Not that anybody noticed, but I haven’t posted anything up here in awhile.
It’s been three weeks since my last confession.
I have been quite busy however. When we last left our hero I was in the throws of the stomach flu. Conveniently this hit me right before the first UTCX race. Back then I was feeling optimistic about my season due to the promising results I had at the Raleigh Cross series. Even sick, I felt like a firm mid-packer until my tire blew. Should I have raced sick? All signs point to no.
The next week was the 24 hours of Moab. For the last two years, I have registered a 5 man team months in advance, only to have the lineup change dramatically at the last minute. With Retro Bill stacking up and separating his shoulder, we replaced him a few weeks prior to the race with Moody Wonka. Then ZenMasterKenny bailed for no good reason and Elder Terry Walker replaced him.
The only goal for the race was to beat Timp Cyclery. Long story short, we fell short of that goal. Essentially, Timp had one fast employee, and one fast ringer. We had one fast employee, and one fast ringer who sheared his derailleur two miles into his night lap. In the end, we couldn’t make up the difference. A much funner time than last year though. Possibly because we had Cobourn there to make Kelsey and Terry blush. Possibly because we didn’t have to camp with Timp. Oh, did I say that out loud? Oops.
After what seemed like months away from a Cyclocross race, CanuckyJeff and I headed up to the Utah State Fairpark for it’s inaugural course, and race #3 in the UTCX series. With a total elevation gain of possibly 14 feet, it was an all out sprint. As is the pattern of most of my life, the front of the pack just seemed to ride away from me. It wasn’t even that I felt like I was pinned either. It mostly felt like I was riding underwater. I just couldn’t go any faster. I narrowly avoided being lapped, and finished well behind mid-pack. A depressing day made only slightly better by a trip to The Red Iguana after the race.
I was considering selling all my bikes and taking up video games. After a loss to Timp at 24 hours of Moab, and finishing behind Cobourn at the Fairpark, my life to this point had seemed misguided. But then our team jerseys came in.
After six long weeks, our friends in Taiwan had finally come through in a big way. Okay they came through in a small way, since the jerseys all came in “race cut”. Race cut is a term in cycling apparel that means “not for fat dudes”. As the majority of Team Clammy Chamois leans toward the rotund, some went without, and some need to go on a crash diet. With the help of two other people and a come-along, I am able to pack myself into a Large and that was all the motivation I needed. The night before Race #4 in the series, I went through my bike, gathered my clothes in a bag. Loaded that bag, my “B” wheels, tools, tubes and anything else I could think of into the car to be ready for the long drive to Weber County Fairgrounds in the morning. Due to the usual lack of a convenient place to change, I generally wear my bike shorts under my pants on the drive to the races. This is why I placed them at the foot of the bed the night before, while loading everything else into the car.
Things got complicated when I was called out to work at 9 pm and didn’t get home to bed until about 1 am. I set my alarm for as late as I dared, and in the morning jumped up, loaded up my bike and headed north. All the while patting myself on the back for being so prepared. Upon arrival I grabbed my bag and started to change my clothes. As soon as I opened the bag, I realized I had left my shorts sitting at the foot of the bed. I tried to think of any options that I had, and came up with nothing. I nearly cut my jeans off to make shorts, but the weather was cold so I decided to just roll them up “man-pri” style. If it’s good enough for hipsters, it’s good enough for me. Most of the people at the start line thought I was doing it as a joke.
Interestingly, I felt pretty good in the race. I don’t usually like the Weber course, but with the drizzly cold conditions, it finally started to feel like cross season. That and the two barricades that were possible to bunny hop gave me a sense of confidence. Maybe the new jersey had something to do with it to. I rode like a champion, and at the end of the race, I was rewarded….with 23rd place. Some might count this a mediocrity but I count it as beating Cobourn,Hamilton,CanuckyJeff, and my arch nemesis John Karren.
All in all a good day. And an uptick in an otherwise disappointing past few weeks. Several people have asked if I will continue to race in jeans.
All signs point to no.