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 A big helping of Humble Pie
Showed up at Fontana for the XC race Saturday morning. Did a short section as a warmup
before the race and felt pretty good. At 9:30, I lined up with 12 other guys in the 45-50
class. We shot the breeze as the pro's and younger classes jetted out ahead of us. They
passed us by, the sound of expensive drivetrains singing in the morning air. Now our turn.
Take a couple of deep breaths and we get the five second countdown. At the horn, we take
off and I take the lead up onto the fireroad. We're blasting along and we then come back
the other way towards the whoops. I get passed on the wide, flat fireroad, but I don't
sweat it yet.

Hit the first sharp whoop and as I slam power into the cranks my drivetrain totally starts
puking. I have a brand new XTR cassette and SRAM chain, but now my middle ring signals to
me, that it has just ended its useful life. I have a pack of 11 guys on my ass as I start
up the slope and the drivetrain pukes again. Aaaauugggh! It is the worst possible feeling.
My heartrate just spikes and though I don't know it just then, I've blown up. We start the
ascent alongside the ridge and suddenly I know. I have no legs, I have no cardio. More
people pass me. I am so screwed.

I get on the paved watertank climb alone and get passed some more. I am forced to climb in
the granny ring, as any pressure on the middle ring, makes it jump ten teeth. I tell
myself, 'whatcha gonna do?' as I climb slowly up the hill. Where I used to battle it out
for the lead, I now crawl. It gets worse. I get passed by a girl on an FSR. This is bad.
I at least get ahead of her, before the singletrack, because there's a good chance, she'll
be slow on the downhill.

The rest of the race is about keeping company with all the slow guys on the downhills. We
tangle wheels and shoes, bars and arms, but I get by. I work to make time up and start
catching some of the slower guys in the other classes. The race course at Fontana can be
totally dangerous. There are high speed sections, that open up into deep sandy downhills,
with bucket-deep braking bumps, parallel ruts and imbedded rocks. Some of the downhill
action is wild and you'd better be good on the bike.
No shortage of heat either, but a breeze does come up on the second lap. Finished up and
got dead friggin' last. Whatcha' gonna do? It was a good lesson for sure. Forgot how hard
these things were. I'm not going to sweat how I do, but just do the best I can. We'll see
at Keyesville next week.

Posted by STP a 48 year old Racer riding a K2 Razorpiggie from P'Dale on 03/12/07

Responses: (1) (2) Post Reply  

  •  Re: A big helping of Humble Pie
    STP...bummer. Great write-up however, as usual! I have the same drivetrain problems occasionally on my Stumpy. It seems the dropouts are worn and the rear wheel will slip just enough to cause the chain to want to not stay in whatever gear I want to use. A stop and a re-set of the wheel in the drop outs along with a death grip pressure on the skewer lever usually gets it right. Could this be the same sort of issue you experienced?
    I rode Keyesville this weekend. It's in decent shape though it's going to dry, dusty and sandy, it was just so this weekend, hopefully the evil quads will stay away from the course. I had no legs, no energy, coughed up lung cookies and generally pussed out on the laps I did. I am SO going to get smoked this weekend, I'm sure you'll have a better race here! Maybe I'll just work the registration tent and sit up on the course blowing soap bubbles and drinking some Sequoia Red from KRBC...
    Are you day trippin' on Sunday only, or coming up on Friday or Saturday? Either way, have a great week and a safe trip and I'll see you at the race.
    Posted by ScarryFast a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2001 Stumpy Pro/2003 Titus Switchblade from Bakersfield on 03/12/07
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  •  Re: A big helping of Humble Pie
    I smell redemption will be present in the clean Sequioa air.
    paz afuera
    Posted by Papisimo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Gary Fisher 29er mofo from the land of enchantment on 03/15/07
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