wow...where do i even start with today? left town just after 6 and after driving through rain for the first half of the trip i called a buddy in the cities who checked the weather (and double checked my directions) and he said things might turn out okay for the race. hhmmmm...okay? pretty vague. get there and i'm ready to pre-ride sometime between 9:30 and 10. i pre-ride one lap and instantly realize two things...32x17 on a 29'er in less than ideal conditions with a LOT of climbing is way too big of a gear, and crossmarks suck huge donkey balls once their packed with mud. i went down three times in the pre-ride from washing out in sorta high speed corners. let the excuses begin. get back to the vehicle with a couple of hours before the race. run into fellow vassago supported riders steve and zach stillwell. they finished first and second overall in their race while i was out pre-riding...awesome job guys. pre-race was normal...minor adjustments on the bike, lower air pressure (hoping to get as much out of those tires as i could), eliminate rotor rub, get some grub, ipod and hill climbing to warm up. 15 minutes til race time and i start meandering around the start line. experts going out at 1:00 and comp at 1:02. moved up to comp for the first time to try the comp ss class with no expectations. here's the problem with testing yourself...sometimes you find out you're not as good as you thought you were. not that today went like that, but the thought was certainly going through my head. anyway, 2 minutes til experts take off and i realize i don't have my timing chip. this is bad. i was in the first line of racers and i had to take off on a dead sprint riding almost 3/4 of a mile to get car keys, get to the car, get the chip and get back to the start. got back to the starting line with about 30 seconds til the start and now had to start DEAD LAST. catch my breath, go. damn it hurt...a lot. turns out that in the couple of hours between pre-riding and racing the course dried up just a bit and the crossmarks ran flawlessly. the bike ran awesome mechanically. i felt terrible. got bottlenecked right away and literally had to just stop and wait, knowing the leaders had a clean run. damn i hate not starting at the front. way too many geared guys riding a totally different flow than me and it hurt me. legs blew up and i had no idea where i was in the pack. felt like i was passing people but felt like there were a ton in front of me. finished with no idea of how i did. turns out i won the single speed class and was 24th overall. damn, no complaints here. would have liked to have done better overall, and certainly have plenty of excuses, but really none are necessary. everything that went right and wrong today were totally within my control so i have no one else to thank or blame.
so...fellowship, awards, beer, packing, mcdonalds, and then...called spinner only to find out that decorah wasn't so lucky today with the lack of rain. ended up talking with multiple locals all of whom said don't even bother trying to get back into town tonight. roads everywhere are flooded, storm sewers are backing up and causing more flooding, the river is dangerously close to going over the dike, possible evacuations, and a good possiblity that the apartment might be unreachable right now coming in from the outside. either way, sketchy enough to not bother trying. so, "stranded" at the in-laws and will try heading back in the morning.
i'm always amazed by how much climbing there really is at afton. my legs hurt. high life should help. pictures later.