Most readers won’t think it’s a big deal, but out of the few races I’ve done, this was by far the flattest. Maybe that helped.
I got the idea because so many people I know here race every damn weekend, and I got asked to join a team and, and, and…
Anyhow, it al started with picking up my number the afternoon before the race. Saturday in Olympiapark. Easy, it’s not THAT big, right? It’s going to be taped off with good signage and easy-to-find, right? RIGHT?!!?!
No and no. And no again.
I did a full 3 loops around the park (on foot, no less..) and took two and a half hours driving myself nuts before I took a beer break. I got a currywurst and a beer and called the missus. “All it says on the site is it’s at the ‘VIP’ entrance.” Like I know where the hell that’s supposed to be.
In the meantime, a group of guys start yelling at every passerby to “Buy a beer.” or “You want a Jaegermeister?” Damnit. A rolling bachelor party. How can I say no to someone volunteering Jaegermeister and sacrificing his freedom from whatever-the-hell? Who am I to deny, right?
3 litres of beer and 2 Jaeger shots later, I arrive with about 6 minutes to spare. “You guys know there are no fucking signs anywhere, right? I been wandering around for like 3 hours n’shit.” (Most likely it came out as “Bleaargh-uffa-schild no whaaa. Scheisse VIP, was bi-ich VIP idiot n’shit…?”
I got my pack and told them to gimme the team name “Drunkcyclist” Which the guys not dealing with me guffawed and said, “no shit.”
Fuck you, kraut. I’ll barf on your kicks, nigga. Come at me, bro!
I slept on the couch, as is expected of me when I’m drunk, or its allergy season. Lucky for me, it’s both at the same time. After playing dead until 2 am, I woke to the spawn screaming bloody murder. Bad dreams. Awake for at least an hour, then transferred him back to his own bed. Back to the couch for me. A long night of tossing, turning and checking my watch and it was time to dress and load up.
Race day. Damnit.
Stumbling to the kitchen. Massive coffee. Massive headache. 2 bananas and a slice of sticky white bread. Bathroom for a massive beer shit and 400mg Ibuprofen. Back for more water, juice, whatever I can get in my face. ‘This is SO going to suck.’
I man up, get dressed, snap a pic for the guys and Im off.
I get into the subway and see at least 4 others from my hood going to the same race. Nice. Click in my Garmin; dead. Did I forget to plug this fucker in? No, I plugged it into the lappy, and turned the lappy off. Nice. May as well stuff it in my pocket and fegeddaboutit.
Before I left, at least I remembered to fill one bottle with water and a splash of juice. The other, 70% Rockstar blueberry 30% water. (I’m convinced this is the only thing that got me past 35km.) Blueberry-licious.
Upon arrival a short roll to the starting area, and I met Andre right away. We roll to his car, he strips down and gets his game face on. Also, shorts and a jersey.
We get back to the starting area, and it’s fucking packed. We’re supposed to be in the 2nd group, but we are near the back. Whatever. It’s a feeling (and view) I’m used to. Andre? Not so much. But to his credit, he’s a super guy and fast as hell. I’m sure when the race started, he would drop me like a prom dress. Or something.
The cops block off the city for the first 2-3 kilometers. WE got an escort to the river and then, >BAM< it was on. Andre and I said our goodbyes and 'See you at the finish' bullshit and got on with it.
I found a nice couple and stuck to the girls rear wheel, enjoying the view as long as possible. Which was quite a few kilometers. Then the inevitable happened. I got passed.
By a woman.
On a citybike.
With 2 baskets.
‘Ok, this is not cool.’ I thought to myself. ‘No one can find out about this. EVER’ And then… >FLASH< . Fuck. Photo proof.
I picked it up and dropped her, as well as the nice view I was enjoying.
They both passed me on the uphill near Allianz Arena. Cobbles up and down. I blew the doors off on the down. I stuck my head down and picked up the pace. Found a guy a few hundred meters ahead and told myself I would not let him out of my sight. And I didn't.
Until the only feed stop.
I stopped, grabbed a banana and refiled my bottles. As I was getting up the energy to leave the first group of 80km suckers blew past. 'Shit, they are taking this SERIOUSLY' I thought. Some people need to relax and let the fatties enjoy a race like this one.
I got passed at regular intervals after that. Groups of 5-8 a few with more. One group with I think 25. I grabbed my nutsack and held on for as long as I could. They dropped me before a kilometer was done. Fuckers.
As we re-entered the Olympiapark, there is a hike-a-bike section. Up a bank 20 meters, across an old train bridge with barely room for your bars, then across the tracks and down the other side. People were trying to ride it and getting pissed because there was a backup. 'Get a fucking life; you're not going to podium, neither am I. Get over it.'
I almost ran into a barrier while mugging for one photographer; another when I realized I was bonking with less than a kilometer to go. I hear some grumbling behind me, "Pick it up. You're almost there, jackass." Who the fuck…?
I turn round and see a guy… had to be 50+ looking at me like I shit in his pool and angry. Then I see his front wheel. Taco'd. As in 'Do Not Ride. Death Likely.' taco'd. He dropped me as well.
I get to the last downhill rooted rutted section, and walked it. I wasn't ready to crash or die. And with 2 ambulances at the bottom, the view from the top was more than intimidating. If I had been on my 29'er, maybe. Maybe not.
I take a moment to gather whatever my fat ass has left and consider walking the rest, when who should appear at the top of that last section like an archangel. Andre. "Come on. Get on your fucking bike and ride with me."
"You don't have to wait for me."
"Yes. I do."
We grind up the last section to the paved final downhill. "You're going to fuck up your time."
"Don't care. We're finishing."
We crossed together, got our beers and relaxed after a great ride on a damn nice day.
His time is posted as 2:42:28. Mine isn't listed. In fact, I'm nowhere to be found aside from the sign-up list. But that's my time too. We started together and finished together. Fine by me.
60km in under 3 hours. I'm happy. After not touching any bike since the first snow in October, I'm damn satisfied with that.
ps: The next race is in June. Im doing ‘B’. The vertical is gonna kill me. Im ok with flat and down, but up can suck a bag of dicks.
pps: Ill post a few pics when I find them and get some time.by