Thursday, June 18, 2009

I am not superman...

...and therefore even if I stick my arms straight out in front of me I can’t fly. I can however hit the ground really hard and loose a significant amount of skin. Yesterday I made the short flight down to Little Rock, Arkansas for the South Central Xterra Cup Race. My homestay for the race Brandi picked me up at the airport and we headed over to the local bike shop, Arkansas Cycling, where she works and got my bike put together. The wall of heat that hit me walking out of the airport made it clear that this race is definitely going to be a warm one, well over ninety degrees with lots of humidity. Later in the afternoon we headed out to the race course to do a quick spin of the course. I headed out for a short twenty minute run while waiting for another rider and was dripping wet by the time I got back to the car. Local MTB rider Micah and I then headed out for a loop. The course is seriously rocky (by my standards) though nice and dry with some short climbs and descents, twists and turns. I was feeling a little off from the start and my shocks definitely weren’t working well, especially my rear one and I was constantly hitting my bottom pedal but I carried on figuring I would get a loop done and take care of it later. Then on one of the easier straight sections I was suddenly flying through the air, no warning, no OMG I shouldn’t have done that, just launched. I actually remember thinking as I was flying through the air that this really wasn’t going to end well. I thankfully landed on a relatively rock free area of the course and skidded to a stop fairly quickly. Of course I had that wonderful andreline rush that makes you nauseous and had to spend a couple of minutes collecting myself before I could take inventory of the damage. I ended up scrapping and really bruising both elbows and knees and one hip. One elbow had instantly formed a golf ball size swelling point and my other elbow and one knee definitely had some deep cuts. (insert several choice four letter words) I cruised the rest of the loop in as easy as I could, cursing myself and definitely in some pain. The rest of the evening was spent at Dan’s place, the owner of Arkansas Cycling who is hosting Mel McQuaid, getting cleaned up and helping myself to Mel’s dinner. Fortunately Micah’s wife is an RN and looks like we got most of the dirt out of the cuts. I was expecting to wake up this morning really stiff and sore but surprisingly I feel better than last night. Of course I did spend 12 hours in bed!! Today is a rest day, so I headed out on the road for a little loosen up and did a short pool swim. I know that everyone crashes at some point in mountain biking, I just wish it hadn’t happened 3 days before a race. No worries, by Saturday I should be ready to go. Keeping rubber side down, this course should really suit me, a full length 1500m no wetsuit swim, a relatively short, fast bike and well the run is going to hurt everyone in this heat.
I am now hanging out at Arkansas Cycling where the gang is doing a terrific job fixing up the bike while I hijack the computer. The shocks were running about half pressure and I completely bent the rear derailleur into the cassette during the crash. They also had a little fun with the majic marker (see below).
Best of luck to every one racing this weekend – big world cup in Washington, points race in Quebec and the sister ‘Little Fish’ is racing Guelph Lake Triathlon, GO KAREN!!!