Mud In My Eyes!
Here it is several days after the Knob Scorcher Mountain Bike Race at Tsali, NC and I am still finding mud and feeling the effects of the mud that littered Sundays race course. A constant barrage of rain Saturday night and all day Sunday morning made an extremely fast trail an extremely treacherous one.
Saturday was the first time I have ever ridden Tsali and I was stoked.. lots of climbing, only a few fast technical downhills (I don’t like those), and lots of fast single track. I felt confident in maybe taking home a win, especially coming off of a win at a few weeks ago in Macon, GA.
After pre-riding we found out our host for the weekend had bailed on us so we had to find a hotel, which fortunately was pretty easy and only 50.00 bucks a night. We met some friends for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Bryson City. The owner/chef was a large Italian guy so I expected the food to be really good…. It wasn’t. My grilled trout was okay but my pasta was overcooked and the sauce just OK. How does an Italian overcook pasta?
Back to the hotel I sacked out pretty quick as I had spent the previous two days and nights in Athens, GA, which many of you know translates to out late having drinks two nights in a row. Throughout the night I heard the sound of thunder rolling through sky, the crackle of lightening, and the pitter patter of rain. These sounds are nice for sleeping but are a recipe for nastiness when it comes to mountain bike racing.
We had learned of a local coffee shop, so when we awoke we made our way to downtown Bryson City to have coffee and pastries, only to find that the coffee shop was closed on Sundays. Isn’t Sunday one of the best days to sit around drinking coffee? Fortunately I had scoped out the cities eateries on the way to the coffee shop and had noticed a bustling little diner called the Everett St. Diner, which we decided to patronize. It was amazing… some of the best grits I’ve ever had , awesome pancakes, and homemade muffins that would make you slap your momma! Stuffed and bloated we headed to the race.
We had a good 3 hours before we raced and I spent most of that time sitting in the car listening to music as the rain came in 10 minute increments. As the race start approached, I slowly got ready and got what would be a very inadequate warm up. It’s just plain hard to get motivated with such nasty conditions and before you know it you go from “I’ll get a good 45 minute warm up” to “ahhh I’ll just use the first 10 miles of the race as a warm up”… the later never being a good decision.
Our start was delayed due to a rider that was injured and having to be taken out of the woods via a four-wheeler. This allowed for more, much needed, warm up time. About 45 minutes later we were still delayed and the officials decided to change the course, which ended up being good news for me. Now instead of a short dirt road climb that dropped into a downhill single-track section we would climb for over a mile before hitting the single-track. This was good because it would allow me to try and get somewhat of a gap before descending on slippery muddy trails (if you can’t tell by now I’m not very fast on downhills, too many years away from the mountain bike).
We finally got started and as we ascended the fire road climb I sat in and waited to see what kind of pace the others would set. I found myself riding very comfortably when the climb really started to go uphill I decided to hit the front and lift the pace. Within a few hundred meters I was alone with my teammate Cleve Blackwell in 2nd. I kept the pace high all the way up wanting to build as big a gap as possible.
By the start of the 2nd lap I was still alone with at least a 5 minute gap. I felt awesome buy my bike was starting to feel the effects of the nasty conditions. My tires were some of the worst you could use in muddy conditions (this is being fixed with my new Maxxis Tire sponsorship that I acquired just after the race), my rear brake no longer worked, and my eyes were absolutely trashed from a constant spray of muddy water and chunks of mud. The worse my brakes and eyes got the slower I went. I put in another hard effort on the start/finish climb and any other climbs I hit, but the downhill sections I had to take pretty easy. Only having front brakes and a dry weather tire I started to crash anytime I hit my brake and wasn’t going in a straight line.
After several crashes, I was ready to throw my bike into the woods and I began to get very frustrated.. I wasn’t even going hard or fast and I was crashing. My vision was pretty blurry by now and I figured the guys behind me would probably start to catch me, but at this point I just wanted to finish the race without any broken bones.
As I neared the last couple of miles of the course a guy informed me that the race had been cut short and we would finish on this lap. Better news couldn’t have been heard!
I could put it in cruise control and win no problem, another lap may have been a different story. I crossed the finish line and immediately ditched my bike. Several people were there to help me out as I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. My sinuses were also flowing like crazy trying to flush the barrage of mud that invaded my whole head.
A huge thanks to Jackie Soladay and the others for helping me after the race…. I was a mess!
We hit a killer little restaurant after the race and I pounded 2 beers to help me sleep as my eyes were still very irritated and sleeping was the only cure.
My eyes are better and thanks to my neighbor Drew, that works for The Bike Center (another team sponsor), in Peachtree City my bike is better too!
MYOGENESIS NUTRITION DISCOUNT PROMO CODES
First off, welcome to the new Myogenesis Nutrition presented by Landmark Dodge Pro/Am Cycling Teams new blog. This is an arena where you can keep up to date with goings on of the guys, as they slice there way through the 2007 race schedule. Some exciting things are already transpiring this year. Not only have we secured several podiums, and 3 wins already in the middle of March, but the great guys at Myogenesis (http://www.myogenesis.com/) have come up with DISCOUNT PROMO CODES for purchases on the site! The proceeds from the sales go directly to funding the team. All you have to do is go to the website, pick your product, proceed to checkout, as normal....when you get to this point, you will see a spot for a "promo code". You will receive a 20% discount off the listed prices if you will put in the name of your favorite Myogenesis racer, in all lower case letters.... ( brady, cleve, jon, casey,travis,ron,jefer,thomas,daryl,eric,jacob,tim) and BAM...the discount is yours! SO...go order some multi-vitamins, some whey protien, blood booster, podium...etc...and for you ladies, there is even a special "ladies needs" supplement!Check back here often for updates, race reports, or even little blurbs from the guys..........