For all the race reporting that has been neglected lately, suffice it to say, there have been many good weekends of pedal-biking to prep the 'Guns for this coming weekend's 6-Hours of SkiBowl. It's exciting for several reasons, not to mention the convergence of around 40 Team S&Mers, riding a very rocking mtb race venue (even if we don't get to ride the Gnar Gnar this time)...hopefully in the sun...putting the hurt on Erik (even if it doesn't really count because he's been "off his bike" for the last month...Sean and I still aren't sure if we can trust him on these accounts...for all we know he may have been locking himself in the basement late at night, pedaling the trainer in his hockey jersey and pounding Milwaukee Beast while listening to Slayer and Alice Cooper, preparing to unleash the wrath of the Old Guard on the Young Guns come this weekend...we'll see.
So whatever Erik has been secretly doing to prepare for this weekend, hopefully the 'Guns have done enough of their own. Here are some notable events since Sea Otter which I believe have prepared me well for the 6 Hours of SkiBowl
Olympic View Road Race (actually the weekend before Sea Otter) - 90 miles, flat with one punchy climb each lap, Luke and I were feeling dumb and spry enough to spend 50 miles drilling at the front, led the whole field through a sketchy traffic jam into the final sprint, and at the end I found out I did it all with a seized BB...
Lunchbox Laboratory - an epic burger establishment located in Seattle which serves, among MANY other customizable meaty sandwich concoctions, the "Husky", a heaping 3/4lb burger towering with LITERALLY 6" of bacon and onions...I finished my in one relaxed sitting WITH a large malted milkshake
Cherry Bear - or whichever combination of Cherry Blossom and Bear Springs one may combine. This was also the weekend of my mom's 50th Bday party. Packing it all in to one weekend will make 6-hours of anything feel like no biggie
Dirty Dozen MTB Race, Port Gamble, WA - Got in 6 hours on my mtb. Rode my mountain bike from Seattle up to the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry, and from there up to Port Gamble, where there was a 30 miles mtb race. It was Russel Stevenson and I shredding 26 miles of non-stop frenetic singletrack. After the race I rode all the way home, for 80 miles total.
Mellow Johnny's Classic - Dripping Springs, TX - traveled with Alice P and stayed in a beautiful mansion in Texas hill country. Inside the mansion was much more comfortable than the heat outside, which was so oppressive during the race that I felt like I was experiencing heat-induced claustrophobia...while trying to careen my way from the back of the field on narrow singletrack after not getting a call-up...which may have been why I ran into a tree at one point...and burped most of the air out of my front tire...was it just an excuse to feel the cold CO2 as I refilled it, only to have the same tire burp again massively after the pit on the 3rd lap. I had run out of air and nursed a 10psi tire halfway around the course to the next pit, where I filled up and finished strong. I mustered a 13th that day despite the mishaps.
Mt. Hood Cycling Classic - The best part was the stage held in Trout Lake, plus getting to ride six days around the homefront. Here are the other things in the MHCC that prepared my character for SkiBowl: During the slippery Tabor Crit the day before, I had been telling myself "just stay upright and don't crash out JUST to get to the start of the Trout Lake stage...even if your bike breaks before you leave Trout Lake Valley"...I got what I wished for. I made it safely to the TL stage, everyone cheering, and then in neutral rollout someone ran into my back wheel and ripped out a bunch of spokes (studio fade trumpet fanfare to sad trombone noise). Then, by some poor reasoning, I proceeded to eat as if I was in a short mountain bike race - 1 sports gel every 35 minutes or so...BONKKKKK. dumb. On Saturday's Queen stage I got a front flat descending into Wamic at 45mph...lost the main field. On Sunday's Hood River Crit, with 4 to go, moving to the front, my chain snapped. But it was still all fun.
looking forward to SkiBowl.