Saturday, April 08, 2006

Kings Valley Road Race 3/8/6

56-miles over 3 laps of rolling terrain with intermittent rain and an uphill finish like if you rode up the bottom of GMR to the flashing traffic sign.

Victory is Mine!

I felt like ass all day. I just never felt like racing, and my legs didn’t either. I hung in reluctantly, even stretching the elastic a few times, and basically went through the motions of racing a bike. Up the climb to the finish, I started at like 20th wheel, and figured I’d stay there. I just did what I could up the ascent, trying not to blow up, but also trying to haul ass. When I crested the top, I saw that I was 5th. Three riders just ahead of me were together and seemingly not going anywhere. They must have broken themselves on the climb. They couldn’t accelerate over the top. I passed them like they were standing still. One last enemy was up there, and he wasn’t slowing down. I thought for one pathetic moment that second place is pretty good. Shut up, Mark. Then I got a whiff of something in the air: a win. I tasted blood in the water and it tasted good. I thought of all the times that I’d looked over my shoulder and settled for my place, coasted across the line, and then cursed myself all night for not at least seeing what would happen if I opened it up. But. To get him, though, I would have to ride my final 100 meters in less time than it would take him to ride his last 85. My fists around the drops felt like they might crush the tubing; my legs like they were engulfed in a blaze whose heat was somehow pulling that chain around that cog. “Wow, it’s gonna be clos…” NO. Don’t think—just pull. Harder. The line is upon us… thrown bikes… gasps and uncertainty. For the next hour, we had both won that race.

Cooled down, in clean clothes, with Duncan’s recovery potion in my gut, I finally get a glimpse of the results that are being handed out of the official’s car. Oh yeah.
As he handed me my fistful of dollars, the race organizer gave me props for “refusing to quit” and having won “by an inch”. What can I say? Today was a good day.

Thanks, Duncan, for being there till the end and for feeling worse than me. It made me get over myself a little bit. Thanks and apologies to the teams that reeled back all the breaks so that I could poach their finish (evil!). And thanks to the Pro/1/2 winners who, by merely walking past me and accepting their prize money, reminded me that I’m small fry. Even the guys that they dropped beat me today.


Blogger Molly Cameron said...

What was that last "screwing up my season..." post about?

Good job, I almost shed a tear when I read your text.

Don't forget. Team wrench gets a cut of the prize money.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Excellent my freind. Now it's time for me to do battle. Your post was an inspiration. I did not come down here to settle.....

Nor am I soft.......

8:05 AM  
Blogger Little Package said...

Fun to read thoughts! Awesome. Congratulations King Mark!!!

8:15 AM  

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