Old news is the State RR here in AZ. You might have heard that the Ride Clean boys showed up and won. Yada yada, but what you didn’t hear is how it went down, out on the streets of Globe…..
First off thanks for all the props and shit from all you guys. It means a lot to me to finally check that bastard off the list. I have been gunning for that one since I moved to AZ in 98. My intention wasn’t to win it this year. Actually I had a couple of teammates that were riding out of their skulls so it would have been more likely that they take the W rather than me. At this point in my career and life I’m more than happy to start working early and try to help the young guys. But as this day turned out it just worked out that I crossed the line first. But don’t think for a second that I did it by myself and I was the strongest and all that bullshit. Cycling is a team sport to the core. If you don’t perform as a team or as a solid unit you will fuck it up. I don’t care how strong the individuals are, they will implode on themselves and the little teams that could, will in fact win. Old Man Wolfe always said if there were 4 really strong guys working together they could win just about any regional race.
Instead we showed up with 6. That’s right 6 hard hitting cracker farm boys from around the state. All with one goal, FUN, Win, wait that’s two. Sorry, I digress if you do #1 right then the second one takes care of itself.
Oh yeah, a new section in my posts called crazy shit I heard this weekend. I quote, “hey those are my mom’s aviators.” I found LegBreakers mom’s aviators under my seat on the way up to the race.
Ok, on to the race.
Just so we have this all correct. The 6 guys are as follows. Green Apple, Rocket R, D-Grip, J-Rod, PT, and your field correspondent Snake.
As the race happened. I’ll do my best the first hour or so is really fuzzy… Someone asked me after the race what happened in our race. I can honestly say without thinking about it very much that our first hour in our race was like the Alamo. I didn’t think anyone was going to get out alive. It seems that the racing here in AZ got a lot more interesting. Attack after counter after counter after counter attack. I seriously thought to myself at one point, “no one is going to finish this fucker if this keeps up.” But, with all races the rubber band can only stretch so far.
This is where J-Rod comes into the frame. Little guy out of Michigan I believe. I don’t know if he is a U-per or not but he shur ain’t afraid of a little attacking, and when I say a little I mean a lot. He is not afraid to go solo or with a group. The kid can roll. Anyway what’s weird about the story is that J-Rod comes up to me before the race and says he got into some bad Mexican food the night before so he is coming into the race a little light. Seems that he has burned through a couple of rolls of paper while sitting on the crapper exercising his demons. In my mind I’m like ok if he is taking the pressure off of the rest of us then fine. But he isn’t going to be there in the end. In fact I don’t think any of us are. But who cares right? Go down swinging is our moto. So J-Rod sneaks off into a solo move. Two more brave souls go after him. My mistake to miss those guys. Sorry J-Rod. I’m in the middle chewing on my tongue trying to regroup. Then I see a guy telegraphing that he is about to make the bridge so I work my way up near him. Bam, here we go across to the move. Turns out he is dragging 5 of us across. At this point the race has been single file for a long while and this could be the move. This cat is pulling his guts out trying to get across. We make it and that’s all she wrote. Break of 9 up the road and two RC riders in it. Perfect. J-Rod can see that I am there and he goes to work right away. We did have a second to talk, he just said I won’t make it to the hill, I say back to him; your race is done at 64 miles. After that I will take it from there.
From here on it was thing of pure class. I don’t think many people either get to witness or even hear about what teammates do for others but this is one of those things. I have been racing for 16 years now. Let’s say the last 8-10 at a pretty high level. I’ve seen some shit that had me scratching my head. This was one of those. J-Rod all 135 lbs of him rotates with everyone and no one till the base of the hill. Literally never missing a pull or sometimes doubling. Kid is riding his ass off. No complaints, no yelling, nada, nothing, zero. Just stone cold killer pulls all the way through. Mind you this is mile 18 through 65 I think. Lots of rollers, little bit of wind, but never misses a pull. At one point I shove some gel and an extra bottle in his mug and he just says thanks and goes right back to work. Then about 2 miles before the climb he actually slips off into a solo move making it even easier for me to do my job. Kid is off the chain! So we hit the bottom of the climb and boom I go (no secret that that was coming) and roll in for the win. Then I stop and wait to see who is coming in next. Guess who? Yeah, that’s right, J-Rod out sprinting a big fella for second. Turns out J-Rods “Bad” day was a pretty ridiculous riding out of your skull kind of day. So big props to J-Rod for sure.
As I look back at things we all need to no look so much on the surface and dig down a little and ask some questions about the happenings. What happened, cause and effect type of stuff. I shouldn’t get all the props and high fives and all that sappy shit. J-Rod should get it. It’s pretty easy to look good when the break has been softening up for 65 miles and you hit a hill.
Also big ups to the boys covering the shit in the back as well. I don’t know what was going on back there but all I know is that our lead out train of 1 lead out our climber for 4th. WTF right? I guess when the soup is hot then all is good right?
All in all it was a great day of racing in general. Racing in AZ has taken it up a notch with some aggressive as hell racing. RC team is starting to really gel together into a unit. RC guys are a bunch of unselfish bastards. (It’s a problem when everyone wants to jump on the grenade).
I’m probably missing some shit as I normally do and I will remember tomorrow when I’m riding. But as most of my posts my rough draft is my final draft.
J-Rod in full Flight (RC rider to the left in photo)
Over and out