Monday, April 23, 2007
One for the Win Column
Finally a check goes in the win column! Sunday I skipped a local race to go up to tiger town for a much needed shot of adrenaline. Putting myself amongst the masses in the Single Speed XC race. My last outing in Clemson was 2002, and somehow I remembered most of the course. Not the XC type I decided to plan ahead a bit. Contacting some friends on gear suggestions. I only had two to choose from 18t or 20t. The 18t. was called up for duty.
It’s been about 4 or 5 years since I’ve raced with sport riders. Man it’s like a pinball game. These cats are bouncing off of every tree in the woods. Breaking heavily in the turns and spinning on the hills. Well the organizers put the SS class with the sport 40+ after the sport 19-29 & 30-39. Damn this is going to be painful. From the start passing folks left and right. The opening climb, there is one groove or preferred line. Well that was occupied and racing SS you got to hit it and hit it hard. There is no spinning up the climbs. So into the rough I go passing these fellows knowing this is the thing to do early. Closed in the singletrack behind the folks will drive you insane.
Managed a good pace into the single, a few riders here and there to pass from other classes. Amazing the riders who blew up on the opening climb that were able to come back on the single blowing their horn and wanting by. Well with nowhere to go patience would be a virtue. Then the trash talking started, I didn’t want to break it out but I had to. Examples: “come on dude, pick a gear”
“I paid $33 just like you”
“why are you spinning up this hill”
“yeah I’ll let you by, but you better kill these hills ahead”
“that other gear will make you go faster”
Dropped the hammer about 30 minutes into the first lap, and never looked back. Second lap was still full throttle. The only possible mechanical was my lock ring for the cog had loosened. It sounded like Santa and some reindeers coming through the woods. The cog never came off the freehub so I kept hammering. The last time up the big was painful but I finally had a win.