Monday, June 21, 2010

Ponca's Revenge Recap

I just gotta say it: It's great when a plan comes together. Even Mother Nature played nice. And the trails. Trailgazmic. OMG, good times. Yes, we had to pay for the descents but it was so worth it. The flow was mojo gojo.

I got up to the park Friday afternoon. RF had already been there helping set up the course. I found him napping on a picnic table at the group campsite down by the start finish. We set up camp, ate some power food and relaxed by the fire. Larry brought the fam. Rafal brought the fiance. Jesse and Katie Berman pulled up just as I did and within 10 minutes were kitted up to do a prelap. Now those are my kind of peeps! Troy stopped by on his new Beemer moto. He was taking a brake from a bike show in Sioux City. A great night for it.

Our camp was horizontal by 10:30, lulled to sleep by the silence. All of the years I've camped there and it's never been so quiet. Not even a cricket or a rustling of leaves. And since there was no wind, the fireflies just drifted about the field like tiny Tinker Bells.

Morning came early. Up at 6:30, stuffed face with organic oat meal, bananas and nuts. I filled up my bottles, got my gear in order (because I knew it was about to get crazy) and headed over to the registration area. Glen and co. were on hand. I put out the signs and then while RF finished marking the course, I helped set up registration. It went well. Then just as I was going to head back to camp to get ready, a million things needed to happen. I got back to camp at 9:40, race was at 10. I had had no water since 7 and no other nutrition. Yeah, and gonna ride for 3 hours! Ryan fueled with just a banana. Just great. I pulled up to the line at 9:58. At a few minutes after 10, we were off. The marathon class, some 20 riders strong, tore through the opening straight to the single track. Yes, it was a marathon but we still pinned it. I followed the train up through the first climb. I got behind Randy Crist who caught a tree and went down. I soon caught up with the front group after suffering up the climbs after the top road crossing. Rafal was cussing like a Polish sailor at his Bonty small block tires. Riding the lil wheels was giving him issues but he recovered and disappeared from me quickly. (yay suspension).

Speaking of, my bike was dialed and I have to give hats off to The Lucas, for fixing that which was broke and Ryan for putting on the final touches. What a hubby! My new WTB Deva saddle was perfect. They got that shit down. New GX-1 Ergon grips felt wonderful from the first minute to the 180th. And my Stans race wheels made the climbs more pleasurable, if that's possible.

Most of my race was smooth, although Fun with a capital Fun. There wasn't a clod of mud on my tires. The dirt was a dream. Like it had just been freshly watered for us. And the flow took me from lung busting to heart pounding. Ridiculous!

Around noon I came into the feed zone. The timing was perfect because just then Limpach and the rest of the Cat 1s came flying by. Shawn Hansen and I had been trading places for a couple laps and he didn't stop when I did so I knew he'd get held up once they caught him. Sure enough, I was right back on his wheel but not before Savory came by (seems he had a blow out at the start but hauled ass to catch back up). Oh yeah, he was riding SS.

Anyway, so when I caught up to Shawn I said we had to hold off the SS and Cat. 2. It didn't take too long before their top guys were asking to go by. Shawn and I motored on. He was setting a good pace but in the middle of the ridge climb after the grassy hill by the pool, I felt I could give it some gas and get by Shawn. It worked and I was off. I'm not sure what lap that was but on my 7th lap, I came in at 2:55. Only Rafal and Ryan were ahead of me, Rafal by a minute. So I decided then that I'd see if I could catch The Baconator. I stood up on every climb and railed every descent. He came into view before the rooty exit to the grass. Then I followed him up the pool hill where he stopped before the first switchback. I motored on and lead him up into the trees. From there I kept up the pressure and finished in 2nd overall. It was a great race and one that I needed to do as my final big effort in preparation for the FC 50 in Breck.

Post race was a blast. After tearing everything down and settling in at camp, RFand RAF went for a grocery run and came back with chips and hard liquor. It was going to be a good night. Good thing Rafal bought more brats because Larry forgot to pack the cheese burgers. DOH! But he made up for it because he brought the s'mores fixins. Several margies later, we were out. I never sleep well post race, so I was restless. We got some rain but nothing like what came later when we got home. I drove home in a hung-over, sleepless fog. Maybe that's why I didn't notice Ryan's wheel deciding to jump ship from the wheel rack on the roof. Don't load  your shit drunk. A bummer of an ending to a great weekend.

It was crazy, hectic but fulfilling in so many ways. Just doesn't get any better.

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