(Jim Snyder's wife and their dog)
With a day to go before my first goddamned XC race since 2001, I had a choice to make. Stay home and play with Mimi and get a good nights sleep or go to the Art Bar (Hoffenchard sponsor) to see a friend's band and potentially get shit-faced. Luckily, I chose the latter, perhaps the road less taken? was a dickless cunt. Money is tight this time of year so I had a pre-show vodka and tonic, then another and then rode Ole Blue downtown to meet friends Eric (not Hoff Eric) and his lady friend/wife(?). Saw a bunch of folks I used to hang out with back when I had a social life and did the usual "catching up". Lots of poontang at the bar, but in the Art Bar, you got a 50 percent chance of that pussy coming with a side order of cock and balls. But hey, nothing but love to our tranny peeps! Saw a guy who booked my old band to play a show, never payed us then tried to hire us six months later. You gotta admire his moxy and his balls, possibly his tranny balls! Trannyball Run!
Anyway, the band I was there to see (The Unawares) went onstage around 12? 12:30? Not really sure. I wasn't plastered but I felt good and reasoned quietly to myself that if I can get home by 1:30, then I can be asleep by 1:45, wake up at 8:45 and still be rested enough to race. Then I got home at 2:30. Where does the time go? Well, I woke up a little before 9 AM feeling like burnt asshole, fed Mimi, looked in the mirror and contemplated backing out of the race. I was only registered for sport class so it wouldn't be a big deal to skip out and eat bacon at the IHOP.
But my inner voice, my softer voice, my feminine voice, urged me on. I think said something about 90 percent of life is just showing up so I decided to "show up" and let the chips fall wherever the fuck chips fall. Upon arrival, I see Jose (former Puerto Rican 24 Hour National Champion and devoted family man) there in his figure flattering Cycles Mundo kit. Then I spy Jeremy Edge (honorary Hoff) and Lauren doing their thing. Toby (honorary Hoff) is also there trying to direct traffic. Why would they ask a guy who's racing to direct traffic? Worst fucking race organizers ever.
Will and Kelly show up and I ask Will if he's ready to help me dominate the Sport class. Will says he's registered for single speed. Uh, yeah, have fun getting your ass kicked by Toby and some freakazoid from . Fast forward twenty minutes. We line up and I am standing next to a douchebag who is also a sandbagger of epic proportions. He also won't stop talking. Maybe he has tourettes? I peg him for the victory and notice the guy to my left who looks like he has second place in hand. Fucking awesome, maybe a top ten could be in the cards.
The start is controlled chaos. Rolling gravel road that has the other 26 or 27 geared riders flying by me, spitting gravel in my face adding insult to injury. I'm towards the back of the conga line when we hit single track. The pace is unusually high for a sport XC race. "Fuck, this was stupid. I wasted money on this. I hate XC races and hate this ass-hat in front of me who won't let me pass" I go around a few riders and then settle in to a good pace on Stewardship which is like riding on flat pavement so I keep the cadence high, i suppose. We get to the Midlands Mountain climb and I pass a few more folks. My passing manners are too polite I realized. Instead of screaming "On your left", I kept mumbling "When we get to a spot that's comfortable for you, I'd like to come around on your left side. Just let me know when and I'll go around unless you're not into it and I'll just track stand back here while you furiously spin up this 2 percent graded climb"
Finally get into Spiderwoman and my front wheel slips out from under me in the mud. I narrowly avoid a nasty wreck and continue on. Then I hear a rattle and realize my front skewer is open. "Are you fucking me?!" I hop off and tighten the skewer and pedal after my chase group. Then it's on to the Inner Loop of Spiderwoman which is straight up and straight down. This was the only spot of the race where the 34X18 gearing was too much. It felt like I was pushing that big giant wooden thing in "Conan". Pass a few more folks on the inner loop and finish up Spiderwoman feeling a little better. I latch onto a guy who isn't in my class but seems to have a gameplan and follow him up Firebreak, down Crooked Pine through the Firebreak creek crossing and up the punchy Firebreak climb. Then he makes a clicky noise and I'm all alone again with the psychotic thoughts in my head keeping me company. This is how the POWs in Vietnam must've felt. I keep chugging along, passing a rider here, a rider there on my second lap. Luckily, it's abbreiviated so that means no Spiderwoman. Nice! My spirits are lifted and I decide to give it a go as they say.
(Jeremy gets chased down by two fuckfaces, one of them named Will Bl'ck, who is a super-nice guy!)
I catch up to another fastish guy and we ride together until the Firebreak creek crossing. At the start of the climb, I imagine that he has murdered Mimi, raped her corpse and is now taunting me by trying to finish ahead of me. I shout "FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING CAT RAPIST!" in my head and sprint past him on the steepest part of the climb. His will is broken. Finishing doesn't matter anymore since I just punked a dude on a meaningless climb in a meaningless race. Mission accomplished. I crank through the finish line alone and hear the announcer say "Here's racer 626! 626!" OK, so what place am I in? Anybody got an idea? I wait around with Jer, Tobe, Lauren, Emily, Will and Kelly to hear results. After 30 minutes, I walk over to the scoring table and they tell me they'll post as soon as the last guy is finished. Nice, I wasn't last. After waiting and waiting, they post results and I'm third! What the fuck? I thought I was tenth! Oh well, don't ask questions, just accept your fate. AND as I called it at the start, the sandbagger supreme got first and the second place looking guy finishes second. Even XC races follow the laws of nature! This post is too long already so I won't talk about drinking beer with Jeremy after the race and eating a cone of ice cream with Kelly, Josh and Kyle that was larger than my head. That's it for now.