Monday, September 17, 2007

Post depression Cheq Fat Tire

Friday was a long day following the drive up from Milwaukee to Cable, settling in, changing tires, socializing and pre-riding the back half of the Short & Fat Course with Anna's dad, Ted. This is the second year we stayed with Anna Fink's (now Ganju) parent's rented home for the Cheq Fat Tire weekend. This is her dad's 23rd year, I believe, doing the Fat Tire race (most of them were the 40 miler) and renting this same home for all these years which is nicely located at the finish of the race course at Telemark. So Ted and I headed out late Friday afternoon and we made our way up and down the back half of the hilliest part of the Short and Fat course. The ground was pretty hard and the grassy sections were dry and you could not ask for better conditions. We put in a few good efforts and then reviewed the start, knowing there was at least 4 miles of pavement and hard packed gravel roads to deal with. We discussed some race tactics and headed home.

Who invented DUCT TAPE anyway?

Mother Nature can twist your plans

Methane Gas Chamber
Enter at your own risk!

The discussion that night as activities were winding down was what to wear for the race. Cable was getting their first frost that evening with temps dipping down into the thirties. Many people we ran into at Telemark while picking up our BIBS were talking a about how cold it is going to be and that they did not prepare to bring the proper cold weather attire. Dirt Rag vender's were there selling wool bike socks as well as Hayes sponsors had wool jerseys for sale. I am sure there was plenty money spent on last minute cold weather items in the local area that evening and early Saturday morning. Back at the house all of us were pulling out our cold weather gear and some of us packed last minute and did not prepare to what was inevitable. It was almost like a fashion show tossing ideas around. After having my big toe nearly stay frozen after a hot shower following my pre-ride, I knew the toes were going to be a big issue for me come tomorrow morning. I did not bring my winter shoe covers so I opted for a rig job with duct tape and luckily there was a large roll in the work shop. Now I was set! I brought the Craft wool layer long sleeved shirt and my winter leggings and Craft wool socks so I was pretty set to face the low temps come the morning.


I heard the alarm go off and the boys were off to set up their bikes at the start. I could hear them trying to wake up Sanjay, pounding on his door at least 3 times, I was like WTF!? I think the poor soul was jet lagged from flying in from Phoenix for the weekend. I finally rolled out of bed by 7:00 AM and there was already a crowd in the kitchen. I started my coffee, Alterra French Roast while another no name brewed in the other corner. I don't know how many times I was asked by the Mikey if the coffee was ready. You would think we were having withdrawals. I stuck with the basics this morning and only had ONE cup of coffee in hope to avoid an upset stomach while racing. It sure is fun on race morning hanging with the guys and letting them pick on me, I love it! We all for the most part sure do get on each others nerves but in the end we love the camaraderie.

Nine O'clock came around the corner and the house started to get quieter as people headed out to warm up and get to the start line. Ted and I were the last one's to leave since we were doing the short and fat race and it was just a few miles from the house which ends up to be a good warm up ride. We were ready to hit the door as I strapped on my camel back, I noted one of the buckles was missing, UGH! Ted luckily cannibalized Carlos's camel back he left behind and we rigged that up to fit nice and snug on me. By now, we were both sweating in all all gear. The ride up to the start was nice and relaxing and it really was not that cold as expected and the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky, perfect day for a race! We had about 30 minutes to go from the start and it was starting to get warm, racers starting peeling off the layers. I was able to place my bike second row dead center at the start next to Jay and Nate, so that calmed my nerves a bit that I knew someone in this crowd of unknowns. It is pretty nice to not know any competitors and it is all about racing the clock. I stood in line for the bathroom and while waiting, contemplated on weather or not to peel off the winter leggings that I had on under my riding shorts. I decided not too take them off knowing how cold the air will be riding at 15-20+ MPH at the start, which turned out to be a good choice. The winds were from the south west, heading right in our faces at the start.

Nerves were getting high minutes before the start when some unknown racer had his bike still tipped upside down in the front row and he or she was nowhere to be found. Get that F***** bike out of here, I heard in the crowd. Just one minute before the start the owner showed up ready to go. The gun went off and we hit the pavement and were flying. Click, click and Nate was off like Superman! I swear we were going MACH 5 down that road and the pack was not too bad, not too tight and everyone appeared to be experienced racers and it was smooth transitions in and around others with no problems. The speed intensified more and more as I struggled to keep with the top 50 or so riders in front. The pace continued to pull harder and harder as I hung on for dear life at the end, eventually popping off and starting my own rhythm. I kept a good pace and dug deep on that first climb or two. Ted came by somewhere on one of those climbs and I tried to grab his wheel but he was really keeping a nice pace and I could not hang on and he was off into the horizon. It seemed all of a sudden after almost redlining it for the first couple of miles there was all this nice down hill recovery and it sure was a nice surprise! I was now warmed up and ready to really push it the best I could. There were some really great areas to hammer and really great fast downhill descents that I had a blast with. Six miles or so into the course and the grassy hills come into play one after another and now the fun starts to fade and more suffering continues. A few girls caught me and I fought back. This went on for awhile and there was one girl I tried desperately to catch but she was better on the climbs overall and got away. We finally were getting to the last few miles as I remember from the pre-ride, so now I had a picture of what was in store. I tired to suck it up as much as possible and passing chains of guys in the somewhat of a single track to create a gap between me and some others that were chasing. The final climb came into view and I saw some girls ahead. Thanks to the cheers form friends and Anna's encouragement to put it in the big chain ring, (RIGHT) and catch them, I was able to pull out some snot and sprint to the finish.

Picture Curteousy of Velogrrl

A great time with friends this weekend at a great event in the north woods! I truly love this event and all the stuff that goes with the weekends festivities. I am struggling with stomach issues pre and post race and find it more difficult to find what to do, or NOT to do. I never had these issues before and ended up sick after this race from mixing too many different foods post race with a glass or to of vino to celebrate and missed probably one of the most exciting award ceremonies ever, for me at least. I could barley drag myself to Party Central to wish Russell a Happy Birthday as I ended up going back to the house to puke and go to bed for the rest of the night. I hope you all had fun, especially at the BON FIRE!


Congratulations to everyone who raced! You are all winners!

Last but not least! A big congratulations to TY for finishing under his goal time for the 40 miler of 2:40!


Anonymous said...

Great job Tyrone!! You rock too just like your better half.

MTB Girl said...

Great job!

When you work your BUTT off like you're doing this year, the tummy is BOUND to have some issues. All the "good" people go through it. Or at least the ones who put it all out there during a race. :-)