Saturday, April 13, 2013

Prepare to enter the dragon

The 2013 Dragons Tale race by Shenandoah Mountain Touring is about 24 hours away!

As I prepare for my 1st Big Day race of the season, my thoughts go back to last years attempt which left me bruised and busted, but not broken. It was a long tough day, I ended up getting stitches that evening... and then, I could barely wait to race this event again!

Taming this beast has eluded me the on my1st and second attempts. My 1st attempt in 2011 was plagued by dehydration, cramping, and a general ass whooping by the many steep hike a bike sections. However, I also remember what a devilishly fun course it was. Lots of great rock features and some screaming descents made for a intense and memorable way to kick off mountain racing.

During my second attempt in 2012, the 1st part of the race went better for me, but I still managed to underestimate the amount of fluids I needed to intake and was fighting cramps for the second year in a row. Also, I made a bike handling mistake and wrecked very hard, just barely missing a tree that caught my leg as I plowed into the trail. I ended up with a pretty bloody elbow laceration. I got home a bit late that day because of my visit to the emergency care facility, where I got stitched up.

So as I look forward to tomorrow, I keep in mind lessons from the past. Bring more fluids that you plan on. Bring more enduralites than you think you need. Don't get too cocky on the descents when you are exhausted. Get ready to have a blast!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Road rage from a couple of cyclists struck me today

I was having a real nice road ride after work today.
I passed a group riding on the road on my typical route in Goochland and didn’t call out on your left. Half the time I call out “on your left” when I go to pass a meandering peloton of road riders, especially when they have a slower group, someone will look left and drift right in front of me. So a habit, and maybe arguably a bad one, is to just pass on the left close to the center line.

I stopped to fix one of my cleats and that group re-passed me. No big deal, I’ll just pass them again later.

So, on a rolling section of a back road, I caught two riders who were basically not staying tight and often meandered and took up the whole lane from time to time.

I was coming down off a roller and hammering up the front of a hill when I passed these two guys, one at a time, basically all the way over towards the center line. The second guy yelled at me about “on your left” and I raised my hand in a “like, really?” kind of gesture.

I guess that was just too much for this jerk and he had to chase me down and tell me I “scared the sh!t out of him” and was an a-hole and a whole host of other insults. I said “dude” the road is plenty wide for us both and that the only one being an a-hole was him. He lobbed some FU’s and other crap before dropping back.

So, when I stopped to cross route 250, this jerk made a point to pull in front of me in a mock cut off move. I stopped on the other side and basically said WTF. I was getting a bit hot at this point, so I told him he had a serious problem and added some FU’s and you’re an a-hole of my own. Then I was like “So you wanna go buddy?”

It was a bit silly in hind sight, it’s never worth it to pick a fight. But I don’t like bullies and jerks who way overreact in a stupid a-hole manner. He bantered back “you don’t want to mess with me” and then, someone more sensible in his group was like, “alright guys, let’s bring it down a notch.”

Then the second guy showed up and it was a rinse and repeat with the two of them cussing me and telling me how dangerous and scary it was for them. Seriously? If someone not calling out on your left scares you that bad, you should stick to a tricycle in the park.

Whatever, two real Class A jerks who think they are the only people on the road.

So listen up, if you’re going to come at me like that, I’m coming right back motherfucker.