Sunday, May 10, 2009

And they (he) walked away

If you watch Versus or ESPN2 I'm sure you've seen this show filled with crashes of all types. Well, I traveled up to Nebraska this weekend for the Battle Royale MTB race and I could of starred in my own video for the show. I got there early to pre-ride as I heard it was hilly and fast. I used to ride there about 15 years ago so I knew there was some climbing. Sure enough there was one long climb to open the lap with lot's of short poppers all over the course. There were also quite a few drops with g-outs at the bottom. Looking around before the start there were even more Cat 1 riders than the last week, very cool, but the field was stacked with fast guys as well.

At the start Nate got the holeshot with Kent, Cam, Aaron, and myself in tow. Half way through the lap we had established a gap and it was looking good. Then the crashing began........blazing along in the group we popped over some tree roots and my front wheel caught something, went off line across the trail and caught another root stopping me on a dime. So here I am, all tangled up in my bike, on a blind downhill, with the second group coming fast. I scrambled up and got on my bike just as the 2nd group caught me. Here's where things get a little fuzzy.....I know I was catching up the the lead group again when I came up on a pile of logs arraigned as a jump. When I pre-rode it was easy but at chase speed my timing was off and the back wheel caught the top log, I was in trouble, big trouble. I know I rode on the front wheel for a while because I had time to look for a soft spot to land. Hit the deck hard after going over the bars but missed the trees, so far, it's all good. Getting up, not so good, a little dizzy, but the 2nd group still isn't here so I get back on my bike. Two guys go by as I'm trying to figure out where I am but I slide into chase mode. I'm in 6th place and chasing hard but my balance is way off and the next 2 crashes come from letting my front wheel drift off line around the turns. It was about this time that I finally figured out why this huge blade of grass kept falling into my face, it was connected to the mound of dirt stuck in the vents of my helmet!

Cam and Kent leading

So by now I've crashed 4 times in 2 laps and I'm pissed. It's the 3rd of 4 laps and I'm done. I decide to just cruise in and quit. As I was piddling along I try to figure out what place I'm in and I figure out that I should be close to the top 10. That motivates me to ride the 4th lap, for fitness I tell myself. About then Kent (not sure what happened there) comes by and I decide to try and hang with him for a while. Now my balance issues weren't bad going slow, but it didn't take long at Kent speed for me to catch a pedal and go down again.......for the 5th time! So now I'm on the 4th and final lap, determined to stay on my bike when I notice someone catching me. Better pick up the pace, but not too much, and I mange to finish with out falling again. Yea......I have no idea what place I got but I do know I'm bleeding down my arm and into my glove, with cuts and abrasions on my other arm and legs. But hey, I finished.

Aaron between groups

Got cleaned up and headed for home. I told Matt I may never stay in Lincoln again for a race. Seems like I crash every time I stay there! When I walked into Gramps house back in Lincoln my wife just looked at me, shook her head, and said,"Is it worth it?" Without hesitation I replied,"yes it is."

I thought I could go, but it was a no

Thanks to the MOD spot for the pics..........and in case you are's raining in KC right now.

1 comment:

mathgeek said...

Don't believe everything you read. I'm pretty sure he hesitated, ever so slightly.