annie and i rolled out to platte for race number two of the 2007 season. somehow i've got my self into these mini enduro's this year, platte, ponca, dakota 5-0, mmbc manawa 12. i suppose i should start riding for longer. the morning was perfect, got to the park early, grabbed our cabin and heading to the start/finish area. it wasn't long before the usual suspect began to show. Cornbread and Skip were behind the registration table still recovering from ti and preparing for kanza. i finally figured it out that it's been almost 10 years since i've done a 6 plus mtb ride. needless to say this was uncharted territory. samsam and i went full areo, looking for every possible advantage. pre-race conversation eluded that 34:20 was the gear of choice. but onto the action.
10:00 am, call up, not really a call up but a riders meeting. sam and i got front row, along with about 20 other people. i got worried when mw lined up behind me. "what are you doing back there?" i think he replied something like "...'cause you're gonna run real fast" great, presures on. after a few chats with various folks i guess people really pin it off the line. so i decided to rock it cornbread style. off we trot and i file in behind kerkove. as we round the corner i'm thinking, yeah go now, so i kick up a notch and cruise by, grab the ferrous and get on it like it was october cx style. cornbread shouts out hole shot prime, sweet i won something (really didn't, thanks cornbread).
platte is known to have ushered in more than a few brutal starts with it's first climb so i rolled out calm expecting the geared teams to sprint by. mr. kerove was first by then josh. josh continued to roll past jeff and on. still sitting in third at the last pitch and i opt to pass jeff back. i know the trail to well to sit behind someone who doesn't. josh had a bit of gap but i was able to bring him back quite easily once we hit singletrack. and soon enough it was schlake's voice behind me shouting "just like old times!" except i was missing 26 gears, but loving it. the remainder of the lap saw a ton of action.
like i said, schlake was bouncing off my wheel so i let him by as soon as possible. but it wasn't too much later that he had us bottled up with a stick in his wheel. i squezed by and took the group to the field when everyone wanted by. darin, josh, tim, kev, aaron, i decided to play caboose letting the skill heavy end to the lap keep me in the mix. the plan worked, i nailed the as yet unseen rock garden and on the climb out found tim and josh bottled up footing it. i proceeded to sit on tim for the remainder of the lap hoping the pace would drop a bit.
towards the end of the lap we passed double a-ron with a flat, wouldn't be the last time i'd see him. this was my first point of concern as we had a pretty good gap on mw. you see mw knows how to pace himself, me, not so much. add the fact that kerkove was knowhere to be seen raised a few questions as well. i spent the next half lap pacing off tim until he let me by after oo1. at that point i just put it on cruise control.
the laps began to get a little blurry at this point. had i done 3, was on my third? was on my fourth? i quickly realized i really had no idea what i was doing. just keep drinking, have a gel and keep drinking, and drinking and drinking.
by the end of lap 3 I was third overall, now i was really worried. not only was i placed way too high put my lap times were way too fast. i tried to knock my pace way down, walked some climbs to conserve, whatever.
kw and kb went by, passed double a-ron on his second flat, still leading ss and nobody could tell me with any accuracy where tim and mw were at. decided to take a break after four, chilled out and strectched for a while, still no tim, still no mw. this is either really good or really bad. i think the later proved to be the case. unicorns had really tore up the trail and sections were rough. the hands were beginning to take a beating. riding solo laps leaves the mind to wander and with legs tightening up and hands that were close to blister stage i began thinking about swanson in 8 days time. at the end of five i stopped to grab a bottle and showen asked me for chamois cream for his hands. if your'e thinking of trying it, don't. started lap 6 with the cheat and sam. it was nice actually riding with someone.
lap 6 was rough, hands were getting really bad, neck and shoulders were tight as a banjo string, my only thought was change gloves and lay down for a few minutes. schlake apparently had detonated as i passed him in the gully. i still had the ss lead by who knows how much, so a big break was coming as i sat down in the tent and grabbed a doughnut and washed my face. couple minutes later tim rolled in, looking a little tired, mw followed not much later. and just like that i was back in third. and that was it, after loosing the lead and looking at my hands, all i could think about was saving myself for next weekend. and so after three and half hours and 6 laps i was done.
cornbread and snob are claiming platte has 1,100 feet of climbing per lap. 6,600 feet of climbing, don't know how many miles. what i do know is kev effing dropped it putting 11 laps down and winning by at least a half hour. tim went on to nip mw by minutes, that was a great one to watch.
now get me a beer and a brat...