Monday, August 27, 2007

A mountain bike race

Ya, I did one. For all you mtb'ers who thought I fell off the face of the earth, I was there. I finally, finally made it up to the WORS race in Rhinelander this past weekend. Of course, three or four rides on the mountain bike this year were going to make this race extra hard for me and also a chance to blow out some mtb cobwebs.
The promoter, Don Edberg, was cool enough to give me a call-up for the start. The format was a Marathon running 45 miles or so. However, it had quite a bit new singletrack cut which created a back breaking bumpy ride. Regardless, the course was fun, hard, and in the Northwoods in August. It was fun to get back into the mtb scene. Oh man, did I crack hard on the last 10 miles though. Ouch!
So how did the race play out? Everyone went like a bat-out-of-hell from the start. I felt good and just held out around seventh wheel. We hit the singletrack and it was the typical front end. A group of 4 got away and I couldn't get through the guys in front of me to put chase. On lap three we started to hit lapped traffic and the pace was slowed down. I tried to be cool to people and not to be some Elite bully, but some lapped riders were outright mean. I called out a pass on one guy and he simply said, "I am not letting you pass." Hmmm. Anyway, you can only do what you can do. Sorry to those who may have been upset with me. I was just trying to chase back on.
But it didn't matter. Lap four, Tristan and Seth caught up to me. We rode together when Peariso blew by. Realizing that he was on crack or something we didn't chase. Later I found out from Chris that he had downed 5 Double Espresso Clif Shots. My God man. That is 550 milligrams of Caffeine. It expained a lot.
But, if you have never been to a WORS race ( www.wors.org )then you need to get to one. Don is one hell of a promoter, these things run nearly flawless, there is a the Muddy Cup cafe to keep us Coffee-Junkies alive (great coffee too!), and there is that original back-in-the-day mountain bike scene.
The flood waters have left us here now and people are busy throwing everything out. Massive garbage pile exist outside of the affected neighborhoods, but the community has really come together.
I have a railroad re-building company staying in our hotel. You want to talk about disaster efficiency. Railroads have it going on. Miles of rail cars with stone, ties, and rails. Hundreds of men and 60 dump trucks. To date, all rail has been replaced. Wow. At $30 an hour plus $45 an hour for overtime (each get 4-hours of overtime a day)it is no wonder the tracks are back. Lets see.....who else is in the hotel........ummmmmm........oh ya, the opposite end of that spectrum, FEMA. Drink up boys!
The USA Crit. series has ended and we lost the team lead and the overall rider. Of course, you and I know that really isn't the case. Mark Hekman and the guys had a dream year and when it was all said and done I think we know who won it all. As for Hekman, he is healing up and getting ready to show everyone the Real Deal next year. The A&F guys were no fluke folks. I never have met such a strong group of riders with cool personalities to boot. Everyone knows it was Hekman's show. Heal up man and have a beer on me.
Now the build-up and rest up for Chequamegon. Maybe some crazy news sometime soon too. Ciao- Ian

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