Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cohutta report

The first 100 mile race is in the books for '07 and I am satisfied with the experience but it has left me with yearning to return to correct a few missteps. That's what hundie's are all about..making decisions and seeing how they play out while you torture yourself for half a day. Coming into this I knew the pro field would be untouchable, guys like Tinker, Eatough, Hendershot and Price would slip away from the start leaving us quasi-pro's (all due respect) to duke it out for top twenty...and that's what I was satisfied with..some good competition.
After the first hour of low winding single track, which was incredible! (nothing like it here in the northeast) the course broke onto jeep roads that pitched upward and we got some views of the Tennessee/Georgia boarder. Rolling with a solid crew. Chatting with Jeff W (who was showing his race experience, looking strong and pulling the group every chance he got) Garth P was there, that guy is a crackup..Colin Izzard was looking comfortable in the train and the solo goat was there too, along with Eddie O (who would soon make a wise decision to take it down a notch & leave us).
For a time I was happy. We were 30-35 miles into the race at a heightened but comfortable pace, friendly conversation was in the air, team work among virtual strangers. This is what I was there to do. Ride with some guys I had mad respect for and see how it played out...Wham! I was down in a corner, skipping across the gravel at skin abrading speed. Fuck! Before I could remove my hands from the bars my shoulder contacted the ground along with my helmet. The train of guys slowed for an instant to avoid colliding with my jettison body as I heard Garth say.."I thought we talked about this" referring to a previous conversation of how it would suck to go down on the gravel road. Jeff dropped back from the group and slowed for a sec hoping I'd jump back and latch on..but I was busy straightening my seat and assessing the urgency of fluids escaping my body. I was OK. Time to roll but never to bridge up to the train. I was now in no man's land.
At aid 4 Harvey and I spoke briefly while urinating behind the sag. I ate a cpl things but was slowly heading to bonkville. Harvey left fired up to catch Eddie O who was only minutes off into the flat section. I could not get fired up or head out with Mr Minton. That stupid fall really kicked me in the junk but if I only knew what a hellish fall Thom P suffered I might have just shook it off.
Between Aid 4 and 5 I was in the doldrums of lethargy. No will to power the climbs, spinning to survive, if the sag wagon came along I'd happily collapse inside. God damn it why did I go out so hard. There are no do-overs. Got to take this one as a lesson and comeback.
I rolled into 5 and a hush fell over the support crew as I nearly fell off my bike reaching for a banana. I ate everything in my drop bag and more. My aim was now to rally remembering (from last year) the final single track climb after aid 6 forced me to eat and eat and eat.
I was rejuvenated at last and finished strong, holding on to my precious 24th place and beating my last year's time by over 30 minutes. Congrats to everyone that did this one, I'll never say that this race was an easy day in the saddle again.


8 comments:

KMAX said...

what? No explaination on that shipping box?

Jason said...

Way to beat your old time!
Yeah, WTF on that box??

j

Andy said...

sorry 'bout that..
luckily the box wasn't mine..my bike was late so I was waiting near oversized luggage for it to appear and noticed that beat up crushed box labeled "fragile".

damn bag smashers!

jeff said...

one of these times we'll race with some common sense! until then, put the hammer down and hang-on. oh yeah.

wraith said...

seems the only thing common is lack of sense!

IF Chicks said...

Everyone needs to invest in a hardshell case, even then Logan security will repack your bike however they want.

just jam the thing back into the case and close it.

wraith said...

looks like you almost reeled in J. Whit. stellar performance. A couple more miles and some gummy bears he would have been staring at the buisness end of team Igleheart.

Buddy said...

Nice job, I have been through the crash thing, it is tought to find your groove again.

B