I got so many fucking stories bouncing around in my head, I literally don’t know where to start. First time up in Leadville without that whole “race” thing to worry about. I had driven through that part of the world years ago, maybe 15, and didn’t stop to check out the town or remember much about it. But I can say I’ve been there before I raced it. At least I knew where it was. This was the first trip up where I could just chill.
Anyway, got up there Thursday night after driving all damn day. Snake took over after I pulled an eight hour stint behind the wheel. I was just about done. I topped off the tank, picked up a six pack and handed Snake the keys. Good on ya. Time to unwind on the passenger side of things.
On Friday I ran into Flagstaff’s own Big Silver in downtown Leadville. He’s with Ride Clean and I am 100% down with those cats. Drunkcyclist is one of their sponsors. He’s never ridden more than 50 miles off road, and that was this spring at the Whiskey. Before that, he’s ridden a few hours here and there. He’s spends a lot more time on his road bike.
I asked him a while back what his goal was, he said, I want to go under eight hours. First time out, never seen those damn climbs, doesn’t ride mtb so much, never ridden more than 50 in one shot and he wants to go sub eight. He’s a card carrying badass, and he tears me off his wheel whenever he wants to. So I tell him – no way. You’ll die. Last time you saw your kids, last time you’ll see ’em. Write out your will. What kind of flowers you want at your funeral? You’ll never finish. You suck.
You know, things like that.
‘Cause I’m a nice guy.
The reality is sub-eight is a huge goal. I’m not saying it’s unobtainable, but it is a tall order. Last year, all of nine people went under eight hours. Sub eight the first time out is some serious shit.
So, being the sportsman I am, I bet him $20 bucks he’ll not break eight hours. I figure he’s got a damn good chance of doing it, but I want to bust his balls anyway. And I need some action. Dave Wiens will win (again) barring accident or injury, and the only other thing people are talking about is where Floyd will finish. I’d bet heavy against him winning, and all the people that are in love with his chances won’t put their money where their mouth is.
Me? Holla at your boy. Right there in the back parking lot, right across from the start finish line, the day before the race, with an Eagles hat on. We shake on hit. Twenty bucks.
And he did it.
Big Silver is the fucking man. Kid pulled it by less than two minutes. He was really close. And I mean really close.
He rode a 7:58:02.
God damn right. Big Silver told me afterwards all he was thinking those last few miles was “I am not paying Jonny twenty dollars!”
That motivation was worth every penny. This year only 19 people, out of 663 finishers, went under eight hours. And one of them was able to buy beers afterwards.
Subject: the leadville bet
I would never bet against silver hammer. I caught the shake. He finished under 8. You should know he did the right thing with your Jackson and bought beer for racers and crew. Thanks for the post-race brew.
I knew he’s spread that around. Good on ya, Big Silver. You are the Hammer.by