
Washed off the bike and my legs, shivered a bit, helped do some data entry on the race computer (a Mac SE/30 like the one my sister got, oh, ten years ago - highly advanced), and then it was time to get dirty again in the crit. An exhibition only, and we went with the Senior Beginner Men. Two laps of a 1.5 mile course. Boy, was it easy, or boy did everybody else suck. I was hanging out in third for a lap, then the two guys in front of me just died. I won by at least ten seconds. Ooh, a medal.
Wash the bike again. Wash me again. Shiver again. Hang out again. At least the scoring and awards for this are easy - downhill stuff still isn't done. Davey Moore, one of the top five mountain bikers in the state, invites me to crash at his modest abode. What, food, too? I'm there. At least the two little boys were put to bed before they injured me. Much.
In the morning, I do some more data entry. It's kind of fun. Not the work, but the people. Time to get ready for my race, an hour after the experts and sports take off. This time the Clydesdales have our own separate start. We're moving up in the world. Away we go.
I set a moderate hammering pace (the first 11 miles of this course are some kind of climbing). Drop the other guys, though they later claim to be in sight. Start passing people who started two minutes before us. I'm feeling all right. It flattens out some, then it's time to go over the downhill again. I usually go faster in the cross-country after riding the downhill cautiously - oh well. I'm moving along, when my back tire starts sliding around. Hey, a flat. Did I mention it's still muddy in spots, like the whole downhill? I get off and run down hill for a mile, in the mud. This is not too good for my ankles. Eventually I stop at a wide spot and change my tube as people whiz by. I count at least two from my class. Oh well. Turns out something took out the top of my valve core, so I don't have to check for sharp things in the tire. I get underway again, and finish kind of pissed. Then the town shuts off the water we are using to wash bikes, so I have to use the creek. I could have been in a really bad mood, but I just let it go. Hung out some more, helped put stuff away, and then the promoter gave me 30 bucks back for helping. Hey, racing for free could be fun, eh?