Monday, September 3, 2007
Well another 24 hours at 7 Oaks has come and gone and I am at the same point I come to every year. After finishing I swear I'll never do it again, and then the next day I realize that I can't wait until next year to do it all over again! I can't complain about my 4th place finish for 24 hour solo, so I will instead start off by saying that Squirrel is just the bikin'est M.F. I know and deserves the win hands down! Carney is a stubborn minded guy from what I know, and would have made it closer, or different, if not for some bad luck! Hi-top/gym shorts guy? Never heard of him before but he killed it! Who saw that coming? Good job kid, and somebody get him some kind of deal on some mountain biking shoes and shorts? Can you say hamburger ass? I bet that kid can! As for myself, I shouldcouldawoulda..... Didn't ride as many laps as I wanted to but am happy to have been able to have the experience again. I shouldn't have been up 'til 1:00 am doing laundry, after having mowed, after having worked all of Friday but compared to the day before that Squirrel had I can't complain! Helped fix the bridge, partied 'til the wee hours, gets up and wins the race? Thanks to ALL of the guys who got that bridge moved back and all of the work that Troy, Ron, Kyle/Kyle and the others did. So I thought I had enough food to get me through, I was wrong, but headed to HyVee for some melon wedges and a few Budweisers. Grab a couple of McD biscuits and headed to the race. I was almost scared when I pulled around the corner to the parking lot and it looked like there was hardly anybody there. Usually it would be full all the way down to the lodge with campers, support and racers, but seemed empty? Oh well, grabbed a spot under the chair lift for easy access, kitted up, ass creamed up (ass cream, you scream, we all need some ass cream) and headed over to sign my release papers. To my surprise my big brother and his wife and son were there! I was happy to have their well wishes and started jawing with my bro, "no we don't get breaks, no it's not on a paved trail, yes there really is 7 miles of trail out there, yes my butt is going to be hurting) and so on. I'm half way waiting for the group photo to be called to attention and laying down the 29er rap to Theron and I hear the tube blow? What the.... Luckily it was premature and I didn't miss the start! So I get in line, continue to see people I thought would show up (Matt Maxwell, Cory Heintz, Paul J. etc.) and now the tube won't pop. Well I felt great on the Po'boy 9er and the first 5 laps peeled off easily. Except for a no-see'em crash at about 4:00pm! I had picked up a hawk's feather on the first set of climbs and stuck it in my stem for some good mojo, only to go down without provocation on the back side! Just got up all dirty and bleeding. Pick up the bike and roll on, but without my water bottle which got launched into the woods. I don't know if the lack of fluids at that particular point contributed to my gut hurting or not, but at 5:00 I could not belch, fart, eat, drink, nothing! My stomach shrunk up like it had been stapled or something! Nothing in, nothing out. Lockdown. So I crawled into my car for 45 minutes to wait it out and heard some red haired fool come past and heckle me, "Get back on your bike old man!" So I got my KHS ready for some laps after I decided to get back out there and realized at the top of the first climb that the fit on that bike was crap! Too long of a stem, too high on the seat, bars too low too. So I lowered the seat about 12 mm and made the best of that lap knowing that I would have to adjust from the 29"wheels back to 26", and that's not the progression you want to make. The 29er set up is clear and away the best of the two. Now I read that someone is pushing an intermediate size? Sounds like marketing to me as I see no need for it other than to get money out of the pockets of people who can't realize the "bigger is better" thinking of 29ing. Anyhow, I knew that I would fair better at night on my KHS as 9 gears are better than 6, hydraulic brakes are easier to feather than straddle wired cantis, and extra laps beat crawling home pissed off! By 11:00 or so I had 9 laps in the books but thought my stomach might be ready for some real food so I opted to chill, change shorts, and jersey, and gloves, and wait for pasta time. I had one bowl and at first felt better, but my stomach still felt like it was the size of a golf ball! I would like to say that Sport Beans may be good for some people, but they were probably a bad choice for me as I think they sat in my gut and festered. Note to self, NO MORE BEANS WHILE RACING. If you knew how I eat, you would understand the absurdity that I felt when I could not eat anything at all. So,unfortunately I caved in and got back in my car, fashioned a pillow out of a towel, and fell stone silent for about 5 hours! Flat on my back in a Volvo hearse! Good thing I don't drive a Cadillac. At that point I didn't care about riding as much as I craved sleep, so off I went. No more "chase the dot through the woods'' for tonight! I woke just in time to take my lights off of my bike and let the scoring table know that I was going back out. I knew that I was over the stomach thing and just wanted to get in 4 more laps to equal what I thought was my total from last year. (I had actually only done 12 last year so I ended up doing 1 better this year.) I had 2 of my morning laps in and Ron DeGeest rolled up and said that I was in 3rd place! What? Not possible, the kid was two up on me when I re-started! He's a clever motivator that Ron! It did put some snap in my legs for awhile though and I thank him for the head games! At 10:00 I knew that all I had to do was get in ONE easy lap and I would be done! Thanks to Troy and Kyle Robinson for believing that I could do 2 laps in that time, but I knew they were kidding when they tried to get me to buy it. They wouldn't give me 'til 1:00 to do it either, end of negotiations! I was relieved to be done, satisfied with 13 laps and 5 hours sleep, and again delighted to see that my brother, mom and dad, wife and kids had all come down to see me finish. Thanks again to all of the organizers, their spouses who support this lunacy, and people in the pit row who yelled out my name on most of my laps! As always, I can't wait to do it again next year! Later! And I hope my butt will put up with 8 hours of bleachers at Super Nationals Modified qualifying Wednesday night!