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This was a good one. Combining the best elements of deadline desperation and flattened skunks.

It was to be my first opportunity to use my shiny new Trialist. But I decided not to play with it the night before - it was already 10 when I got to Ogden, better to go to sleep, right? Well, I had to sleep on the floor and forgot to bring a sleeping bag so I got several hours less rest than I would have liked. Mike, the guy I bought the wheel from and also the guy I split the Motel 6 room with, had indeed glued a tire on it and put on a 12-18 for me.

We sit around and watch the ladies' final at Wimbledon for a bit. Then over to the race parking area. And the fun begins. As I sign my release form I hope they don't ask to see my license, because it has a big "LIMITED" on it; which I found out reading my rulebook (that I got on Thursday) means that I am not eligible to participate in district competitions because I have not proved my citizenship. Guess the USCF didn't like the Xerox of my birth certificate that I sent in. But nobody cares. I pick up my number.

Back to the car. Throw the wheel in there - fine. Shift up and down - fine. Hmm, what's that noise in the 12? Why, it's the chain rubbing the dropout. Funny, I don't remember it doing that last weekend in the shop. Oh well, I'll just twiddle the axle and fix it. Twiddle once (skewer, freewheel off, cone wrench, freewheel on, skewer) - same problem. Twiddle twice more, and my start time is about ten minutes away; start line is a mile away, too. I finally realize that moving the axle back and forth has absolutely no effect on the distance of the freewheel from the dropout. I rummage around in the toolbox and find a washer of exactly the right diameter, slip it on the right side and put on the freewheel one last time. It is now five minutes to my start. Make sure to get that skewer tight, I hate when I tweak out the wheel on a TT start. Hop in the back of Mike's truck and put my shoes on along the way. Arrive at the line as my minute man is being released. Whew. Nice warmup, too.

Off I go on time. Raging along, catch the minute man at around 6.5 miles. Sucks to be him. Nearing the turnaround, I can see my two-minute man. Hey, after him there is only one more in front of me... Then at the turnaround (27'30")I must deal with the disappointment of a tailwind turning into a headwind. Sucks to be me. I come upon my two-minute man _walking through a corner_. Hmmm.

All alone the rest of the way back, except for everybody going out. The last five miles I stop whining and push my speed back above 25, trying for the average > 25 == under an hour.

Results are posted, I made it by 54 seconds. 59'06", about fourth in the 4/5s and middle of the overall results. Others: fastest woman, 58'10" - yow. Fastest 4/5, low 57'. Fastest man, 53'something. Fastest time, a tandem in a low 51'. Motoring.

No ribbon, no t-shirt, no nothing. Just under an hour, which will have to satisfy my character-building requirement.

later, hah

oh, and I counted 5 flattened skunks along with one anonymous decaying presence on the course.