Yesterday, we almost had a full crew out at Ave P land. The five of us that showed was the most of us, I had seen, literally in years! Sarge, Mark M, my bud Dave Schroeder (who used to own one of the local LBS's), my SO Deb and myself. The only missing was our bud FFW and we missed him out there.
After a tough windy ride Monday night, I told everyone it was supposed to be a 'moderate' ride. What a liar I was. I can even lie to myself about that and even believe it. Going out on the trail, that's another thing. We rolled out at 5 PM, with Deb and Dave cruising out ahead of the Flog crew. Sarge and I started to hit the first hard hills and it wasn't long before the T-party got going (T = testosterone).
I found myself and Sarge going up the mile-long grinder at a hard pace and he gapped me good towards the top, we circled around at the top, scooping up the remainder of the crew, then hauled for the white-house climb. I managed to pass Sarge, but he gapped me again on the second tough little climb. I was running near my max and just suffering. We turned around at the top, for the long bomb-run down the fireroads. Ramp into the big ring and just let it out. I managed a pass on Sarge on the downhill and kept him there as we approached the entrance to Coyote Canyon. The tires were really singing on this one.
Coyote Canyon is a very fast and technical creekbed that runs downhill. Mucho exposed rock, loose rock sections and berms make it highly interesting. Sure you can tiptoe down it, but I had Sarge on my behind and I just flung the Razorpig through everything, slamming through rocky sections and digging in on the berms. Couldn't shake Sarge off've me and as we approached the bottom, we had the hard left turn into the wide rolling singletrack heading east. I put all my weight onto the outer pedal and just zoomed into the off-camber turn.
Sarge was right there behind and we were friggin' hauling in the big ring. I anticipated his upcoming action and sure enough he started pulling a pass on the left. He thought he had me, but I already beat him to it. We were side-by-side on a screaming fast section of wide singletrack and it wa very close quarters! I was running at cardio-max and I wasn't going to back off. The problem was, neither was Sarge. We battled it out through the turns, neither one of us willing to give in. The handlebars were nearly touching and the turn was coming up. Suddenly we started shouldering each other, battling it out for the premium position into the upcoming turn that turned into a sweeping downhill berm. It might as well have been a 4-cross race at that point.
He got me on the inside of the sweeper and we were just about at the dead-end of the S/T. Lift the foot off the gas and gasp for air. We stopped at the end after a high-five and the only sound was struggling lungs trying to get oxygen. We were both bent over the bikes, sweat dripping on the front wheels. I was stoked, just because it was a total bad-ass dogfight right to the wire. Where he was solidly kicking my behind a month or so ago, I'm now approaching the point where I can start challenging him again, like the old days.
We wrapped up with a five mile flog on the aquaduct, ramping the big ring all the way, side-by-side and no prisoners. Supreme suffering and it took all I had to not internally freak out. Had to force myself to look around and focus on something else.
Posted by STP a 48 year old Racer riding a K2 Razorpiggie from P'Dale on 03/29/07