Thursday, November 3, 2016

Powerless At Peninsula

September 11, 2016 Spring Grove, VA 

Round 12 Virginia Championship Hare Scrambles Series

The season is starting to turn into one big blur.  Having driven all over the state for my first year of hare scrambles racing, which is proving to be more grueling than I thought.  I am really struggling with the coastal VA races.  Maybe it's the heat or the generally dry and dusty courses, but my riding suffers and so do the results.  Or maybe it's just the lack of some good mud and slick rocks.  I never considered myself a specialist, but I do seem to do much better under those conditions.

Whatever the reason, I found myself once again in Spring Grove, VA.  And it's hot.  I walked a few miles of the course and have a good idea what to expect.  I get a good start and wind up behind the first place rider.  It's a battle of two different riding styles.  He sits down almost the entire time, whereas I stand nearly all the time.  His style seems to prove better as he pulls away on the second lap and I get passed and bumped into third.  Things turn from mildly annoying to worse as I get lost in a huge dust cloud at the end of the second lap, which nearly has me barreling headlong into a tree.  Things go from worse to shit as we come back into the woods on the third lap.  I can see a teenage girl down on her hands and knees beside her bike.  She appears to be in pain, so I stop to see if she's ok.

I immediately get rear-ended and knocked down by some adrenaline addled schmuck who keeps going.  The girl is up and ok, but another rider runs over her bike.  And mine.  Several riders in my class go by and it's like a kick in the nuts.  I remount, only to find the front end slightly tweaked.  No time to fuck with it now.  I continue and catch up to the other P riders.  I go to make a pass and drop the front wheel in a hole ringed with tree roots, which wrenches the bars from my hands and puts me down on the ground.  Nice shot to the ribs and my left arm/hand, still injured from Coyote Run, goes numb again.  Fuck me.

Up again, take three seconds to straighten the wheel as best as possible.  At least the bike starts first kick.  All this fiddle-fucking has exhausted me.  I work as hard as I can as fast as I can and finish a disappointing, dusty, dismal race in what I assume is like 7th place.  When I check the results later I find it was actually a 4th.  For an off day, not as off as I thought.  Two weeks until the Iron Mountain GP, Rural Retreat VA.  Time to get a win.

Third off the start, just visible to the left of the two pumpkins

You can just make out my helmet and white shoulder pads behind 8p.

The woods are lovely dark and deep, now where the hell did the 1st place guy go?

The look of consternation before getting a KTM suppository.

Watching in frustration as a podium finish slips through my sweaty, dirty grasp

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