Monday, December 5, 2011

Like Plinko On Wheels #OVCX #KingsCX

Choose Handups Wisely (by Chris Jones)
You ever wonder what it’s like when a gust of wind blows up while teetering on tight rope between skyscrapers, to drive 100mph down a black iced winter Wisconsin freeway, to cut your regulator hose 35 feet under while scuba diving?  The acrobat grips the wire between his toes gently holding the balancing pole.  The rally car driver nearly spins off the road still gripping the steering wheel and finessing the parking brake.  The diver always knows which way is up.  At the bottom of a mud covered off camber hill at the Kings CX OVCX finale I slipped to a stop with both feet engaged to the pedals and my hands on the bars.  Until my shifter and pedal anchored me to a stop, “I got this,” I thought. 

Me on Heckle Hill (Photo: Karen Wells Hamilton)

What makes cyclocross so different from road, track, bmx or mountain biking is that in a muddy race, you’re not certain of the exit.  It’s like Plinko, the game on TV’s The Price Is Right where you drop a disc down a peg board and it randomly pops out at the bottom making you a winner or a loser.  In the one hour race yesterday, I can’t count the times I went into a muddy section, only to exit 3 feet to the left or 4 feet to the right.  Sometimes the same trusted rut would shrug me a different direction each time through.  Still I blindly drive my bike into the muck at full-tilt fully expecting to be head up and rubber down on the doormat sized piece of solid ground on the other side.  Suddenly my opening analogy doesn’t seem so ridiculous. Monster
Turning right, the front wheel slid away as fast as Herman Cain’s hopes for the presidency, down the hill to the left.  Naturally through my experience in Wisconsin winter driving, I steered left into the slide.  It hooked up.  For .32 seconds I had it, then lost it as fast.  It was like a hydroplaning track stand.  I got this, until PAFFF!  I pancaked into the hill.  I still wasn’t done moving.  Like falling off that skyscraper, with my hand clawing the ledge, feverishly swimming to the surface, seeing the road that was in front of me in the rear-view, I distinctly remember riders going by above me, at least four if not five.  

Peter Hills (Photo: Karen Wells Hamilton)
I could’ve whipped out my phone and had a pizza delivered to the pit in the time it took my butt to grind to a halt.  I could’ve made an OVCX series winner’s mug out of the mud.  I could’ve married and divorced Kim Kardashian in the time it took to fall, slide and stop.  From the pit, I’m sure it looked like another one of a hundred slips du jour.  It was.  Everyone who fell, thought, “I got this!”  Until…they didn’t.

Early Kings CX Day 2 Video featuring Heckle Hill

Kings CX Weekend - Day 2 Highlights from Corey Green on Vimeo.

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