Monday, July 23, 2007


Here is my W.P.P.2.P.R.R. (winter park point to point race report):

The day started much like any other, groggy from the night before and running behind schedule. A friend and I jump in the car, pray we have everything, and we bagel-up and head for the hills. Luckily, I have a brand new punk-rock album on board and it aids in wiping the haze from my head. In fact, I am going to go ahead and dedicate this race report to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, just because they are a cool band and their album provided me with a sick race-day playlist.

At any rate, I warm up and line up, only to realize that the top collar of my SpeedBall seatpost has completely come undone and the parts are all exposed. Hmm, that can’t be a good way to start a race. I get everything hand-tight, but decide it’s best not to use the adjustability today—just leave the post fully extended and pray that it doesn’t break mid-race. That announcer dude screams GO for like 30 seconds and we’re off. We head up the main drag out of the ski resort, and I settle into about 10th place, wheezing and tasting a little too much bacon and egg bagel. Into the singletrack and I throttle it and take a few guys. The maverick is doin’ it’s thing as we scream down a descent, but somehow this Titus-Chipotle guy caught me on the downhill. What the h is this, I wonder as he passes me and we swing out into a meadow. We head up a tighter singletrack descent, and the holmes pulls granny ring instantly. I leave the middle ring engaged, and burn a couple matches to get past him. As we roll over hill and dale, I slowly catch a few people at a time, focusing on pushing the biggest gear I can.

We come to the Vasquez creek ford, and I see my friend Tom and Rob struggling in the icy water. I dive in, run through, and come out on the borderline of hypothermia… that mtn water is COLD. No wonder Old Milwaukee tastes so good when you pull it out of a mountain stream. So we blaze Vasquez creek road, me seated on the maverick pedaling away and hard-tail fools getting bucked around like they are at Gilleys. (name that movie-bar). As I am descending, though, I notice something rather odd—I have no cornering ability. My tires are just bouncing off of everything in sight. I would find out later at the finish that I was running about 60 psi, and the floor pump I used at the start must have had a bad guage. So I had that going for me, which was nice. I am settling into a rhythm when Rob Batey catches up with me. He gives me a quick greeting and something along the lines of “wow, never caught you on a downhill before Rob”. Hmm, that makes me a little uneasy, and he blazes me in the singletrack. It’s go time, and I fight hard to hold his wheel. We drop a sick fire-road and I have no traction AT ALL, so I know something is up. I keep the hammer down, and now I can see a guy in some sassy red lycra who I could swear was number one into the singletrack. Maybe, just maybe, I think I might be in the ballgame. I hammer down now, following a red swatch of lycra through the forest. I sneak up on him noisily as the Maverick rattles through a rock garden about 2 miles from the finish. As it opens up I turn it on make my move and keep my head down, only to then see this guy TURN IT ON, and completely unhitch me from the train. He must be rockin over 20 miles an hour as we make the final approach to the finish. Red-man takes me handily, but I figure I finished pretty close to the front.

The finish was in Fraser, and we ride back to the resort, I have a nervous excitement… I am thinking I did pretty good. A look at the results board and I am in 3rd, less than 2 minutes off the pace. That’s good enough for my best Winter Park finish, and I get rewarded with a sweet pint glass and a fleeting moment on the podium.

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