Monday, February 15, 2010

Pantani Ride - Recap

Sunday started clear and cold for the Pantani Ride. I checked out the back window for any sign of trouble and found 4 foot long icicles with frozen striations that made them look like elephant trunks, or maybe something straight out of fantasia. I knew it would be a good day.

It was. 8 brave souls turned out for an abbreviated Pantani Ride. Abbreviated in that we got a last minute conditions update from the 3,000 foot elevation residents that there were 2 plows and a front end loader stuck up on Simmons Gap, unable to plow, and snow drifts that could swallow a whole bike until April. Good sense, winter legs, and frozen toes prevailed, and we pre-emptively cut out the lollipop up and over the mountain and back (much to the disappointment of the hordes of international fans that had swarmed the mountain to cheer, jeer, and loop the leader's handlebar with their purses,) making for a cool 30 mile grinder on mixed pavement, dirt, and ice.

So how did it shake out?
Well, in hindsight, the Richmond contingent's intelligencia deeming studded tires to be the ticket to the top of the podium was wrong. Similarly, my counterintelligence was also faulty - that v-brakes, a frozen front derailleur, and a frame that is cracked more ways than Whitney Houston was my best chance to stay in the coveted leaders jersey - incorrect. Lastly, lighting out from the start in an anaerobic, full-tuck position with insubstantial knowledge of the course route and no map also proved to be a poor strategy. In the end, carbon fiber hardtail, early fitness, and course knowledge prevailed, and I believe Shawn got in in under 2 hours. For the rest, a grupetto formed around Mission Home, but the tenuous alliance was blown apart in the last 2 miles in a fury of flat tires, misguided sprinting, and a recalcitrant lust to be 2nd best. I believe the newly 29erfisherfied, Eric Moore, took the honors for 2nd best, and better yet, due to the real champion's disdain for the heretofore appalling lack of competition (or maybe the smell of the jersey,) Eric also claimed the coveted "maillot pistachio."

the silver bullet, defeated but at rest. will she ever rise again?

So what is next in the world of organized and disorganized bike racing?
Well, the good Mark Junkerman maintains on his website that Hilbert 1 is a go in 20 days. I believe the over-under on that is actually more like 50 days, but I like his optimism. Then, the Blue Ridge School Ride the Ridge course is purported to be March 28th - a course that notoriously oozes mud until May or June, even in a dry year. My point here? Maybe don't lace up your new drivetrain until summer.

But what's that out there at 6 PM every night now? That's daylight, folks. And daylight means brownie crits, starting again on a Wednesday soon, if we're lucky. Lucky like four leaf clovers. Lucky like the Irish. Wednesday, March 17th, St Patrick's day, 6 PM. BYOGB.

Let's Rally, O'Mally.


Scottie D said...

We had a blast Dave! - Next year we summit Simmons...

the rooster said...

Rooster studied physics at the school of hard knocks. Thanks for having us, we want another shot at it sometime. Keep April 10 on your calendar and we'll keep you updated.

mooreef said...

The maillot pistachio/pirata has been cleaned. Look for it at the next brownie crit!


Scott-tay said...

Eric, we want to see you riding in the puffy shirt. Nice effort on the ride. You did Pantani proud.