Well that's it... Like pissing on the last few remaining coals of a fire burned long through the night, my mountain bike race season has ended. The flame is put out for the time being. I really wanted the fire to burn hot coming into the BT, but damn its been a long season. I think last time I looked I raced something like 20+ weekends since the first race back in late February. It was time to polish it off like the last corner of some Sailor Jerrys, and then lite up the night for what would be the true reason of the trip... To party the season ender off right.
My race didn't go well. I learned lots though. Like how to ride like a girl, and how to properly rest while on the side of the trail why your buddies pass by yelling at you to quit being a (insert female reference here.) Oh yes, it was a glorious day of epic humbling status. The BT reminded me again on why out of half a dozen attempts of these endurance races I have failed each. Mind you fail is in the eye of the beholder, but my eyes are very sensitive to failure. I see it when others may not. I've never truely DNFd one of these races, although the results from Saturday will say otherwise, but I also have never completed one and done well results wise. For me its top 5 or nothing. I guess that's a skewed way to look at it, but I felt confident it was possible and I always aim my double barreled shotgun high. My hope for the BT was sub 4 1/2 hours. I finished by my phone at 1:45, 5 and a quarter hours from our 8:30 start.
So the DNF you ask? Well that would be due to me taking the road instead of the gravel to the finish. The distance is no different, I just went off how we finished in 08. When I came through the parking lot there was no one around. I didn't really care, because I had only one thing on my mind, the swimming hole. I was submerged in the ice cold water by 1:50. It was heaven. My body had felt like it had just seen the business end of billy club, and my legs were ready for some ice cold goodness. I didn't care that I wasn't recorded as finishing. I wasn't in the money, I wasn't top 3 in my age group, and 30 place never leaves great memories in my mind.
I was happy to finish, and even pleasently surprised at my time. I had well over 20 minutes of stop time, and possibly that in just the last checkpoint stop. I was posted up in a lawn chair drinking some throwback Mountain Dew, (thanks to Daveys wifie!) and it took a lot of motivation to get up and finish the last leg. That coupled with all my side trail rests meant I wasted a lot of time being idle. Couple those things with my lackluster riding from mile 20-58 and I was happy to know that next year, that 4.5 is mine.
Oh yes, I will be back, and will succeed.
I just don't have the endurance skills yet. Maybe doing some 5 hour rides would help. The BT was my longest ride by well over an hour all year. My nutrition also sucked, and has a lot of room to blossom. I am more than ready to conquer the endurance race beast, and the plans are already underway.
What I lacked in riding endurance though, I made up for in party endurance. Seriously, what the hell happend to everyone? It was almost a ghost town by 8pm. Luckily I met some great new friends who were more than willing to end the day right. I partied with old and good friends, and got to hang with some new faces and otherwise badass riders like Garth Prosser and Frank Webber. Good times, peace offerings, and free beer complements of the great Kuat boys were had. Duffys crew turned out to be a hoot to hang with, and they almost partied me under the table. The night capped off with me falling in a ditch while heading to Shoffs campfire, and almost losing my car keys in the process.
Thanks to my boy Sean for the pic of me and Peat Awesome keeping it young.
Thanks to the crew that continues to give us the great BT, all the volunteers, the promoters, the supporting businesses, the people who put their sweat and body in maintaining the trail, the weather gods for such a perfect weekend, my mother and father for procreating and allowing me to enjoy this crazy wondeful life I live, my boys, my girls, my team, my sponsors, and my undying ability to never give up on trying to live life to its fullest and the continuation of my journey of pain and joy.
I have a great life... And I'm happy I can share as much of it as I can with so many awesome people.
2012 here we come. It's going to be the best yet....