Well it has been a long time and I have been less than motivated to write anything and I have no excuse other than because it is only me reading this so it doesn’t matter. That written, I thought about posting this morning as I was walking Willie. He inspires me, well forces me out of bed at 0600 every morning to walk him, thereby inspiring me to get up and walk him. Having a little dog hop on you and be like, “Come on, lets walk, man life is so awesome, food, did you get food, oh yeah I want to walk, food, walk, walk, walk, oh food, cool a cat” and so on and so on and so on.
My early morning walks are a nice time to think. Mostly about how cold it is getting, but think none-the-less. And that thinking has led to this post.
Since July I have raced six or seven times, once at night and one 100 miler and random other goofiness. I really should have written up something about the Schlaflos im Sattel, but that would have been a wasted bit of my life. Anyone who really wanted to know either spoke with me about the race or was there. But it went well, we finished, no drama and I had a few beers during the race after we stopped riding. Marty and I decided that we should hang out and heckle others rather than actually race as we both where having slightly off nights riding. The SiS experience was more hanging out with the Lobos who came up from Italy and Marty. I had a great time, but didn’t ride as much as I should have. Oh that and Ausila won her class.
Now for the 100 miler. I have been debating about a real life write up or just pretending it never happened. It did happen, I did finish, and I am not sure I really care. Kielder Forest 100 was England’s first attempt at a 100 miler, and it, well by comparison to what I have done and ridden in the past, not just 100s but in general for race venues, sucked pretty freaking hard. The race itself was a glorified gravel road ride and as such I should have, had I known, taken my cross bike. Don’t get me wrong, the rain made it hard, the puddles made it absolutely wet, and the wind made it difficult at some points. All that said, the support and people putting on the race are and were pretty nice and for a first time race well organized.
I had my problems at Kielder, more of my own making. 1 flat tire costing me motivation and about 10 places and 15 minutes as I cursed my bad luck and a pretty bad bonk with 5 miles to go that killed my hope for a sub 10 hour finish. I bonked as the gels they gave out for race food just ruined my stomach and I had not brought enough of my own as I assumed (wrongly) that I could choke down anything if I bonked. Well I couldn’t, and I was a bit surprised by that. A lovely lady gave me some food at the 5 mile check point and got me in to the finish, but yeah I am still a bit ticked at the whole thing. Gravel, gravel, and more gravel punctuated by short sections of single track, I wouldn’t go back. Having read some reports on line about the race, I must be the only person who did not have a challenging march of death. It was easy, and save for the bonk, just a long day in the saddle that I paid too much for. Whatever.
Cool stuff at the Kielder involved crossing over the border to Scotland, riding one of the Seven Stanes and the couple of bagpipe players in pouring rain that must have been freezing in those kilts.
Bad stuff was I DID NOT get my beer at the finish, the barbeque was hamburgers covered in onions, and I HATE onions, and the attitude of the folks cooking was totally bad. I mean I finished pretty early, how did they act toward the late arrivals? All I asked for was a burger without onions and got a burger covered in onions and a wet bun. Still ticked about that too. Yeah and while I am on ticked, at the racers meeting, the lady giving the briefing went on about no race zones. Okay, no racing on the open roads, no racing in a few other places like the elevated boardwalk areas. Cool, I get it, better safe than sorry. But what the hell was all that crap about if the person you caught on the road, boardwalk or 45 other sections of trail that were neutralized is faster than you so don’t pass? I caught and wasted, total guess here, 30 or so minutes waiting to pass the eventual second place woman, and a couple of other chumps who had better start positions in the neutral roll out. I was way freaking faster than these people, I wasted a ton of time waiting to pass these people, and they made no effort to allow me to get by as they tooled along at unbelievably slow speeds. I let folks pass when they caught me in these areas. All two of them, because riding flat roads in big rings is just faster than spinning away on my single speed. Why hold up someone else?
And one last thing, the top 6 or 7 guys didn’t carry the safety equipment. I want to see all the safety equipment I had to carry on them. 10 pounds of garbage, again better safe than sorry, but 10 pounds of crap on my back all day when the top 6 or so, I believe, carried nothing extra other than a tube and pump. So what I am not a pro, so what I am not a cool English or Scottish racer boy you all know, so what I can’t pass these goofs for miles and miles because of neutral sections of race course, they SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED FOR NOT CARRYING THE MANDATORY SAFETY GEAR!!!!! Local pro or not, the rules are the rules, if the winner cheats by not carrying required equipment he/she should be disqualified. I have looked at the pics, I want to see the freaking space blanket, extra brake pads, tube, whistle, rain gear, extra rain gear, and whatever I have forgotten that they had to carry. Where, in the pockets of their jerseys? No, look at the pics, they are nearly empty, in their camelback, or wait they don’t have one, in the seat bag? Barely large enough to hold a tube much less all the rest of the requirements. What? Was this just required for those the organizers didn’t know? Again, WTF?
Totally bitter. I must confess some of the bitterness may come from what happened after the race rather that the race itself. Bank problems causing missed flight causing awful hotel stays.
Still pissed. More later, three more races, I think. I need to get out today for a ride. The sun is out. I wish it was warm, well it is warmer than Germany, but you know like 80 degrees warm. I can dream. Have a good day.