29 June, 2008

2nd Annual Throw Down @ the Hoe down and the Cross Country Super Loop Race kids...

l-r: nicole, tanya, ellie, hogan, hez-chilly, chandler (notice atv in background!)

Throw down
last night was technically the 2nd annual richmond hillbillies throw down at the hoe-down (any reason to hangout, eat, start a bonfire, laugh, and soak up good company). we had about 25 people-our dearest friends and family that weren't on summer vacation-attend. yours truly was the yoda master of the griller making vegetarian fare for all. for starters the homey trinity's family attended (kev and hez-chilly). as a good hillbilly, i busted out our atv and kev, billy, and pablo drove their kids around our property. their kids loved it because of the indescribable fun factor riding down a dirt road with no cushion of metal protecting you with the surrounding scenery flying past you and the noisy two-cycle engine underneath your family jewels internally combusting away. here's kev and conner below...

...kenny brought his homebrews (he's an organic chemist by trade) and it was astronomically yummy. his creations were a kölsch and a russian imperial stout. he brought the tanks and the tap too. the kölsch was too awesome. it's like drinking the essence of (liquid) summer. the alcohol content coupled with the meal replacement, chewy yet smoovy-smooth texture of the stout was a wicked one-two punch.
here's my co-teacher linda and her husband bill...

...once all our friends arrived i put my cell phone away (for the giving of directions) because truly everybody whom i consider close had arrived. it was nice to see my friend jay in such good spirits w/ all the junk going on recently in his life. he's my texas bud whom i've known for a couple of decades and when we get together we giggle uncontrollably like the chief of police attempting to deliver inspector clouseau's eulogy at his wake in those wonderful peter sellers movies. as always it's always a treat hanging out with my friends who happen to also be my teammates. kenny and his lovely wife tracey and chris' new g-friend: kendra (part deux)who's coo' like dat. they seem to be in the honeymoon phase of the relationship nauseating us (especially tracey and me) with their public displays of affection. melissa's uncle and niece, mom and dad and bro, and our first neighbors (and even super closer friends!) ever in colorado-pablo and allison and their kids attended too...
allison and julia

...we started the bonfire early and libations because it was chillier than normal. oh man, stupid hour came early. it all comes down to family, friends, food, fermentation, and fahrradrennen (i know, but i had to stick with the "f" alliteration). kenny and i were racing tomorrow-hence the fahradrennen (it hadn't happened yet but i write after the fact), but we weren't too worried about it.
Cross country super loop
it's been a while since my complicitor, teammate, and homey-g kenny and i started the day dedicated to racing. he's the singlespeeder from hell, a walking encyclopedia on things scientific and car-related, a barrista non-pareil, and generally a quality hominid who i call a friend. we carpooled in (his car) the front range's fastest volvo 740 wagon to winterpark. read about irene and her capabilities in his blog. anyhoo we didn't seem too concerned about our condition to race after the previous evening's festivities. we registered and paid, might as well do it and represent the purple and orange. again, we don't have time to preride the course. kenny takes off before me in his expert class whereas my sport class takes off 20 minutes later. when we go, my legs aren't as ill as two weeks prior. i immediately go into race pace and line up top twenty. i need to mentally regain focus because of this furious pace the leaders force once the official counts our field of 52 down from 10 seconds. my legs feel great but i'm stressing because my heart rate needs to synched with my "fresh" feeling legs. i wait it out (with heart beating in my throat) and i'm now a competitor. the pace is so fast it goes into single track after a steep little climb with no one passing and the order remains unchanged. so after a long while of playing follow the leader through gnarly, technical climbs and descents we hit an inordinately long patch of fire road on this ridge and the wind's blowing pretty hard. i hook up with a group of four and some dude on a 29er's taking these mondo long hard pulls up front. if i don't stick with this paceline, i'm a gonner fighting these headwinds solo. so we let him pull and nobody goes around him. me and this other guy have been trading pulls before we hooked up with this group and my companion's not feeling very friendly. when he attacks the guy leading (we're primarily roadies and not very nice apparently) he gives me the hand signal (pointing left behind his back) that we bust a move on the left hand side of the fire road quick-like. he jumps and i follow his wheel and he's cranking this pace that gets me in the red zone. i mentally relax to force myself to draft. he's going so hard that this little riser gets me spit off the back and i yell thanking him for the the pull while i go backwards. he waves and continues to drop us. i'm in no mans zone now-in-between packs. so i see a group of three i accelerate and slide tail gunner in on them. again some strong yahoo's tearing it up up front with no concern for taking pulls so we let him. i get my second wind and trade pulls for a while. i'm third in line so when the second guy lets a gap form i go around him and he says something like i cut him off. normally i would say something akin to commence to attenuate your vocalization please (i.e. shut the f&%# up jackass), but i'm a believer in karma so i hold my tongue hoping to put the ever-loving smack down on him during one of the long climbs to put some distance between me and his bad attitude. right before the singletrack he cleverly accelerates and gets in front of me for the hole shot. daz cool, i'll wait it out and pass him on the climb. he's rocketing now and gets daylight between us and i'm bummed while he continues to pull away on the technical downhill (he has a dual boinger, i have a hardtail). finally a steep, technical uphill and i get in spin mode and start to pass riders. i see dipshizzle ahead of me and i drop it a gear and pass him on a tight, high-side of a tree root (to mentally goof with him). he glues up but this climb gets steeper and i'm dropping gears and can maintain this cadence. sho' nuff he pops and one of my old paceline companions catches me and drafts me up this long climb. i'm starting to get distressed because i don't know when this torture test's going to end. my paceline companion says there's a deep creek crossing ahead and he's likely to portage his bike over it. i see it coming because that's where the spectators congregate to watch the racers endo into the deep, cold creek. we all gun it (it's almost knee-high!) and it's like the red sea parting (our group all made it). 'cept it's not god doing it, it's our 2.1 tires rotating like a buzzsaw that channels the water sideways. unlike last race i'm keeping it in my biggest gear possible still having the energy to turn her over. finally i see the one mile to go sign and everybody else who sees it gets antsy and kicks the intensity up a notch. i get passed on a climb and i say that's it, if you're going to pass me it's not because i'm slowing down. on this wide part of the descent some dude goes for the pass on the inside apex of this wide but technical switchback and he biffs it. i hear the rider behind me ask if he's okay so i keep my rpms high and don't stop. i catch another pack and the last guy in that pack goes for a drink from his cage. as soon as he gets the drink in his mouth he hits a tree root, gets bucked off his bike, and flies down an embankment. he's fine though because i see him scrambling up when i go past his bike on the trail. i catch his pack and we're flying. this last part kenny and i preroad before we staged and i knew there was this babyhead rock and conveniently located ahead of it was a large tree root. the gap was just the right width for a front tire to drop in and endo if you didn't carry enough speed. sho' nuff the guy behind me biffs it too. it sounds like somebody dropping a cinder block from head height on a loamy, forest floor. it (him crashing) made a deep, thuddy thunk! last turn then it's a drag race on the fire road. i go for my sprint and pass one of my paceline mates and the remaining two are closing in. my legs start to cramp when i'm out of the saddle kicking so my high end speed's come and gone and they take me at the line. it was awesome though. at the end we all shake hands and thank each other for keeping the pace high making it worthy enough to be called a cross country race. i finish 18th out of 53. kenny finishes 8 minutes slower than me on his singlespeed. that's why he races expert. here's his results. the leader in his class had the fastest time of the day-including the pros. on the way home we're debriefing about what a great race it was today and reviewing his latest concert show of the best prog rock band on the face of the earth: rush.
at home i'm drinking this. notice the icon, it's a bicycle. a red one nonetheless. same color as my beloved yeti hardtail.

sweet melissa's drinking this (notice background)...

and again we're enjoying each other as well as another picture postcard day here in colorado about to eat dinner with the family on the deck. i'll leave you with this: ruby licking her lips knowing dinner's 'round the corner with mason holding her. if you notice i let mason dress himself for nighty-night. who am i say you don't match?

ahhh the tan line continues. as my friend says wear it like a status symbol (notice the elbow scars from previous road rash).

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