The title just about sums up the experience of the "midwest single speed championships" in Binder Lake in Jeff City this past weekend. Unfortunately, I have no pictures only a brief story of the day. First off, I was psyched that it was not hot. I take a bunch of thyroid hormone every day (since I had Thyroid cancer, this acts as a 'natural' suppressant via a negative feedback loop), which makes me hot-as-shit most of the time, be it summer or winter. Needless to say, being hot-as-shit, then riding bicycles in 100+ temps is not a great combo if having fun, going fast, and not heat stroking are my intentions. So, I was psyched to wake to the upper 60 degree temps today and only to have to drive 40 minutes to the race.
As for the first aspect in the title above, I have managed to get some training in on my single speed since the Rhett's run ass whooping that I took. I rode mostly in the mornings, did a lot of climbing, and tried to get some mileage in on my cross bike on the Katy trail. I also did some short, intense running which I am now definitely convinced helps in hard riding.
The race today saw 30-35 folks registered and out there riding on their single speeds. There were definitely some strong riders including one kid on my current dream bike who I think won the race (as he probably should on that thing). After the start, I found myself riding right behind 3 guys who seemed pretty fast and I settled in and basically sat on their wheel as they were some Red Wheel guys and I figured knew the trails pretty well (I had never rode Binder Lake before). I wasn't sure where I sat in the race, but thought I might be 4th...actually turned out at that point to probably be 6th-ish. The laps were 7 miles and the race was set as a 3 lap race. The first lap was fast, smooth, and a ton of fun. I felt strong and wasn't quite sure what to do when the 2 guys leading our four-man train accelerated ahead. I ended up sitting back, figuring that it was a long race and I didn't really know if I would bonk like I did at Rhetts. After one lap was down I passed the Red Wheel guy who had graciously put up with me riding right on his wheel and then found myself where I was for the rest of the race, alone in the woods. The second lap was a bit of a joke as I ended up eating dirt 3x. Each time, I realized afterwards that my mind was totally drifting right before each crash. I think the first time I was wondering what we would have for dinner, when my right handle bar hit a tree and sent me flying. The second time, I was wondering if I was being very practical when I joined the Big Shark Team while I live in Columbia...I've never been able to make it to one of their meetings, I do like the shop quite a bit but all-in-all definitely use local Columbia shops more frequently...then bam, this time my shoulder hit a tree and I went flying, this time to the opposite side. The third fall on the second lap I was descending a very fast little section thinking about whether or not I liked chocolate GU or vanilla more and bam, I just fucking fell. What an idiot.
The third lap was pretty smooth, but my legs definitely started to cramp a bit...once I unclipped my right leg to take a step and holy shit did it cramp up, unfortunately, with my toes completely pointed so I ended up struggling to get my cleat back in. At the end of the race, a big burly-ass ninja-like man was coming in hot behind me...it was sufficient motivation to pick up the pace and come in just ahead. Only later did I realize it was the one and only C.F.R. of the Team Seagal crew. I think I ended up 5th and he was 6th...so overall, a pretty good race.
The Red Wheel guys were truly a bunch of heros putting the whole thing together. It was definitely the most fun I’ve had on a bike since cross season ended.
The post-race glory was beer and bbq…however, I ended up not feeling so hot after being off the bike for a few minutes so only managed 1 hotdog and 1 brew. (warning: what you are about to read is painful, stupid, and may not actually do jack-shit but most pro-athletes are required utilize these before they leave games or training) When I got home, I harbored back to running in college and took myself a bath full of cold-water and all the ice I could find in the house…instant fucking relief to the legs and back.