Friday, May 30, 2008

Flash back to the past.

So, this flash back only goes back about a month to SSUSA and Dirt, Sweat and Gears. If you remember from last year I said if you only do one race make it DSG, Well I make the same recommendation for next year. Except there were two races there this year.
Friday was the first installment of SSUSA and it was great fun. Full of all the components needed to make a great Singlespeed event. A bunch odd characters, more beers than gears(by far), grown men in costume (I was part of that), a fun race course and random games that decide the championship.

Top honors for the SSUSA went to Slohio Rob and Rebecca T(Wikki).

Saturday brought the event that I was looking forward to; Dirt, Sweat and Gears. The luck that Dejay and I are having this year is that 4 of 5 races have given us a large rain storm the morning of the event, DSG was one of those. The first couple laps would have been better called Mud, Sweat and Broken Derailleurs. The first lap made for a long day for many of the top pros, Nat Ross broke his chain, Yuri Haswald ripped of his derailleur and had to run 7 miles to finish the lap to get back to his pit, and some didn’t make it across the start line before they got flats to name a few. The singlespeeders had it a little easier but we were fighting the mud. Pushing the bikes up the hills after they collected 20+ pounds of mud, then truing to control them in the slipping sliding mess. I even had problems with my drive train, the mud was so thick I had rocks stuck inside my chain.
Luckily Friday afternoon the last the parts needed to build my backup bike arrived from my sponsors. This proved to be pivotal as I needed to change bikes every lap for the first five times around for our pit crew, Mike, to wash and lube them up. Thanks to Stan’s notubes, Dt Swiss, Easton, Chris King, and Revolution Bicycle and repair.

After the third or fourth lap the course was in super condition, fast and mostly dry. I was feeling ok but still felt a little off, not my usual self. I was in second place and did not want to finish any worse than that so I kept trucking. After the sixth lap I really gave up on trying to catch Dejay he had been putting 3-8 minutes on me for the last few laps and was 15 minutes ahead and I couldn’t seem to go any faster. But somehow I think I got faster after that. And with in two laps I passed him like he was going backwards.

He told me after the race that he didn’t believe it was me, he thought he imagined it and he had to ask the next person he passed if I passed him… unfortunately I couldn’t keep it going, I cramped really bad about a mile after I passed him and he caught me a little later. We rode together for about a half a lap then he made his move and I let him go for it.

I new I was done after that lap and let Dejay go for an extra like he made me do last year. Being in the pit for only a couple minutes I realized Dejay didn’t take lights and it would be dark before he could make it back. Being the nice guy I headed to the top of the course with a light and tried to give it to Dejay. I yelled at him but he didn’t stop, he didn’t realize it was me and he thought I was I was still chasing him. Having to borrow light from others around him he made it back and took the crown.

The SS podium has been the same three riders both years, the only change was I was on top last year and Dejay was second, and this I took second this year and Dejay took the top.

I really was to say thanks to Clay, his family and his crew for creating such a fun and challenging event that I will do every year as long as I still ride a bike. Without their energy, creativity, and passion for cycling and for others it would just be another mountain bike race. Thanks for even more great memories and stories. See you next year.

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