‘thoughts/talking to myself’
“actual verbal communication”
4:40am…..’crap, frigon alarm didn’t go off, I know I set it for 4:30am’
Just another typical beginning to race day, well except for one of the last things I watched before bed was Strawberry Shortcake adventures with my teammates 5 and 3 year old. Stumbling up the stairs I can already hear Bruce making coffee. Perfect start to breakfast! This wasn’t your typical get up, chill and eat a lot of food morning, we had to be on the road no later than 5:20am, so Bruce could get to Cambridge, NY at a decent time. Two bagels with Nutella and it’s out the door.
‘God it is early’
It’s a pretty quite ride down, compared to our normal trips, little is said for some time. Perhaps it’s nerves or just it so frigon early. We listen to the radio and start to talk a little more. ‘what the heck kind of music are we listening to anyways,’ it’s not your typical lyrics but it is pretty catchy.
‘man I gatta go, we better be stopping at our usually rest area’
‘we are, YES!’
Weaving and rolling over hills to get to Cambridge we make it with an hour and a half to spare for Bruce, before he rolls out. Ashton and I have ample time to get ready. But first things first, where’s the bathroom?
Time to register. ‘what the heck is this thing, seriously I have to put a sticker on my helmet for the race?’
“Ashton look at this, brings ya back to randhill doesn’t it?”
*new disposable chip system, so we don't have to sign a $200 waver if we lose a timing chip.*
‘oh look at all the goodies they have laid out’
“Miss, are these up for grabs?”
“Yes they are.” After a journey through cliff bar candy land it’s time to get the bike ready. On my way out I run into almost the reminder of our team: Tim, Mike, and Ben.
Everything seems to be in order. Bike looks good to go. And then I hear “where are my shorts?” Bruce forgot his bibs, no surprise seeing he almost left the house without grabbing his gear bag. I throw him a pair I packed just in case something like this happened.
*nothing says a lagit race like cool looking numbers*
'hmmm better bring my extra wheels to the wheel car…it’s early I’ll just walk them over’ Bruce rolls by and we wish each other good luck. ‘crap our wheel car isn’t here yet, ugh.’
‘Still a little to early to get ready, better make a safety trip to the head’ As usual with any race there’s a line to Nantucket. Then I notice people in line getting paper towels from the dispenser. ‘ummmm….time to find a new line.’
Alright time to get ready. “I would like to head over to staging 15min before our race starts.” Ashton and Tim agree and Ashton downs his drink. ‘crap everyone is already here.’ We are almost dead last in staging. “5 min to the start of your race” some guy yells over the speaker. PFFFFFFTTT.
Tim brings to my attention “dude, you just flatted”
“are you *#^ kidding me!” Entire panic attack and trip to wheel van.
“3 min to start of race”
“Sir I need a wheel”
“Sorry, we are neutral and aren’t taking anymore wheels.”
“No, I NEED A WHEEL. I Flatted”
‘no, not that one. Ugh, great my bike just went from 17lbs to probably 18lbs’
“thank you sir” Time to get back into my spot. “One mine before start of race”
‘Ahhhhh….I’m in to big of a gear’
‘Need to be up further….I’m to far back. How the heck did Tim get way up there?’
‘Oh good we made it through the covered bridge okay, why they heck are people woot wooting?’
‘hold crap we are coving the entire road, I hope a car doesn’t come barreling along.’
“YELLOW LINE RULE!”
Going into Jersey Swamp Rd, still in horrible position, there’s just no way to move up. ‘Perhaps next race I’ll ignore the Yellow line rule, seems to be the only way to move up’
At the time I didn’t know but if I reported them, I saw at least 2 or the top 5 that should have been DQed for this infringement. But no one likes a tattle tail.
‘Crap getting dropped’ Not to far though I can make it back.’
‘Still in a crappy position, I hope the pace doesn’t pick up just yet.’
‘Great here’s another climb’ the 3rd of about 6 decisive climbs. ‘Awesome Ashton’s with us.’ ‘ahhhh….getting dropped!’ Time to play catch up again, luckily a strong rider came up behind me and pulled me to the group. I was making it there, but he got me there a lot faster and asked for no help. I made sure I showed my appreciation my showing a hand. One he couldn’t shake because he was recovering from his effort.
At last years race I heard several people refer to this next climb at “The Wall” and again I was in bad positioning to start it. ‘Keep spinning Jeff keep spinning. What the heck gear am I in? I have No clue, with this neutral wheel.’
Once again time to dig deep and catch back on. ‘Holy crap this new section is hard!’ A very pleasant experience having to chase back on what felt like a continuous climb and over lose gravel. ‘God my climbing form suck, sit back down Jeff.’ Every time you wanted to stand, your back wheel would just give out and you would spin. Wasted energy for going nowhere. ‘oh no the wheel car.’ I’ve always used it as a sense of how I was doing and if it passes you, you better hope you don’t get a flat.
‘God my butt hurts.’
Crack, Snapple, pop. “What the heck was that?” One water bottle gone, another water bottle hanging on to dear life. 10 miles to next feed zone and about 4oz of Gatorade left. Not good.
I hook up with a group of riders and we start taking turns at the front of a pretty good pace line. ‘I need water.’ Finally we make it to the 2nd feed zone and I’m desperately looking for Ashton’s mom….’THERE SHE IS!’….’don’t mess it ….don’t miss it’…..’*#^&$’ I thumbed it. After skidding and pulling a U-y I got the water bottle. Probably the best thing cause able to grab two, which I ended up using both. With a push from a fan I was off to chase down the group I had been riding with.
Owww…...owwww…..owwww…to many bumps.
Trying to conquer Meeting House Rd. by myself the lead group of the 50+ race passes me. ‘oh Crap. Look out!’ Apparent the race organizer thought throwing in some cyclocross sand pits would be a good idea. I fishtail through one as the main chase group of about 20-30 guys from the 50+ race pass me. ‘please don’t crash and take their field out…please don’t slide out..rubber down, rubber down. Few made it.’
Last climb on Meeting House Rd. ‘what is that god awful cracking noise coming from my bike?’ Good some descents, a little rest…maybe.
At this point another racer from my field catches up, or maybe I caught him…I can’t remember, passed so many people. So we start working together and a racer from the 50+ joins in on the fun.
Stage Rd….final climb…ugh. I take my mind off the pain and start talking to the other cat 4 racer “the organizer wanted a hard race and he has sure accomplished that very well.” And I lost him. Just me and now 2 other 50+ racers. What they going to do DQ me…they don’t even DQ people or not following the rules.
Time to descend on down to Cambridge, as we catch another racer from my group, he hooks on. I had been at the front and my turn was done, and start giving the elbow……nothing….’are you back there?’..again nothing. 5k to go. ‘Well guess I’ll drop the hammer and if you want to stay with me you’re going to have to go to a dark place.’ 4k…….3k….passed 1, 5, 8, 20 rider. ‘get’z out the way!!!!!!’ I look back and he is still there. ‘a little harder, make him suffer’
1k……500m. ‘oh you bugger get out of the way….your going to screw up my turn into the finish! If your not going to finish hard, move!’ Turn the corner…. Pothole!….. Legs are burning….the other racer decides to come around me and sprint to the finish ahead of me. I find him in the “end of the race pen,” shake his hand, and say “well done.” As he coughs up something nasty. I smile as I see the pain I put him through.
Another year another Tour of the Battenkill finished. Finished 33rd, not as well as I would have liked, but live to fight another day.
‘God my butt hurts.’
*consolation prize you had to buy, but it was oh so good*