PART ONEI arose this morning with a foreboding sense of dread, that could only be overcome by 50+ oz of coffee and a level of sarcasm I usually only unleash on non leap years. I had been a gametime decision due to "family matters", but at 5 last night i started scrounging the town for a road bike to participate in what has been touted as the hardest race.....ever. I have a new name for it, but I will save it to the end. I was to race the B race but after dealing with a rather large pile of fam bullsh*t, I said screw it, I am riding my tri bike and I'll just ride the GRAND FONDUE (which is a misnomer, because i didn't see any seventies swingers or fondue pots at the pre race checkin). I finally said f**k it and packed my sh*t, cussed Mitchell for his scheduling this during the daylight savings time switch and fell fast asleep at 10 or so. I woke up early to cook up the above mentioned coffee elixir, threw my sh*t in the car and drove over to Mrs. Susan's, the only one who would have me. We packed it up and hit the road. I had no nutritional plan so I spent the morning eating granola bars and some crappy ass pop tart sticks that my kids won't even eat. We stopped and got more coffee and more pop tarts and headed north. I had planned on wearing arm warmers and gloves for the race, but due to the gods it was a balmy 32 inside the mothership. I was balls to toes in lycra and none to happy. Arrival in St. Franny was uneventful. I hop out and start checking out the scene on my way to the check in. I had officially entered into the HARDEST RACE CHECKIN ON EARTH. I wasn't too hard and I still thought I may have legs for the race. Nice pint glass, and the promise of MSG soaked chicken at the time of my liking and I was out the door. Mitch, one change for next year. I will up my entry to $50 if there are a couple of sh*tters available. Tried to squeeze one out and ran to the starting line unsatisfied with my "pre race routine". I looked like a Nashbar sale threw up on me as every cold weather item i have is held together with safety pins or is bright ass green due to my nighttime riding habits. I didn't catch too much grief and headed to the line in high spirits. Mitch dropped a "Hey you douchebags riding aerobars, stay out the mix," and after 3 (12)minutes we were off. stay tuned, my kid is denting the door with a yoyo. PART TWO I turned onto HWY 61, careful not to mix it up with the dreaded B race. I sat at the back next to the tandem and triple and enjoyed the first mile of the race. First bottle launches 800 yards in, and is gone. Nice. We roll up to 66 and take a left on our way up to sligo. this is the only part of the course i have ever ridden before. There was a little pickup of speed and we moved along. We kept going till Irondale and took a left. I was still chillin out in back with no intention get in the mix, lest i get disqualified from a race that doesn't count. Where in the f**k did this mountain come from. I have never been down Irondale. It wasn't so bad, i just think we must have been close to the top of the 3rd or 4th highest peak in the nation. Somewhere around this time, I look up and John Fell is standing there with a pedal in his hand. I stop and give him a multitool and away goes the B group. I whiz and wait and we are off. ATTENTION B group, i was just about to head up there and mix it up, and possibly win, so you can thank John for saving you from my wrath. We decide at this time to just ride it in (84 more miles to go!). I had no clue where we were so we just followed the well marked course. We pushed, some drafted some ( i learned this is not only legal, but encouraged!!). We pass the first gravel section with no incident. Again, we just roll through mile after mile. We stop after first gravel and I lose 20 lbs of gear. Man am i flying now. We keep catching folks, and hope that they will join us in our quest to mix it up in the B group, but it appears no one wants to team up with COW (crackas on wheels). We catch some poor kid, whose dad or someone he knows is on a motorcycle and he is checkin in on him for about 6 easy wind blocking miles. I figure if i am drafting i am getting behind a deer if it is running up the road. the kid blows up and we turn up a gravel road. it is um steep. (NOTE TO TRIATHLETES: tri bikes ain't so hot for gravel descents..) i get off walk a bit, (SECOND NOTE TO TRIATHLETES-the proper gearing for this race is unknown. What is known is that the incorrect gearing is on my bike.) I slide sideways on the downhills and practically fill the above mentioned lycra with poo. I get through it an think "pff,This is a cakewalk." I stop and get water and accelerade as the COW support team is making sure we got what we need, and a couple miles down the road, i catch up with Mr. Fell. We again, just ride on down the road. we get a group going and then take a left. hmm this is um kind of steep too. we have hit the tunica rd. This mofo is bad ass. I get 2/3 of the way up and walk a little (a lot). Get back on and only have to walk about 25 yards the rest of the way. I pop out and begin my pursuit of head domestique and current leader of the COW franchise, John Fell. He doesn't even wait for me. I am wondering at this point , shouldnt this be about done? the last 20 miles or so hurt a little, but the day has been a blast. I cross the finish line and they immediately announce over the loudspeaker, that the king of the aerobar division has now finished. i think i also won the grand fondue (the race no one was trying to win). I wouldn't know, because Mitchell did not present me with a 70's era fondue pot (i will buy my own and dontate next year if i don't crush the non tryers again!). I sit down and immediately think, i need to walk this off. I walk it off and get ready for the 2 mi ride home (insult to injury). CLOSING THOUGHTS 1. All sh*ttin aside this is a must do race. I commend Mitchell and Darius and all the help for doing a great job. 2. Thanks for Llew, Jeremy, Edge, Rome (who had to have sh*t his pants) Will, SS, Steve, and many others. They were a welcome sight. 3. I can settle this once and for all, Rouge Roubaix is not harder than IM (even though i have never done an IM). It was a great ride (you can't call what i did racing), so i guess I'll never know for sure.
This ride should take after a new race next year and call itself The Heck of the Felicianas.
Thanks Mitchell, rocketboy
PS that dude pulling down the finish line was classic. I thought mitch was going to rip off his scrote.