Massive 'Sup-date

Delineating time:UFD East #3 Greensfelder Challenge
In my opinion, one of the most demanding and abusive race courses for the St. Louis crowd in quite awhile. So much so, that I found myself on the deck in the opening minutes of lap 1. Having deftly descended the opening fall line, mine field I sat mid-pack behind teammate Drew Black and an aggressively hard-charging Scott Piepert. Half-way through the ensuing meandering uphill switchbacks, I found myself grounded between a rock and an Epic. I am still uncertain what I hit. Regardless, I scraped myself from the trail like a charred & forgotten hamburger patty from the depths of an ungreased diner grill. My right knee and shin took the brunt of impact; covered in blood and locked up. Peg-legging out of the woods, I hung up my helmet and headed back east after a short 5 minutes of racing in exchange for an afternoon of RICEing. I felt in good form coming into the event and had really hoped for a good result to back up the training hours I've put in this spring.
WORS #1 Iola Bump & Jump
Amidst a series of typical spring rainouts, I opted to pack up the jeepster and head north for the WORS series opener. Having raced here and won last year as a Cat 2 rider, I was eager to return to the World Cup style course and put in my bid for the Pro/Elite field. If ever presented with an opportunity to compete at a WORS event, do yourself a favor and follow my lead. With half of the course poised on the edge of a massive ski jump basin and the other half following a slew of circuitous cross country ski routes, the Iola course evokes imaginative moments of chasing down Geoff Kabush or sprinting bar-end to bar-end with Julien Absalon. The 109 man strong Pro/Elite field lending to the over 850 total competitors for the event surely doesn't diminish the european race atmosphere either.

Arriving at the line 20 minutes to launch, I found the start chute already teeming with riders and unhappily took my spot near the back. From the gun, eventual race winner Tristan Schouten set off on a laser mission seemingly with 107 compatriots in tow. Working on finding my lungs on lap 1, I settled into a sustainable pace by lap 2 and maintained my rank among those riding around me. Having suffered from allergy/sinus issues all weekend, I rolled across the line after 5 laps in a dismal 72nd place finish. Not the result I was hoping for. Regardless, it was an enjoyable weekend trip with picture perfect spring weather (more than could be said for St. Louis).

So far this year, I have been able to follow a fairly intense and regimented training plan with the absence of school or work in my life. I am able to ride 10-20 hours per week depending on weather and motivation and have sneaked in half a dozen or so trips to the Ozark trail. Lucky, I know. However, I am slightly dismayed by the plateau I find myself stuck on. Given the amount of bike hours logged thus far, I really expected my fitness and results to be much more impressive. I would really like to see some positive result before plunging into the corporate world here in just a few short weeks. I am flying out for a final interview this coming Friday and hope to end this doldrums chapter of my life. Until then though, I will continue to be one with the bike.


Casey Ryback said...

lucky mofo.

Scott said...

Bummer about the crash at G-felder. You are a very strong rider and dont doubt that for a second. Luck goes both ways, its bad for you right now but it will change.

The last paragraph kind of sounds like you might be moving out of town(bummer), and it also sounds like you might quit racing bikes(mega bummer). Hope neither of these are true. But if moving out of town is the right thing, gotta do what you gotta do. Call me, need to get plans for car pooling to Rhetts...