Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Midwest Single Speed Champion

Wow, what a lame blog I have here. This summer has been insanity with travels, wedding planning, my awesome wedding, my buddy Eddies awesome wedding and planning a trip to Italy in a few weeks.

Bike practice has been sporadic, even non-existent for periods of time, since the Show Me State Games. I was looking for something fun to fuel my motivation when I heard about the Midwest Single Speed Championship race. I prepared for it by putting together a ballzers S-Works 29" single speed thanks to Justin Neely-ballz, aka, Go Slow Gayness (the bike, not Justin). Then I came up with a pretty neat costume which included a custom painted helmet and practiced slapping Mable dog in the face with pork steaks so I could be sure to get a good clean shot in on Giovanni Fondolini when the festivities began. When all that was done I even managed to squeeze in a half an hour training ride on my new single steed which resulted in me getting super aggro as I couldn't keep the chain on for more than 5 minutes at a time. My fellow co-workers get very afraid when I get super aggro so they fed me cookies and took care of it, before I could sell it.

The night before the big race I poured myself a half a glass of Jameson which killed the bottle and went to bed semi-sober for the first night since my wedding bender began when Case and I met 3 years ago. I felt like my preparation was good and didn't lie awake worrying about anything the night before the race. Highly unusual behavior for me.

I showed up and started to talk the SS lingo with some characters and the common theme was "dude, are you really going to run a gear that big." Pre-riding I started to think they were right. I tried to enter the first timers class but was told there was just one class. Pissed off that there weren't 33 categories 3 places deep for the 99 entrants, I lined my ass up and insisted that the Team Seagal crew do the elephant walk with me to my bike during the Le Mans style start. They were more interested in centipedes, which confused me, so I ran.

This is when everything changed for me. I was on a bike and I was racing. I was hearing Trey rip loud and clear and my new bike was flossing like no other. Some dude from KC led the charge and I was riding with the Professor and his pet walrus. I was listening to his lecture closely until he urged me to pass, but I declined as I am the Jedi SS Knight and he is the Obi Wan Wizard. Slowly the Garrett was opening up a gap and when I asked the Wizard and the Walrus of his speed he replied "Very fast, now go" and I took off in pursuit.

It didn't take long before I caught Garrett and insisted on riding his wheel until he had a slight mishap and he too insisted that I pass. I spent the next few minutes looking for my shifters, wondering if the Professor was wrote the book on SS pacing and was going to teach my ass a hard first lesson, looking over my shoulder wondering when the wave of slow starters were going to consume me and thinking about blowing it all out too soon.

But then the music really got loud and I started riding very fast. I opened up a big gap on Garrett by the grassy field and figured I had about a minute or more after the first lap. I was finding my groove on the SS very easily and having a blast doing it. I was flossing and hearing sweet blistering solos that I really haven't heard during a race in a long time. I felt great. I stopped thinking about anything other then making my bike go fast and that I did.

Post race I realized that I rode three laps in almost exactly the same time, 33 minutes and change. I rode pretty much a flawless race at a speed which was fast for me on a geared bike at Lost Valley, something like 13+ mph. I think I like single speeds and twenty niners.

Post race was even more fun and Giovanni got lucky they weren't serving pork steaks. I ended up joining a SS speed team for the Burnin and acting like a real jerk, but I think SS'ers like that shit.

Thanks to team Red Wheel for putting on a kick ass race!