Monday, October 29, 2007

wreckin' the bullshit with schleprock

how many people can wreck in one day? is someone keeping track of this? if not, i'm going to start. sunday was the Iowa State CX Championships. the course was over a mile of bullshit, with unrealized descent potential, off-camber switchbacks going down a hill of loose leaves and walnuts, and bonus barricades placed five minutes before the start of the first race—making it impossible to pre-ride them. i am sure at least half of the racers yesterday went down at least once, if not more. almost everyone had the same grass stains on their right side... except for me. for some reason, mine were on my left side. yet another stupid fucking CX course. why do we do this? because it’s a fucking blast.

in iowa, there aren’t enough women participating in these things, so most races are “women’s open”. this means i get ruthlessly thrashed by a field composed of both newbies and hardcores.

this race started on a short paved section and made a sharp, bottle-necking left turn—this was of course the first wreck on the first lap. the course then chicaned through some grass, along a short gravelly section, down around some logs and over two more, and back to grass for a nifty area for bottle handoff (thanks, david!). the next section was placed in an area that had the potential for some rockin’ downhill action, but instead the course was set up to fuck with us, having us constantly braking, clipping out, or both. for example, the course would start downhill, but then—psych!—a 180 and you’re back to the top. or worse, the course would go all the way downhill before a muddy 180 into some max-height-limit barricades on a riser.

here’s me on this section: bombing, brake to 5 mph, slide, correct, lose more momentum, dismount, crawl over barricades, remount, remotivate.

the whole course was an exercise in staying motivated in seriously unmotivating circumstances. i think this is what CX has become for me—learning to suck it up when i really just wanna puke blood and quit. especially when i am getting my ass kicked yet again by fresh faces. seriously, where are these people coming from?

after the raw bullshit section came a short paved section into the loose off-camber switchback section. this is where most of us went down. any speed at all would throw my bike from under me. yes, i realize that i’m a shitty off-roader. but this is also where bruce grell and other skilled bike handlers went down, so i have to assume—you guessed it—that this section was also bullshit. on the last lap, i came around the second switchback and started sliding into a group of spectators. just as i was about to yell, “bad fucking place to stand!”, i saw the bike on the ground. then i saw the rider.

after a multiple-year battle with tuberculosis, Lindsay Wetzel’s internal organs have been functioning normally for a good three or four months now. so it must be time to separate a fucking shoulder, right? nice work, Schleprock. i realized it was lindsay after i had ridden past and could only muster a warbled “Lindsay?!”

sadly, this is me being helpful. also helpful: lindsay’s new name is officially “Bad Luck Schleprock”. at least they gave her vicodin at the hospital.

the weather was beautiful, by the way.

Results: second from last, swollen shin, desire to puke blood.
Lessons learned: never trust a CX course. ever.

psyclofest 2K7

i was afraid this race was going to be another CX on the MTB debacle, but Healthy Habits got my new Redline in and built it in a max speed effort! i got it on wednesday, it rained thursday, i went to chicago on friday and didn’t get back until saturday night… so the first time I rode my new ‘cycle was two hours before the race. good thing the folks at the shop know what the fuck is up—the bike worked and fit great—no thanks to me.

this was a freaky fast course with a bigass paved section in it—again, so happy for the CX bike here—so it was a fabulous opportunity to get my ass seriously kicked. the run-up was retarded as always, but i sucked it up and was even able to gain a little there.

afterward, we tapped the keg of Bent River Pale Ale for the traditional bruce/deb birthday celebration. scott & karen tapped it with CO2. this was good, because at 9pm we still hadn’t killed it—but now we can have it at the next race.

Results: second from last of the finishers, massive bruising on right thigh/knee, mild hangover

Sunday, October 7, 2007

sick like a monkey on crack

What's better than not being able to ride your bike-- or even function really at all-- because breathing is laborious and your bones feel like you have tripled in age?

I know! All of those things, except during black panty week!

I am having so much fun.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Village CX, minus the CX

A few weekends ago was the Village Cross cyclocross (CX) race in the Village of East Davenport. I woke up that morning to Lindsay calling me asking for directions to the race. I could hear David in the background squealing... apparently, this was going to be a good race.

Let me set the scene: The day before the race, when I tried to go out for an opener ride, I discovered a rear flat on my trusty MTB. You may ask why I would care about my MTB tires the night before a CX race. My MTB is my CX bike ever since I decided to pull into my garage with my Surly Cross Check on my roof... double fucking boo. I had about five and a half hours of sleep under my belt and was really in no mood for competing in a race for which I didn't even have the appropriate equipment. I told Lindsay I'd come out and cheer her on, but I was under no circumstances going to race.

I took a shower and changed my mind.

Hammer changed my flat and us girls--me, Lindsay, Christie--rode a test lap... and for the first time ever, I was glad I jackassed the Surly. There was one particular downhill that was off-camber and had some loose shit at the bottom into a 90-degree right. With the MTB, I was able to bomb brake-free until the bottom, where I grabbed the rear brake to slide into the turn. Tons of fun. But then there was the hauling of the 34 lb. bike up the giant run-up, which was not tons of fun. Just tons.

Results: third from last, appreciation of downhilling on the MTB, one consumed sausage sampler