Monday, June 7, 2010

All Done

It's 4 pm on the Monday after the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. Thus far, I've spent my day sleeping, lying down, and ejecting large quantities of snot from my nostrils. If oozing from my road rash were a conscious activity, I'd add that to the list too. Aside from the headache, the sore throat, the half-dozen patches of road rash on both sides of my body, the rubbed-raw nose, the bruises, the stiff neck, the aching back, and the massive fatigue in my legs, I feel pretty good. Holy hell who am I kidding -- I feel like I've been run over by a train.

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a headache. That combined with the pouring rain made for a pretty grumpy morning. If there's one thing I hate about afternoon crits is that you've got all morning to sit around and stew, thinking about what you're about to do. It's hard to stay calm, especially when the weather is supposed to be nasty. I've done this criterium before, in the dry. It's not my favorite.

I convinced myself that this race wouldn't be sketchy. I walked around and watched the masters race. The corners seemed fine. This is fine. I'll be fine, I told myself. However, two laps into the race, I started to have my doubts. I simply couldn't take the corners fast! My front wheel was drifting twice per lap, and I was losing positions like crazy. I felt less like I was riding a bike, and more like I was riding a bull -- the damn thing kept moving underneath me! Finally I washed out my front, and went skidding across the pavement on my side, taking half a dozen poor souls with me. Fellas who crashed with me, what can I say? I'm sorry. I slid on my left side this time (the yin to my previous crash's yang). But -- and thankfully there's a but -- I got reinserted and held on (albeit barely) until the finish. I kept my 5th place in the GC, and my team hung onto our Team GC lead. See for yourself.


So that's it. Mt. Hood 2010 in the books. It was a good time, and we did well, but gosh was it a hard fought success. Here's a photo of me, at one of my lowest moments in the stage race. This is after the Mt. Tabor Crit (stage 1). Eager to light this race up (I started a time-bonus away from the yellow jersey after all), I took the hole shot into the first corner....and crashed. First guy into the first corner on the first lap, and I crashed. Then, less than four laps later, I crashed again, this time full speed at the bottom of a sweeping downhill turn. I couldn't believe it. I got reinserted a second time, and spent the whole remainder of the race scared out of my mind, fearing I would crash again. I felt like a horseman who just got bucked off his most reliable steed -- my trust in my tires, and in my bike was shattered. I got cleaned up, and patched up my cuts, and that's when Kennett snapped this photo: 


Not a happy camper. Then, less than 24 hours later, there I was, a much happier man. Stage races are strange, fickle creatures. One minute they're your best friend, the next they stab you in the back.




Now it's time to rest. Rest, and heal, and defeat this infernal cold. Nature Valley is coming right up.

6 comments:

Patrick said...

Sam,

Congratz to you and the team for the job at Mt. Hood!

check this out... --> http://bastyrcenter.org/content/view/197/

I too woke up saturday morn with a scratchy throat, pressure in the head. I've heard of this treatment for years, and only now, for some reason, did I try it. GOD DAMN WHY HAVEN'T I DONE THIS BEFORE!?!? Holy shit, it works well. it simply works.

Mandel said...

I'm proud of you for sacking up and rolling hard

Eli said...

One day I hope to be good enough at something--anything!-- to win beer for doing it. Congratulations--you're a fucking mensch.

Perhaps a Parrot said...

Patrick, thanks for the hint. Ever since i grew to this height, I've been unable to sleep without my feet extending from the bottom of the covers (mostly because I don't fit on most beds) I can't fall asleep unless my feet have fresh air.

Mandel, I was thinking about you climbing Galena Summit the whole time.

Eli -- and GOOD beer no less!

cheryl said...

Congratulations on the Mt. Hood results...all the best! from your Redlands family

Mafia Don said...

Krogg follows up an awesome, racer slaying Ski to Sea with an awesome, racer slaying Mt. Hood Classic!

Keep wielding that big ass club and axe, and they will keep falling. Heal up from the battle wounds and get back to it!