The race at Santos wasn't that great. I'm trying to convince myself that it never even happened and instead I spent the weekend in PA playing in the snow and rain. It started out awesome, Jed and I spent Thursday cruising the I-95 corridor to Tampa to stay with some of his friend who moved there a few years ago. Friday morning we scoped out Tarpon Springs, a old Greek sponging town right on the coast and had a 'Greek' breakfast. The 'Greek French Toast' was not unlike the French French Toast most of us are accustom to. Thus the dissapointment of the weekend began.
Friday morning we drove an hour and a half north, to Santos, set up our campsite, and put some time in on the course. The trails were great, and conditions were perfect. We met up with xrobx and did a lap on the course and enjoyed the 80 degree temps. My motivation and focus were 100%. I was there the take the win and the dough home, along with a massive trophy.
Saturday morning started at 6:30am by eating some breakfast and setting up the pit table. Mixing bottles, filling cups with creme pies and PBJs, lining up tanlines, checklist after checklist to make sure everything was in the right place so I wouldn't have to unclip more than one foot all day. Racers meeting, butterflies, anxiousness, peeing, thoughts of strategy, and chamios butter filled the next 30 minutes until the LeMan***(see footer below) start at 10am. The start was smooth, I was sitting right around 10th overall, behind all the teams riders, and first of the solo guys buy about 7 spots. The tight twisty course made passing pretty tough for the first two laps so I did my best to get around people and put bodies between me and second place. I held a solid pace for the first two laps, the kind of pace that just makes you smile because it feels so damn good. Dave Wood made some time up on me towards the end of lap 2 so we teamed up to keep IF rider Harvey Minton chasing about 3 or 4 minutes back. The next 4 hours stayed just like that, taking turns pulling and talking about '08 race plans until lap 6 or 7 when it all came apart. Sometime during the 5th hour of the day, the legs shut down and said no. I lost my appetite, and my all-time favorite race food, the always invigorating PB&J now only made me gag and I watched as my speeds dropped from 13-14mph downt to 8-9mph. I knew something wasn't right so I slowed down to try and get my rhythm back again. Another lap didn't help and the legs weren't coming back. Sit out for a lap, get some food, and get back into the thing was option number two, but I felt even worse, the body just wasn't having it today. Pack it up and call it a day.
I can't help but be dissapointed about the race, other than getting a chance to ride in warm weather, it was a waste of money. I think I would have been better off if I would have cashed $200 in for quarters and sat in front of the toilet flushing them one by one. At least then there's a chance the toilet would back up and I'd feel like a winner.
I guess I should try to be optimistic here, the season hasn't really even started yet. The other good thing was how I felt during the time I could ride. It was like I had punched in the NES cheat code for 'Unlimited Speed'...Up, Down, Left, Right, A, B, Select, Start. Bring on Mt. Snow.
Congrats to Harvey for takin home the win, the guy can still roll fast. To Dave Wood for killin his first 12 Hour ever, and to Rob for coming back after a first lap flat to take home third. Jed stuck it out for a top 5 as well.
***LeMans Start- (noun) a style in which many bicycle races begin. It requires participants to run from a designated starting position to their bicycles, where the racing may commence. Often times this type of start leads to large amounts of confusion, lost bicycles, and unhappy times. They should be done away with. It also accelerates cleat wear and has no effect the outcome of the event.