Friday, June 17, 2005

Ballard...and Days 1 through 4 of the Six

Here's Ballard:
Four corners, drenched in rain, ice-like bricks in one corner, dry slicks on my wheels and 80 people who all want thier chunk of a few grand in prize money. BANG the gun goes and I'm third into the first corner, which is a damn good thing because all around me is CHAOS. Guys are hitting the deck like nobody's business, easy corners are becoming completely impossible, every single corner in the first five laps claims skin and carbon.
Aaron jams it at the front and escapes with a few punks. I have lost vision and most motor control trying to stay on Kenny "G Money J Lo" Willians and Russel "I Hate You" Stevensen. These jerks are on the edge of control and pushing me way past my max effort, so I blow to pieces and curse the name of Ballard and the Seattle metro maybe 20 minutes into the race.

Aaron ends up crashing cause he's a f$@king mountain biker, but he still laps the field which is pretty heavy. He gets a gut point for that one. Maybe.
Scotty survives by utilizing the brilliant strategy of being behind every single crash and sprinting to get back up to the dwindling field. This may seem impractical, but it works for him.

Meanwhile at the six day, every day is run under threat of heavy rain, 3 days of which rain out completely. Scotty gets one gut point for riding the first 30 minute madison by himself. Walker and I call truce and just follow wheels, but other teams aren't so nice and not nearly as cool, but Scott hangs tough and even scores a point in the final sprint. The following few days are a big ugly battle between the kiwi team of Scotty and Adam and the orange team of yours truly and Walker the Stalker. The pink/fred meyer team puts up a valiant effort, but can't quite work out the sprints. Walker and I win every madison and every night overall, but due to an unfortunate error in the points race (namely, not starting it ontime), we lose 15 laps and the overall. Whatever. Still came out with a few hundred bucks at local bike shops and a few days of good hard training leading up to.....

.... U23 Road Nationals.
12 hours of driving usually isn't too bad, but when it's at night and your route is the wasteland that is Eastern Oregon and Idaho, things get boring. After a good sleep on a uber-comfy couch, daybreak in Park City means wandering about town, searching for mexican food and the host hotel.
Damn this place is average.
Kind of reminds me of Vegas minus the strippers and neon. Too much money floating around, too many facades on buildings to make everything seem "natural" and "ski lodge-ish." Concrete slap-up construction covered in a plastic/wood veranda to make the local Albertsons seem like it belongs. The fact that the town is completely dead certainly doesn't help its image. Must be what most ski-towns look like in late-june. Just bare-bones staff in cafe's and pizza shops. Just enough cops to cover race duties and parking lots. Seems like most houses here sit empty untill the snow comes back and the executive accountants and retirees stop by for a weekend soiree. Places that would sell for 150k in Portland flash For Sale signs that trumpet costs reduced to 600 thousand. Crazy cost of living, but still pretty cool to take the chair lift that starts in the middle of town up to the top of the 2002 winter olympic ski slopes that overlook the town.

Crit is tommorow at 10am in front of the lavish Deer Valley Resort. 60k of sun and fun. DT

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