After much hemming and hawing I decided to travel to St George last weekend to attend the Red Rock Rampage mountain bike race. I originally had no intention of racing. My reasoning was that the point of racing was to see who was faster than you and that was a foregone conclusion.
The twist was that I was crashing at the infamous Team Revolution Flop House.
Though not a team member, I have imposed myself into Revolution's social circle on several occasions and dubbed myself an honorary member. Claiming honorary membership is like giving yourself a nickname. If you keep telling people they start to forget it was your idea.
USUALLY Revolution is really into racing. On the drive down I was expecting to be greeted by a houseful of people who were readying themselves for the season opener. As we rolled into town Friday night, Cobourn decided to head over to packet pickup before we went to the flop house. Like buying a house, having children, and getting married, I made a snap decision in the parking lot and registered for the race. Upon arrival at the flop house I found out that out of twenty some-odd people at the house about six were racing. Including me. I felt a little betrayed. Most of them offered reasons such as "It's March 1st, I'm not racing!" I quickly figured out that the race was secondary to the gathering at the flop house.
The Revo Flop House sounds like a dirtbag affair. On the contrary, it is a traveling circus, buffet, and broo-ha-ha. The group tracks down a vacation home to rent for the weekend and as near as I can tell the challenge is to upgrade from the previous year. I heard stories of the year they rented a former mortuary, then I was told that next year was going to be a mansion. This place was pretty close. Other than the odd floor plan the house was top notch. It included a theater room, covered patio with outdoor kitchen and firepit, saltwater pool with slide and enough beds for everyone with one fat guy on the couch.(Spoiler alert, I was the fat guy on the couch).
It sounds like a party, and it was slightly rowdy. But, when Doug Kolan heads upstairs because it's too loud and everybody else is in bed asleep by 10, party doesn't seem like an appropriate description.
On race day it was like a contest to see who could have the healthiest breakfast. This broke my cardinal rule of nothing new on race day. Between Bob's weird little potatoes and Lyna's powdery weird stuff sprinkled over fruit, everybody was off to a good start, even though most of them were not racing. The oddest part about this race is the 12 pm start time. I think the 24 hours of Moab is the only other race I have done that was a nooner. I spent the long morning procrastinating working on my bike but did manage to refresh the Stan's in the tires. Crossed my fingers that it would shift and brake all right and we headed to the race.
If you have never been to an Intermountain Cup Series race let me set the stage. A few hundred weekend warriors with some serious game faces. You would think that they were all racing to feed their children. The races are generally well done with good courses but I have never been able to get as wound up about them as most of the people there. It's not Cyclocross for God's sake. Calm down.
Lined up in the sport category with about a dozen other dudes. Since Cobourn finally got all his chin-whiskers we are now in the same age category. This makes it easier to crack wise about all the guys jumping up and down and doing stupid shit like pre-race stretches and getting "into the zone". A few familiar faces in the crowd. Most notably a dude who blocked me on facebook for publicly calling him out as a sandbagger lining up with the 40+ Sport crowd. He would go on to win by over two minutes. Douche.
Race starts, we roll out. The dirt road start to the course gave people a chance to sort. I quickly funneled to the back and then began to be caught by the leaders of categories that started behind us. I gave it a good effort on the first lap. Kept the pack in sight and even caught up to Cobourn who was fighting an undisclosed illness(syphillis) which had him hacking and coughing. Managed to keep up with him for rest of the first lap but when we came through the start/finish area and everybody else grabbed a gear and tried to pass people I looked up and shrugged my shoulders. I rolled through the second lap with even less resolve than the first and managed to get passed by at least two women. One of them could have been a man, but she was wearing a sports bra and reeked of a very feminine perfume so I will give her/him the benefit of the doubt.
I did manage to ward off the dreaded DFL in my category but just barely.
There was no surprise in this result. Rest assured if I am not updating this blog, I am not doing well in my quest to look good naked and become a faster cyclist. With a few hit or miss workouts and alternating days of doing well on the the diet with jumping off the wagon while it explodes and runs off a cliff I am merely breaking even. Hovering in the high 180's occasionally peeking back into the dread 190's. This weekend saw a slight dip in weight and perhaps sparked the fire to get riding more. Temperatures are warming and there is more daylight. Things could be worse.
Thanks to Team Revo for letting me crash their party this weekend. So far the best weekend of 2013. (it's been a slow year)