sylvan island stampede went down yesterday. as promised i showed up on my pugsley for the single speed race for two reasons: one being that this race is always a ridiculous mudpit and i didn't want my 3rd real ride on the superfly to be a bike-trashing of that magnitude and the other being less than 2 weeks to transiowa i figured racing the pugsley would force me to not race like an idiot and possibly blow up and wrap myself around a tree. this race and this course are a lot of fun and a good mental break from t.i. training. 2 problems... 1. the course was in perfect condition and the superfly would have been a great choice. 2. i am an idiot and can't hold back when i race no matter what bike i'm riding or what my intentions are going into it.
in the end, the race was as fun as ever and as is now expected. hooked up with the iowa city crew who are always very welcoming as well as trevor and fuhrman. got in a little preride with some of these guys then headed for the start. the start was an unfortunate debacle for everyone but the ss class which helped relieve the tension as we laughed at everyone else. ready set go and i hammered the pugsley through the opening straightaway and got the holeshot onto the singletrack. held the lead til near the end of the second lap when the eventual winner passed me and simply rode away. during the 3rd lap i passed robin williams who proceeded to latch onto my wheel. her conversation was a very welcome break as i was beginning to reel from the effects of something adam blake and i have discussed when riding a pugsley as a mountain bike. the cumulative weight of a pugsley effect. you can hammer a pugs for a short amount of time and it more or less feels like any other bike. then you hit a point where it all starts to add up and get exponentially more difficult. picture a tractor pull with the weight sliding toward the vehicle and therefore getting heavier. my upper body was getting shattered and i was beginning to catch glimpses of 3rd place.
having robin in tow was perfect. our conversation allowed the end of the 3rd lap and the 4th lap to click off despite my fading strength. somewhere along the 4th lap i dropped my water bottle. dad was there taking pics and doing water handups so i got another bottle going into the 5th and final lap. after drinking way too much i informed robin i was probably going to throw it back up and i recommended she stick to the left side of the trail and i would puke right. i held it together for a while but as we made our way onto the dike we began to hammer and pass an expert rider when i lost it. unfortunately i felt compelled to keep my promise and puke right, which is exactly where the slower expert was, leaving me no choice but to just unload most of the race worth of hydration down my own leg. yep....clean up on lap 5. robin and i rode most of the rest of the race together until the last couple straights where she politely asked to come around then proceeded to completely drop me. a minor crush to the ego considering i finished the race comfortably in second. on my pugsley. yeah...i'm alright with that.
after the race 3rd place, a rassy guy from des moines (jubil?) asked me if i was sandbagging. maybe? i've had my expert license for 2 years now. last year the only expert race i did was boone following a 3 month knee injury and i took dfl by like 5 or 10 minutes. and i raced this race on a pugsley. i guess sandbagging isn't for me to decide but i'm comfortable with my decision. big thanks again to the iowa city crew (kyle, kevin, tom, robnett, nick, etc.) for the company and beers and to robin for joining me for the last couple laps.