Monday, August 3, 2009

Mt. Shasta Pedali

Well, we all ended up in Mt. Shasta after a small mix-up of rendezvous times. We registered and lined up for the start and at 9 a.m. we started off, each on our own personal pain-fest. I was rolling a 34x18 fixed gear set-up on my Redline 925 bike. The plan, as it was 2 years ago, was to ride up fixed and then flip the wheel over to the free-wheel and coast back down. I got out fairly fast and was pushing a fairly high heart rate for the first 5 miles. I had my rear view mirror on so I was able to look behind and I could not see Tim anywhere back there. I remember thinking that it would be ironic if I ended up grenading half way up the mountain because I didn't heed my own advice to stay within my limits. The gear I used this time was not easy, but much better than last time. I felt like I was probably going to handily crack my 2 hour goal time with ease. By mile 8 my mind was completely at ease, so when I saw the guy in the sag wagon holding out an ice-cold Crystal geyser water, I reached out and grabbed it. I cracked it open and had a lovely bit o' refreshment. Then I decided to pour some of the water on my forehead, which combined with the battery-acid-sweat-crystals on my brow and sent them straight into my eyes. I started blinking and blinking, trying to clear my vision. Knowing that I was running out of wide road shoulder, I simply had to stop. My sunglasses were a complete mess from sweat and melting sunscreen so after I got my eyes working again, I started trying to clean up my glasses. As I frantically worked, I heard something hit the ground and there lay the rearview mirror that had been attached to the glasses. No time for that now I thought, so I stuck it in my jersey pocket. Soon I was rolling again and felt great. I missed not being able to survey the field behind me, but by then the field was pretty much set for the finish. At about the Bunny Flat area (10 miles) I saw the first of the fast boys heading back down the hill. Flying by at 50 mph, the sound of the screaming bikes is a truly frightening experience. Some of them yelled out words of encouragement and promises of my almost being there! At about mile 12, I was reduced to riding like a little baby, just barely rolling the pedals over and trying to simply finish, BLOWN! My buddy Mark Noonan came riding down from what he described as a terrible time of 1 hour and 28 minutes. He said that I was going to be close on my 2 hour goal and good luck, then he headed off down the mountain. As I approached the last few switch-backs I heard Noel yelling for me to GO, then he completely shattered my mind with the words, "Your brother is right behind you!" What the F#&*! I must have been half asleep for the last few miles. I got a shot of adrenaline but when I went for an acceleration my legs bit hard with the promise of crippling cramps if I intended to try that little trick. Anyway, I rolled through at 2Hrs. and 3 Mins. and Tim rolled in at 2 o' four! Where Tim came from and how he closed that gap, I will never know!

No comments: