Mt. Hood–last two stages

This is going to be a quickie.

Saturday’s road race was a killer.  92 miles and 10,500 ft of climbing.  We started at the parking lot of Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort, and finished there a little over four hours later. 

The descent was sketchy, mainly because my bike kept getting speed wobbles.  The front wheel kept vibrating and going all over the place, which I first thought was because I was shivering (the temperature at the top was in the 40’s).  But today I found out that it was because my steer plug was jammed up in my steer tube.  The idiots at the airport (I flew to Minnisota yesterday) aparantly took the steer plug out, spreading loose pieces around the inside of the bike box and left them there because they obvioulsy had no clue how to re-install it.  When I got to the bike shop today to get it put back in, the mechanic said the steer plug was a piece of crap anyways, which is why I was getting speed wobbles.  So I bought a new one.  Now there won’t be anymore death wobbles going down hill at 60 mph. 

Back to the race:

We went up the first hill hard, a break away got away, then we spent the rest of the race fighting for position behind Bissell, who all sat at the front setting tempo to keep their leader’s jersey protected.

A big crash took a bunch of riders down with about 40k to go.  I was off the back at this point, taking a pee so I didn’t even see it happen.  It was the first time I’ve ever successfully peed off the bike.  I’d say at least 90% of the pee didn’t get on my hand or leg.

A half an hour later, Chris went down on the black top while riding up a hill when the guy in front of him rubbed wheels with the bike in front of him.  I pulled off a few mintues later to wait for Chris, then paced him back into the pack.

With 10 K to go, attacks started going.  I was feeling tired at this point (having not done enough long rides recently), but stayed as close to the front as I could. 

3k to go saw the turn off onto the Meadows access road, the steep part of the climb.  From there on out it was every man for himself.  A c0mplete suffer mania.  I finished 36th.  Not how I wanted to finish.

Sunday:

The crit was a lot of fun.  There were crashes, especially in the first half of the race, but they all happened behind me.  I went off the front twice, once trying to bridge up to the breakaway, and another time when I went to the front to help Bissell (who I thought were trying to bridge to the break but they actually weren’t).  I ended up getting off the front by myself because I pulled by them too fast, so my attempt to help didn’t help them at all.

On the last lap, a crash split up the field on a corner.  I was on the inside so I got by unscathed.  I sat on, about five or six guys back from the front (the break of 8 guys had stayed away though) and I ended up sprinting for 11th place, 3rd in the pack sprint. 

I spent that evening shooting a potato gun with Tony’s younger brohter, Christoph.  We started with potatoes–going for distance.  Then swiched to shooting potatoes straight up, then moved to the potato/golf ball combo, which of course lead to the firing of potatoes with a nail or screw sticking out of them.  We were shooting a piece of plywood and, no joke, one of the screws went straight through the 3/4 inch plywood. 

I woke up the next morning in a bit of a panic, after having multiple dreams about missing my plane flight (because my teammate Will was taking too long to get ready).  I checked my email to see when I was supposed to leave for Minnisoooota donch’ know for Nature Valley, and saw that my flight was THAT MORNING, not the next day like I had thought.  I was still in Hood River at the time but got a ride from Tony to the airport and made my flight.

I showed up at Minniapolis/Saint Paul (I’m not sure where I am exactly) and got picked up by CJ, a friend of a friend of Russell’s.  But not before seeing two people with real mullets, not the euro kind.  Big ones.

CJ and his wife are hosting me in their house right now.  It’s cold here in Wisconson and I only brought flip flops.  All my clothes stink like old sweat and sewage and my water bottles are moldy.  Man was I hungry last night.  I ate the dinner that CJ’s wife made, which was Quinoa, vegetables and chicken, then we went to the store to go shopping.  I came home and ate two bowls of cereal, three sandwiches, and crackers.  I start racing tomorrow, and luckily all my bad luck is overwith for the next week because I just broke a spoke on my ride today and had to go back to the bike shop for a second time, where they said I needed to get all my spokes on the drive side replaced.  It’s time for me to go eat some more sandwiches.  I’ve got six more races to do in the next five days!!!

One thought on “Mt. Hood–last two stages

  1. It is a good thing TSA took out your steer plug! Right before wee W retired, he sent a memo to TSA titled “How to make airplaning more fun four joe public”. Item 8 states that when examining race bikes, the TSA inspector should not reinstall defective parts. This is the most useful directive promulgated by W’s administration. Unfortunately, due to the lefty bias of the “media”, poor wee W’s greatest legacy will be left out of future 6th grade history books published in the year 2049. Wee wee wee all the way home….^-^

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