Monday, April 21, 2008

Who ever said lightning does not strike twice... is a liar.

Last year: Winsted Woods Root 66 race: Riding in 3/4th on the bell lap, 3 miles to go... Shhhhs Shhhhhs Shhhhsss, ahh the unforgettable sound of a ripping sidewall and Stans sealant failing to do its job. At 180 BPM I had an Epiphany and decided : I could run 5k's in High school, I can do it now with a 21 lb anchor, with shoes that don't bend... I lost 15 minutes and ten places and had to sprint to the finish line across a field with 2 riders trying to chase me... but it was a good workout.

Surely this cannot happen again this year. Lap 1... race goes out fast, I'm hurting from Battenkill yesterday... I sit in 4th, riding on 3rds wheel. 1st and second are 30 seconds up the trail. I'm am happy with this. Second lap the trouble begins... why is my rim hitting the ground? oh great I think I have a leak... Fine I'll stop and CO2 it as fast as I can. 30 seconds later I am at 50psi in the rear tire and back on the bike. I purposely over inflate in case I am still losing air. I proceed to ride the pogo stick for the next lap and a half. I catch back up to third and overtake. I manage by my estimate to put 45 seconds on top of that. I am riding well and sitting in 3rd at the start of the last lap. I take my feed from Lauren, who tells me I have a minute to the leaders. I pretty much take off. I approach the rocky downhill that I have successfully navigated 3 times today thus far. I know the line to take, and descend conservatively. In the last 30 yards of the descent I hear it... SHHHH SHHHH SHHHH which was followed by " NO NO NO NO". Stan's sealant once again failing at life. I hit it with as much CO2 as it will take and start sprinting... I am hell bent on riding as far as I can go on the tire before I run out of CO2. For the next several minutes here is the run down... REDLINE, STOP, CO2, Repeat. One cycle lasting about 2 minutes. I think I did this for 4 or 5 cycles. Finally I ran out of CO2 and the tire came off the bead. I estimate I had 2 miles to go, and I am still in 3rd. Lets run. Bike on shoulder, shoes that don't bend, through the woods. 15 minutes later I'm at the start finish area with a bleeding calf and 5th place. Tires...



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