First off my legs still hurt. Well another Whiskey in the books. Big ups to Sad Cow and his crew for putting on another great race. If you reading this and you haven’t made it out to AZ to do one of these races then you’re missing out. This is what mountain bike racing used to be like, one big loop and none of this sissy small multi loop format. When I started racing back in the day the guy that I used to go and race with took a fanny pack with a chain, a rear derailleur, and a spoon. Who the fuck carries a spoon in a mountain bike race??? The same guy who carried a can opener and a can of Chef Boyardee for “those just in case races”…. So you do the math 50 miles and 6000+ feet of climbing. Yeah you might need some of that stuff.
So on to the gore and lore. Extreme Juan and I loaded up the wagon and headed north for some big loop format. Juan had just got a new bike the day before. What a better way to see if it fits and smoke the brakes on it that the 50 right??? So off we go.
Race morning arrives sooner than later and we are about to start. I got to see Grande Juan right before the start. He says hey I’m fat, I look at him and say hey guess what I’m fat too so let’s go ride. Turns out he only did the 15 and I got suckered into the 50.
Oh well I don’t have hit and run on my back and I can’t drink my way out of a wet paper bag. So turns out I line up in the back because I don’t have any expectations, I just want a good hard ride. Well turns out that the Gnome is right in front of me and Extreme Juan is just to my right. So I was like shit was fine.
Turns out I was wrong; I never even made it to the front that day. Landis practically killed it from the word go. I took a pull to get Juan and Gnome close then I got dropped about 1 k into a 50 miler….. OH shit this is going to be a long day. So we had not even made it off the pavement yet and I was already getting time splits like 1 min down….. Fuck me, we are not even 10 minutes into this race and I’m a minute down???? WTF. So I just say screw it and ride my own pace.
I would say the first 20 minutes of that I didn’t see anyone for a long time. So I kept riding. One by one guys kept coming out of that lead group looking like they were shelled, dipped and pealed. No longer in show room condition as Juan says. So here is fat old me just going along picking them all up then dropping them one at a time. Oh well I say Ill just keep it rolling. So off the big decent I think I made the turn in 10th or 12 I don’t know. But what I do know is that Jay Henry was about to lay down some heat on Landis. Which in my book is fine with me. I don’t give a rat’s ass who wins as long as it’s not him.
Jay has been around a long time and is one of those super climbers that never really got a good shot at it. I have known Jay since he first turned pro back in the KHS Super Fly days. So yeah he can climb. So here is my fat ass dragging up the climb. I guess I was doing ok but the guys who I passed were either bonked or just plain shelled. I guess that’s what you get for racing it like it’s an hour long race instead of a 4 hour race. Idiots. So up the climb I get a few guys then on the run in I get a few more. One notable is the hair farmer himself N. Ross. I know that this guy is a good guy who is really nice but heck it’s always fun to beat pros at their game. Gnome and I had a run in with this guy back in Leadville one year and worked him like a load of laundry. But for this time weight was on my side Gnome. Picture this. 140 lbs guy going down on pavement, then 190 lbs guy going down the same pavement and a much higher speed due to the weight…. Picture painted. So 5th on the day wasn’t too bad for getting dropped 1 k into that damn thing.
Big ups for the Whiskey 50 crew for putting on another top notch event.
Big ups for Voodoo cycles for letting me run the Ti 29er this year and the races
Big ups for Juan Grande for letting me post my ramblings.