Monday, August 8, 2011

Post # 101

It seems a little ironic that my scribblings here about the Wilderness 101 will actually be post number 101 on the Blue Ridge Cyclery Blog. Time flies when you've got a teammate on the other half of the line jotting down ideas and building pumptracks into the fringes of public education.

But let's start elsewhere, because this looks like it hurt.

Something about this photo just screams "kidney stone."

While not a photograph of the pain I put myself through at W101, it'll have to do. Because back where I was riding, there are no photographers. There were, however, 3 bear cubs, a gigantic rattlesnake, and a dead, blown-out, run-over-by-jeepers, picked-clean-by-vultures porcupine carcass that I managed to flat on at about mile 96. Awesome. I didn't feel much like riding at that point anyway.

So yeah, 10 hours after the gun went off, I limped in and finished.

At this point, in any blog worth its blog mettle, I would henceforth dive into a list of excuses for my ill performance including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

Hurty toes

Sand in shorts/monkey butt

Wrong turn


Ran out of water

I'm more of a downhill guy anyway

forgot to register

Other guys are on EPO

Strained hammy



Double flatted

Double Double Flatted

Seat too low

Seat too high

Seat too seaty

sat too much

didn't sit enough

too hot

too cold

too muddy






course wasn't marked well enough

wrong tires

fork was locked out

fitness peak rescheduled for the year 2014

hub seized up

wrong gearing

need 10 speed upgrade

need 8 speed downgrade

going back to singlespeed

going back to gears

should have ridden the hardtail

should have ridden the 29er

Should have ridden a moto

Too much climbing

Too little climbing

not enough gnar

too easy

too hard

too much pressure

too much tire pressure

forgot chaintool

stem too long

beer handups

broken spokes

wore too much makeup

didn't get enough sleep

blah blah blah blah blah

Fortunately, this isn't a blog with any mettle of any kind whatsoever, so I'll spare you the excuses and get right to what went wrong: Phil Collins.

In most parts of the world, 98.5 FM rocks. Elkton, VA, for example, is a fantastic example of the kind of pumping up you can find on the radio dial halfway between 98 and 99, so next time you're on your way to the Hoo Ha, put the Rage CD away for a moment and give 'er a listen. But in State College, PA on Saturday, 7/30, 98.5 was all static. So I went searching at 6AM for a good pumping up, happened upon Phil Collins singing Sussuvio up in the high 107's somewhere, and made the terrible mistake of thinking that would work.

Suss, Suss, Sussuvio in my head for 10 hours. Unreal.

So yeah, that's what happened. No excuses. But fuck you, Phil Collins.

My only real regret is having felt so badly when I crossed the line that I didn't have the gusto to go ring the gong and pick up my pint glass. I think I've felt worse before. Mostly, I think I was so dejected by the enormity of the bonk I had endured for the last 4 hours that I didn't feel I deserved it. But here's the thing, kids: in those 100 milers, because of the distance, time, and variables that you must mix up with trying to push yourself to the edge, great performance is kinda elusive. Doing your absolute best has risks: not finishing being one of them. And I finished. Like Shawn says, "you should learn something every time." I'll be ringing the gong on September 4th over in Stokesville, even if I need a compass and night goggles to find it.

Maybe I should make that switch to big wheels sometime between now and then.

Moving on, I didn't technically defect to Canada. I only imported myself there for a few glorious days of R&R. And by R&R, I mean railing and rallying. Berm Research for you here, Toph: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH.

This just in: Ontario kicks ass.

Other than that, it's back to the grind around here. Rumor has it the trails look like hell, so 5 PM means a slow loop with the saw to try to shape things back into, well, shape.

After that, how about a baby or a fast 50 miles?
Thanks, I'll have two of each.

Up, up, up.

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