Monday, July 16, 2007

Tough weekend

If you haven't already make sure you read JJ's post below- as it goes into the medical details.

JJ and I headed down to Pats Peak early on Saturday morning ready to ride, or at least a little bit ready to ride. I'll be honest I didn't feel fully ready mentally or physically, but this was really just a test so I wasn't to stressed.

We rolled into Pats with plenty of time to hit registration, think about where to leave our coolers for our feeds and then chat with other riders about the course. We both were running 32x20's but that was because we had been to lazy to put on the 22's- but both of us knew that hte 22's would be making there way to our rear wheels.

The pre-race meeting was interesting, "NO RIDING ON THE LAWN" screamed through the PA, insults to the downhill riders and a complete slam of EFTA. Can't say I was super impressed with the way they present themselves (Pats Peak)- oh that and "I give up $20,000 in wedding revenue to put on this race..."- WTF? I just dropped $80 to ride my bike on a course that you just admitted was built with free labor and I'm supposed to feel like me riding there is out of charity? Not sure I get their MO. I can understand that not having a huge field means you don't make as much money- but I can also understand why they havn't grown the field by leaps and bounds- but that's another story. Don't get me wrong the people were nice, it's just there was a lot of dirty laundry being aired that just put a weird funk in the air (or that just could have been my bike shoes).

Ok back to the race- 3.2.1- GO! we run get on the bikes and start to ride. It was a pretty good course- ok flow and some fun singletrack. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was thinking suspension would have been nice- time will tell what I do with that opinion. We rode the fist lap and then dumped down to the car to swap gears. Then we were off again like a herd of turtles. Lap two was where things went south. About half way through the lap on a downhill that had a nast waterbar I hear a yell from Charles (another SS'er that was racing with us) and turn around to see dust and a body on the ground in a position that I have seen to many times. The first thing through my head- "You've got to be F*&%ing kidding me! How could he not have seen that frickin waterbar- idiot!!!" (more on that in a minute)- so I hike back up and pretty soon I can see him and I know that JJ is all done for the weekend.

He's a pretty tough dude and doesn't usally show pain- but he looked like hell and you could tell he was hurting- oh yeah and his arm looked all f'ed up and his shoulder looked like he had a boil the size of a ping pong ball growing on it. Then I looked at where his bike as laying and asked Charles if he had move it- he said no- then it dawned on me that JJ hadn't even made it to the waterbar. I felt a moment of shame for having thought so poorly of my teammate a few minutes earlier when I had silently thought him an idiot of having slammed into the waterbar. Then I looked at what he must have hit... oh wait there wasn't anything. The best I can guess he was cooking a long and the loose gravel (billard ball size) took his front wheel for a ride and he went down- hard, fast and violently.

We sent Charles off to snag a bit of help, I pulled some old Gary Fisher course ribbon out of the woods and made a bit of a sling and we sat and commiserated about his newest injury. You have to keep in mind he has done this almost more times then I have fingers on one hand, and on a selfish note everytime it happens I get nervous that he's going to drop the sport- and then I'm out my best riding partner (I admit I'm being selfish).

The cart came up and took JJ away and I continued to finish out my lap, pushing pretty hard as I KNEW that I was heading home after the lap. I came through the timing tent, let them know that JJ was all done and so was I and headed down to first aid. There they told me JJ had left so I headed back to the building and no sign of him, then I headed back up to the tent where I found him and he told me to get my ass back on my bike. I don't think I expressed joy at that thought, although in hindsight it was awfully gentleman like for him to sit in pain for another couple of hours so I could put up enough laps to at least offically "finish"- but at the time I had mentally checked out and had ridden the rest of the lap pretty hard. But I grabbed my bike and Charles and I headed out for another spin.

The next two laps we went pretty easy (Charles was doing the full 24 so there was no need to hammer) and I went VERY easy over the JJ Spot of Carnage. By the fourth lap I was getting grooved in on the course and my legs felt pretty good. It gave me confidence that 10 laps would have been very doable if not more. But I knew that JJ would be getting pretty uncomfortable by now so it was time to call it a weekend.

We tossed back a beer and then loaded the van and headed north (well south first and then north).

Am I bummed, yeah I'm pretty down to see JJ in a sling again, as I don't know what that means for 24HOGG. He and I (and A1) have been sort of on this quest now for over a year and a half and I'm feeling a bit isolated at the moment (A1 works 300 hours a week and JJ is now broken again). It makes me realize that while I dig racing for the racing aspect I dig it way more to hang out with good friends and have good stories to share of future rides. Looks like for at least a little while I'll have to wait to share those stories- but JJ will rise again and hopefully soon!

Heal well JJ and let's find you some DH armor to start riding in!



ps- anyone watch the tour yesterday to Tignes? I usually don't care for Moreau- but I actually felt bad for him yesterday- what was Cadel and Alejandro waiting for? They had a huge chance to put in some gains for just a little more work and blew it. I thought Moreau rode well- who knows the French may have a horse in this race.


weak and feeble said...

I like that look, does it have an airbag and a/c?


bluecolnago said...

airbag and a/c? owwwwwww!!!!!! good one!

i watched part of the tour yesterday. the disorganization of the first chase group after rasmussen blew by them was horrible. yes, moreau rode like a man posessed! i love watching it this year. who's gonna win? who knows!!!! that's the best part!

you guys be good!

peace out, yo!