so...the weekend went as follows...
drove up to roch to celebrate carrie's (good friend, landlord, previous employer) birthday. went to a tapas place, which was my first time. okay, i never really write about much other than riding but i'll get there, its worth it. problem number one i discovered with tapas is i have absolutely no clue how much i've had to eat, which i realized way too late was probably not enough. in my infinite wisdom i decide to be smart and stick with one kind of beer for the duration of the night...along comes old peculier. best new-to-me beer i've tried in a ridiculously long time. guinness-ish and yummy. dinner took close to three hours and i have no idea how many beers i had. from there we made our way to a comedy club where i made another mistake. apparently this wasn't the same type of place and didn't keep a large stock of old peculier so i switched up and went with a pint of miller lite with a shot of absolut peppar. a few laughs at a decent comedian followed by a few coronas and i have absolutely no recollection of the walk back to the hotel. most of the night was spent sleeping on the bathroom floor interrupted by periodic attempts at refunding the night's indulgences.
wake up sunday morning to head back for the summer sizzler and feel like complete goat ass. i drive us about 10 miles down the road before i give up the fight and climb into the backseat to die. wake up just outside decorah and get dropped off at the registration table. note: still can't eat ANYTHING. i sit and chat at registration for 15 minutes before i get up the courage to register, of course for the long race. i start walking back down quarry hill road and get picked up part way back to the apt. mmmmm...mcdonald's. nope. can't eat the sandwich, the smell of a sausage mcmuffin with egg almost brings on a repeat performance of the previous night. i throw that away and spend an hour nibbling the hashbrowns to death. getting dressed in race garb is a chore in itself. finally get organized, grab a snickers and head out. i realize i haven't ridden the bike since rebuilding it after 24/9 and the back brake has MAYBE 50% power...nothing i can do about it now.
the group gathers at the bottom of horsey and i'm still sweating pure alcohol. again...goat ass. i choke down the snickers. readysetgo. up quarry hill road and matt kurke, sarge and i have pulled off the front heading into van peenen. we race together for a while and eventually matt starts to pull away. passing the start/finish at the end of the first lap o'gara tells me he's got something over a minute on me but i can't see him at all. sarge is glued to my wheel. i keep telling myself that all it will take is one mechanical for me to catch first and if i can keep from puking i might be okay. slowly i start to put a small gap on sarge and then, near the end of the second lap i see matt pulled off to the side. find out later he dropped his chain behind his cassette and had to break a spoke to get it out (i9's...ouch). instantly he's back on my wheel, passes me in the washboard prairie and i glue to his wheel through the start/finish headed into the final lap. stay close as we duck into fred's and then it happened...not gonna say i saw it coming but i wasn't surprised...thank you home course advantage. matt took the second ravine in fred's too hot and blew a tire. that ravine has eaten many many tires this year and i had backed way off going into it. apparently matt tried to tube his once tubeless tires but the valve stem was stuck and his day was done. i assumed i could hold a lead as long as it would take him if he was successful changing it. once more i saw sarge but it was as i was nearing the end of julia and he was near the beginning. ride clean, ride clean, ride clean. kept it upright, ended up winning. still...goat ass.
super fun race despite my health concerns. super small field but the race between matt, sarge and i was a riot. HUGE THANKS to all the volunteers. regardless of the size of the field it was a well run race and proved that decorah can easily host a mass start, lap style race.
i suffered through the awards ceremony (post-ride beers with pretty much only the locals), then went back to the apt and died for a couple more hours.