Monday, April 04, 2011

tsali SERC #2 - asheville sunday. fun!

So…. After going to Banff and hanging out with great friends Friday/Saturday we loaded up and headed west. Staying the night with Matt/Kinsay was fun and we headed out Sunday morning towards Tsali.

For some reason, I began getting dressed THEN headed up to registration/packet pick-up. Seeing the line of 25+ people I was reminded why I decided I would always head directly from the parking lot to pick-up… I had just enough time to run back down to the car and then make my way to the start line….

After a lackluster warm-up consisting of two sprints up the gravel road and an EVEN worse start I found myself riding around 20th of 26 people. After eventually warming up, settling in and passing a few people – moving into the genuine middle of the pack, climbing surprisingly well, and feeling good I hear “Swish……. Swish…… swish…..”

Stan’s sealant squirting out the right side of my front tire and I know whats going on - PUNCTURE!!! Lean to the side, hope the sealant works – wait – nothing. Stop, lean the bike over, puncture to the lowest point, gravity will surely take over and the sealant will do its job. PERFECT, jump back on the bike roll. A few people passed, no problem. Get back into it, ride for 5 minutes or so. Soft front tire. Pull over off the trail – Should I just put in a tube?! NO – it will waste too much time!! Blast a CO2 and shake the front tire. Wheel back on the bike.

Now riding along – gaining a place or two back. Riding blue jersey guy’s wheel for a bit – pass him. Gosh, as expected, my right knee starts to hurt. No problem – I took some advil a few hours ago and brought emergency advil in my pocket. When should I stop to dig those out?? Ahhh, now seems look a good idea: soft front tire again!!! This being the third stop to deal with my front tire knowing I only have two cartridges left I opt to be grumpy, and fix my flat (tubeless filled with sealant) with a new tube (ie deflate the tire completely, pop the bead off the shoulder of the rim, take out the tubeless valve, now seems like a good time to pop the advil, tire lever, ugh – sealant everywhere – unhook tube from under saddle, unscrew empty CO2, thread in new CO2, tube into the tire – did the wind really just blow a leaf into the puddle of stan’s in my tire. Yes. Toss the leaf to the side. Tube into the tire, tire bead back on – by hand – no lever needed!! Blast a CO2 – wow it still feels squishy, maybe 18psi, good thing I had another cartridge. Who carries three cartridges?? Tire feels firm at least 27psi, bead hasn’t popped up yet everywhere, no worry – wheel back on bike). Shovel the trash heap into my back pockets and go go go! Unfortunately I lost count of the people who passed me. At least four or five minutes has gone by and I know i'm in DFL. Dead freaking last.

Thankfully this stop proved to give my legs, right knee, and lungs a break. Back on the bike – pedal time – finish my first lap. Wow – only an hour and fifteen minute first lap – 15 miles?? I guess I stood on the side of the trail. Roll into the feed zone – Darcy, focused, is ready to quickly hand off a bottle and chase my empties. Unclip – foot out. Sit on toptube. Be grumpy some more. She hands my bottle and I explain my first lap. She says I was worried your knee quit working. “I took my advil while fixing my flat tire.” She cheers me on as I begin my second lap and I’m off. Rolling up the gravel road toward singletrack I had three things go through my head:

1. Nine Ball Diaries – Richard Fries – Tim Johnson rolls a tubular tire in a UCI Grand Prix cyclocross race. Losing 50+ spots but jumping back on to catch back up to 12th place – “Tim can really fight when the chips are down.” Then speaking of my all-important regional expert race… “Grimes can really get up off the mat.” I haven’t even met Richard Fries – how did he know I was having a bad race?

2. Chopper Reid – being played by Matt Herdklotz with a thick australian accent – is making fun of me and other random people on the street. “Oh, you spent more on your hair product than you did on your show-winning poodle?!? Harden… UP!!! “Oh, your right knee feels like someone is driving a knife into it and twisting?? You had to stop three times and use all your CO2 and a tube on your front wheel?? Harden… UP!!!

3. Honey Badger – “So what – you had bad warmup, flat tire and now you’re in last place?? Honey Badger don’t care – he don’t give a (insert here).”

Then the entire Honey Badger youtube clip played in my head and cheered me up. Entering the singletrack I decided to make the most of the day and the race. I got a bad warmup, I got a flat tire, my knee hurts real bad. Well on the bright side, all these bad things happened on the same day. I can’t help that but I can put the hammer down and catch as many people as possible.

Well – I passed at least fifteen people, most were 30+, 40+ or women pro category, but three were my cat1 19-29 category. Turn the last corner, zip-up my jersey for the media – hey, Velonews might be there – and cross the line with a wheelie and a ring of my bell.
So I not only made up my “DFL by three or more minutes situation” but managed to work back into 23rd of 26. I think my second lap only took an hour, maybe an hour ten. Pretty good for a 15 mile lap. Overall not really a great day, but certainly better than DNF or just being grumpy and getting mad like a fifth grader and sitting up and not trying. results here

After the race, I drank my recovery drink and dug out my leftover Puerto Nuevo taco – yup, the cooler did its job. Definitely safe to eat. What a great snack!!

Back at the car I emptied my pockets out and decided to document everything used and the trash heap for all of you. Well, three empty CO2 cartridges, a ziplock (containing two advil earlier), a tire lever (glad I had it), Kyle Velcro strap (originally held a tube under seat), and multi-tool and chain tool proved good to have today.

Change, take a look at the results page, load up and head to west Asheville for Universal Joint bugers, a quick stop at david’s bridal, a couple brewery visits, and Tupelo Honey – breakfast for dinner. I’m glad we got to see Matt/Kinsay, our friend Daniel, and even meet some new Asheville bike racer dorks too. Quite a good weekend – now I’m putting my feet up, taking a week off from ‘training’, doing my civic duty (jury duty), and hanging out with my parents. Next up is Stumpjump April 17th or as Jay-Z would say, "On the next one... with my flip-flops, white louie boat shoes...” Thanks for reading. jg

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You sure did have a rough day with all the mishaps of that darned front tire. I didn't know you were having problems with a bum knee?!? When did this start? Smart of you to carry the extra advil.....that's my boy! :) And, I figure with all the so called headaches the day thru your way, you did well to not land in DNF or whichever way the letters go. At least you had some great times with friends. And, on the one hand I am reckoning the next race has to go much better than this one did, so that's something to look forward to! Right?!?! Well, we are looking forward to visiting with you and Darcy soon. Can't wait to see y'all. Love you ~ mom