Photo: Matthew Cane

Stiggity / 30+
Bilbo Dirtbaggins and I rolled out to the race and talked up some strategy for the day.  While we were getting ready for the race he offered me a hand warmer pack for my gloves and I heartily accepted. And immediately I left them in the van like a fool.  With a rider or two not in line for their call up and a most gracious offer from Matt Daniel I got myself into the front row for the first time since Jackson park.  The coveted front row start, I was determined to make it count.  Immediately out of the gate I surged into third wheel only to loose about five places going up the first hill.  Through the first couple of turns and the steep kicker when the line group lost it’s momentum.  The lose in velocity required  I jump off the bike for a quick run up.  No problem, I knew this would happen.  Jumping off the bike on such a steep slope put the handlebars up above my head and in a instant my shoulder dislocated, and then I screamed.  Not like a little girl.  I screamed like a man wounded in battle charging head first into god knows what.  It was loud and it hurt like hell.  Luckily it went right back in on it’s own and I was back in the chase.  That chase would prove extremely difficult with no working fingers.  The poor choice of gloves and the hand warmers left in the car had be braking and shifting with what felt like a brick on the end of my hand.  Completely ineffective.  Only several laps into the race did the fingers warm up to the point of being remotely usable.  The lead group was long gone, but a few riders were just in front of me to try and catch up with.  El Maya was calling out splits and throwing good heckles at me to get me moving up to the next group.  With one and a half laps to go I caught and passed the next group.  All through the last lap I put everything I had into the pedals and tried to get away.  The effort was not enough, the race went right down to the finish line.  Coming down into the basin for the last time, it was obvious there would be a sprint.  As I was on the front, there was no time for games.  I unleashed the sprint way early and felt them right behind and gaining.  With one last surge I made it to the line with about half a wheel on number 10 for a 9th place finish.  It sounds easy, but sometimes it really is the little things.  If we don’t sweat the small things, someone else will.

 



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