Monday, October 3, 2011

#OVCX John Bryan: A TT with Beer & Cash

My Best CX Season Ever P/B Pearl Izumi

No where in the cyclocross training handbook is there a sentence that reads, “Loosen up by bunny-jumping lumps on the course just because it’s fun.”  Even with bright tall socks, beer handups and handlebar streamers, I’m nearly certain Cyclocross is a serious calculated business.  Just like pole dancing, it takes mad skillz to ride one handed through a sandpit for a dollar.  Still, headed into my 12th week of dedicated training, not missing a single work-out, I felt good…maybe even frisky.  Meow. Down to 156 pounds, a week ago I set my best time on a local hill, strong, skilled and thin.  This OVCX race at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs Ohio marked the last hard workout of the past 3 months.  With a rest week, Crosstober, a month-long pursuit of an elusive piece of the top-20 Elite payout, was beginning.  Dammit, this was to be the month of Joe.  Don't make me break out my Sven Nys Prayer Candle.

Women's Elite Masters Podium
“I I I, I work owwwt,” Bridget let loose an X-Factor cast-off worthy wail over her iPod ear buds to LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I know It.”  Soon after the course opened for warm up, behind a teammate on my 2nd easy paced “scout” lap, I saw a jumpable lump.  I pulled up on the bars and pedals, went sideways in the air and came down front end first and twisted, like a couch coming out of a garbage truck at the dump.  “I’m good.  See.  I’m okay.  Just a little dirt on my knee,” I reassured with a smile.  A spectator approached after the incident and said her daughter in her arms was concerned that I hurt myself.  How cute.  Truthfully, I gave myself a mother of a charley horse in my right thigh.  Feeling sheepishly stupid in public, I picked the grass out of my shifter and shoe buckle and fast pedaled to our tent.

The Battle of Doug and Don-Bill
“You guys got a massage stick?” I asked.  “Jimmy usually has one,” Bridget replied.  ADD Jimmy never sits still.  I’ll never find him I thought.  Using my years of cycling first aid experience, I slathered some embrocation on the bruise hoping to feel searing heat rather than my throbbing pulse, got on the trainer and attempted to spin the mooglie out.  It sort of worked.  Little did I know my bike was also hurting with a slightly rolled tire from my auger into the dirt.  As the Cat 3’s wrapped up, my hot-lap began.  Even on the gutsy wheel of eventual 45+ winner Fred Rose, I held tight and so did the tire with 15 month old crackly glue.

My Sven Nys Prayer Candle
The whistle blew.  From the 4th row of the Elite race I dodged a mis-clip from Chris Durand and shot up the right side.  With a wide course for the first 300 meters, I knew it’d be a merciless start and I showed none, slotting into 20-25th by the first real corner.  Like I planned, I chilled for 10.5 seconds and fired off the 2nd bullet heading toward the pits moving up a few more spots.  I was a spot or two in front of nemeses Corey Green and Peter Hills, right where I wanted to be.  It may sound cold and calculated, but that’s how I know when I’m riding well.  I find calm in the confusion.  I bagged another spot before the sand, shot out the other side, hit the U-turn onto the pave and rubababubububub.  My front tire nearly washed out.  Two riders slid underneath.  Like a NASCAR under steer, into a series of five off-camber up-downs, I’d turn the bars left and my bike wanted to go right.  My tire was still on, but I knew I had rolled it.

Jeff: "This is how we do it"
“Front Tire,” I shouted to my teammates watching.  After a few corners, I saw Jaden running to the pit.  I ducked in.  “Where’s your wheels,”  he shouted.  “Next to Steven’s,” I said.  “Which ones are Stevens?”  Oh Jesus.  Two stooges.  I swear I saw 9 guys pass under my elbow.  Still trying to be Cancellara calm in the wheel change as another guy in the pit kindly undid my front skewer and brake cable, I said, “the white bag.  Mine are the Zipps next to ‘em.”  The silly thing was the white bag was a Zipp bag and if you’ve ever seen the pits at a Masters cross race, even everyone’s 2nd set of wheels is carbon and 65% of those are Zipps.  Essentially I was pointing at one egg in a carton and saying, “No THAT egg!”  Of course I didn’t open up the skewer to drop-out width before I put my spare wheels in the pit.  Of course Jaden had trouble getting in on.  Still I stayed as chill as possible and got back on course DFL but with a guy in front still in sight. 

Win a Hydration Pack with TBBBE CLICK HERE
My hopes of a top 20 payout were dashed so it became a time trial…but with beer and cash.  Knowing at best I was looking at simply getting series points for finishing and maybe picking off a few spots, I kept it smooth.  Then the guy held out a can of PBR.  WTF.  I snagged it.  With a cheer behind me, I chugged.  Maybe I have a Wisconsin bred gene to not waste beer, so, hoping for it to land upright, I slightly slowed and softly dropped it.  I nearly barfed 200 meters later after a stomach stirring run over the barriers. 

A Line In The Sand
Then the dollar bills came out at the sand pit.  Essentially forcing riders to ride one handed through the worst line possible in deep sand for even a chance at snagging a buck.  I got the first, got the 2nd, but dropped the 1st.  Who knew I could ride sand one handed.  The next lap, the PBR guys moved to the log barriers.  They shouted, “Bunny hop ‘em!”  I did the first and, with total alligator noodle arms from chasing hard for 2 laps, ram-rodded the 2nd, nearly getting a saddle enema.  “That’s gonna be on You Tube,” someone shouted.  I nearly lost the three spots I had gained since the PBR.  Bunny hopping was out.  I put it in hammer mode, snagged another one-handed sand buck, got lapped by Ryan Knapp and finished.

At the tent, I pulled two sweaty dollars from the neck of my skinsuit.  Finally I made the payout.


Karen WH said...

Thats got to be one of the most colorful race summations I've ever read! Truly funny!

Joe Biker said...

aw shucks Karen thank you.