Friday, December 17, 2010

Race #70, The Scioto Mud Slides

I didn't get to race CapCity in Columbus much this year and I really missed my friends and the culture. But since the last OVCX race I got really sick and barely touched my bike. I was kind of done, but at the same time I didn't know what to do with myself. Have you seen that scene in "Apocalypse Now" where Martin Sheen is missing the war, gets drunk in his hotel room and does kung fu on a mirror in his tighty whities? I was getting there.

So teammate Scott, fellow CapCity devotee, and I made the dangerous trek on wintry, snow-covered roads about two and a half hours north. It was stupid but worth it. Three snow races in one season, I'm starting to tell the differences in the quality of the snow as well as the soil that the unfrozen December ground turns into various goops. This one had to have been the coldest so far, the mud turning into ice once it hit our bodies and our bikes. The Lobdell course is a crusher. It has three tiers: you climb (or run up), climb and climb some more, then you fly down the other side. Well, in the mud and snow we slid!

My start wasn't so hot, but I kept trying to claw my way up whenever I could. I felt like crap, this was my hardest effort in a week and my body wasn't happy with me. I kept my eye on the front and would try to count what place I was in. I was in 8th place when a couple of strong riders schooled me on the uphills. I thought I was a climber, but not today. After a couple of laps their bikes succumbed to the conditions and I was able to claw my way up into seventh. Mike O and Spencer were crushin' me, breathin down my neck.

I took every risk I could, on the descents I let go of the brakes, however I did cautiously keep a foot out just in case, and I felt like I was really flying down those mud slides! Eventually I couldn't pull in Mason who was ahead of me, and unfortunately Spencer slipped in a corner and lost some time. I think I let off the gas because I felt like crap. It was amazing, you put in a tough effort and the next thing you know your lungs were turning inside out. Eventually I got lapped by the leader and I called it a day a lap early. I ended up 7th, one place out of the money for the 4th time this year! The guys up front whooped me.

It was nice seeing my Columbus friends, too bad it was so cold we couldn't talk a while. Scott and I didn't know how bad the roads would get so we started driving back, but after a half hour we pulled off and grabbed a enormous burger at Thurmans. I wish I invited the Farmers and Layne, but I bet it was a bit out of their way. It was great riding with Scott, someone new to chew their ear. This was only the 2nd race I have ever gone to WITHOUT Bjet, weird!

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