Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So that friday night crit was pretty intense. There's a series of pretty sketch corners in that course (actually the whole thing is all sketch corners), so Dave and I set up at a place where we could see the two sketch-est. The first was a downhill 90degree super-rough peice of road, the second was an uphill-but-sharper-than-it-looks little beauty.
So the gun goes off, the Yamaha R1 lead bike rolls through and the first thing I see is Tuckerman completely sideways throught that first downhill left, layed out corning on pure luck and some pretty good tires. He miraculoudly survives and charges up the hill so hard he passes the lead motor on the inside in our second corner. I didn't see the final one before the straight, but I'm told the motor came back around him and Tuckie passed him one more time on the inside through the last corner. Good stuff. After that, I saw a lot of orange guys in the hurt box for the rest of the night. Made me not sad to be sitting in the beergarden. Other highlight of the evening was watching Mark Blackwelder fly ass-first into the downhill corner, blow up his rear wheel on the curb, do a header into the art museum, get up like nothing happened and sprint up the hill with his bike (in his road shoes... full sprint) to the pit. I'm not gonna lie. I was impressed.

Let me say this one first: I love the state crit in Gresham. Fun, wierd course, yet easy enough that I can still do something. I don't tend do so well on "challenging" or "hard" courses. I get tired. I like flat, and the state crit is very flat.
The sun was out, birds were chirping, all the guys were all on board with the plan to keep everything together, the bike was shining and I was feeling pretty good. The first 57 minutes went exactly as planned. If anyone went away, Richard, Kirk, Logan, Aaron or Steven was either sitting on the back of them, or chasing like a banshee. I hung out in the top quarter all day. Supervising. It was kick ass. THEN. The last 15 laps started to get a bit hectic. The pace started heating up, people started getting nervous and I found Shannon's wheel and stuck to it like glue. I figured it was a good place to be, but so did everyone else. Had to pull some serious eyes-closed elbows-out ninja moves to stay behind those chiseled calves. Faster and faster we went, Mr. Vanilla and I made our way through the field to about 10th with 5 to go, meanwhile Mikkel and his Dr. Seuss cronies went to the front. Coming around the final corner with three to go, we were hauling ass. The front group had pretty well worked itself out, we were going too fast and taking up the whole road, so those in the back didn't have much chance to safely sneak around by this point. Anyway. Going into this corner, I'm planted pretty well, Mr. V and I are on the inside line and I see some genius in blue and white go flying up next to the sidewalk on the inside at mach 10 trying to make up 50 places in one corner. Most bike racers know that you can't go inside on a corner at that speed without ending up on your face (something you usually figure very early on), but this guy didn't, and not surprisingly, he ended up on his face. Unfortunately, he decked himself maybe 2 people in front of Shannon, who executed a perfect forward double-axle front flip that should have landed him gold at the X-Games. I avoided everything by pure luck, including Mr. Skerrit's rear wheel, which was inches from taking my head off. Meanwhile the front group rolls away up the straight...
I ended doing the mad sprint to get back to the group, then not doing a very mad sprint to win. Ended up seventh, but with all of my skin intact.


1 comment:

Storm Saxon said...

Blessed and cursed. They sprinkle a little fairie dust on you, and then spray it off with a fire hose.