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A short race deserves a short report, right? Iíll try. My very first Mud Flat Massacre.

My only information was that it was near Logan and registration started at 7:30am. Peterís roomie, who went to school in Logan, says itís three hours. So I leave at five, expecting to arrive at eight or so. Apparently Brad has not made the trip lately, taking full advantage of the 75-mph speed limits. I got there at seven, all but the last 20 miles on interstate. So I had some time to kill. Start by finding the race venue, actually out of town a bit on the road to Brigham City. I was still there at the Sherwood Hills Resort (a golf course in the mountains?) by 7:15 or so.

Paid my 30 bucks, weighed in, got my t-shirt, asked which way the course runs from the apparent start in a parking lot. Why, uphill, of course. Fine, Iím off to pre-ride the course. A bit of a novel experience, wot.

Hereís the course: up about a quarter mile of road and parking lot to get to the dirt, down to a meadow, bumpy singletrack up through more meadow where I surprised a deer (boing, boing, boing, away he went) to some trees, singletrack through the trees, one tight squeeze between trunks, then back down across the meadow and up into some more trees above the start. More climbing, then some bumpy downhill around the bend and somehow Iím back where I started, I didnít see the turn to finish. Or didnít recognize it. About five miles round trip. Lots of shade under the trees, kind of dusty with random pieces of wood on the trail but not a lot of big nasty rocks. And bumpy all around - good thing I have one of them fancy Y bikes now.

Oh, and for some reason I was somewhat dizzy on my pre-ride; I had a little trouble staying on the trail and in the parking lot almost took out a pedestrian. He was not very pleased. What was up with that? Elevation was maybe around 5000í, not all that high; it wasnít even hot yet. I dunno.

Wait around for my start with the beginners. We all get to do only two laps; pro/experts start at eleven and do six (reduced to five) laps, and the poor sports donít get to start until 1:30, then do 3 laps. There is a field of nine Clydesdales, and I recognize some from Oasis the previous Sunday. They recognize me too; one guy says, "Do you want us to give you the hole shot so you donít have to blow by us on the climb again?" Hey, no special favors, now.

We take off. One short, wide guy just motors away from me, as I am busy dropping everybody else. He wants to be first to the singletrack. Well, relatively, because after about a mile I catch him and a bunch of others from the previous start, and have to pass in the meadow singletrack. Not too difficult. Up the climb, down the meadow, up the other climb, and Iím kind of stuck behind about four guys on the downhill. I must be using the front brake a lot, because right before the (now manned by pointers) turn off to the finish, I hear a funny whop-whop-whop sound.

I stop and it turns out to be my kevlar-bead tire attempting to part company with my very warm front rim, aided and abetted by the 60 psi in the underlying tube. That would really suck. I let the air out and stuff the three inches of bead back onto the rim as various and assorted people blow by, including at least one Clydesdale. Mechanicaled out of first again, damn it. Pump up the tire again, not quite enough, so I have to stop again when the front tire feels like itís going to roll in a couple turns. Urk. Itís now gotten hot, about 85. Ok, hot for me anyway.

I ride mostly alone for the second lap, and once more finish all pissed off at my new bike, which I guess still is not beating me up like my hardtail did, and thatís why I got it. But these crappy Trek rims have got to go! For the next downhill-type race Iíll use my other wheels. Of course that wonít be until after the Olympics when I might even have money again for some different rims and a new front hub so this one will stop squeaking. Iíve ridden like 100 miles on this bike, and the front hub cartridge bearings are squeaking like mad! Ok, so I washed it in a river after riding 20 of those miles in tons Ďo mud, but the rear hubís not squeaking, and itís Shitmano. Woah. Back to the near-present.

Turns out I finished third, in about 1:07í, behind the far-too-talkative fellow with all the funny doodads on his bike (dual suspension, 3x7 Sachs hub, dual chain tensioners, front disc brake - and he rides in tennis shoes, says he hates clipless pedals. Heís way out there) and the fireplug guy who took off at the start. Everybody else, I still beat, can you believe it. Well, youíll have to.

I decide to hang out since I might have won something for third, and watch the pro/experts start. I see one guy from the Pocatello Tuesday nighters, so I go up to the trail above the start to wait for them to come around. After about 25 minutes the first few guys roll by, and Iím so busy watching for Craig that I donít see him until he rides by and says hi, in about 10th at 2í30" down. Itís not even like there was a big pack or anything, I just stood there like a moron. Oh well.

Another lap, and beginner awards are starting - but Clydesdales are always last. This time the leaders come by exactly 24 minutes and 20 seconds after the previous time, which I know because I started my stopwatch last time. I want to ask Craig if he needs any bottle handups, but I see heís got a CamelBak as he goes by again, still in 10th or so but now 4 minutes down.

I go collect my award, cotton hangin-out short from the Cannondale collection and a water bottle cage. What do I do with one, green, bottle cage? Iíll figure it out later. Now I head for the car, crank the a/c, and get the heck out of there. I decide to head for Brigham City instead of back to Logan, since the interstate is closer that way. Itís closer to 90 down in the valley. I drive by the gas station whose tow truck pulled my car out of the snowy median 15 months ago, but they probably donít remember that.

On the way home, I more closely observe the speed limit, but still make the trip in about 2:15í. 75 mph is great.

Not too short, but anyway. Everybody check out Super Daveís home page, accessible via my cycling buds page or more directly at . Lots Ďo pictures and sounds, and heís going to hook me up with some scanning action for some of my picture for my own page. Woo hoo, multimedia here I come.

later, hah