Monday, October 19, 2015

Death Before DNF

Pictured above is my good friend and ex-pat NECXer Starr Walker. Starr is a badass. Obviously. Starr currently lives out in PDX and is always getting rad. I am not going to say Starr coined the term Death Before DNF but she sure made a cool image and tshirt to remind us all to HTFU and not drop out of CX races when things go bad. I love the whole concept. But sometimes life throws funny karmic high and inside fast balls at your ego to remind you just who is boss. What am I talking about? Well this weekend was a funny one. We not only had one SSCX race this weekend but 3! How is this possible? Hanover is a big part of the Zank SSCX series. Its put on by two good friends and is 100% rad. As you know I love rad courses. But the #CBL doesn't always allow for me to be gone all day living the SSCX dream. But luckily there was a "new" race close to home. Community CX in Myles Standish was a total unknown. But they had a dedicated SSCX class and there was rumor of it being a serious old school jungle cross course. And Mike Wissell was the course designer! Holy crap.

So I obviously got excited. What is new right? I get excited pretty easily. Especially when I hear the words loam, sand and logs. Mike kept tweeting out rad photos and showing log hopping videos. I felt bad about missing Hanover but less bad at the prospect of racing a sick course and being home in time to take the kids Halloween Costume shopping. Win, win. As is my usual, the closer a race is to my house the more discombobulated I become. I always miscalculate the actual driving time and leave everything to the last minute and forget critical things. Like shoes. And helmets. Luckily with a SSCX bike you don't really have to worry too much about it. Inflate tires and shove it in the van. Easy breezy. I got down to Myles Standish and pulled in to a parking spot right behind Matthew Pierce. Gewilli pulled in right as I was kitting up with Black Sabbath blaring out of his car. Ok Black Sabbath like I had never head it before. It was going to be a good day.

I did a quick warm up lap with Matt. Course was beyond rad. Super fun. Like racing in Cutler. But substitute vicious roots with loam and sand. But same turny woods goodness. How have I not raced in Myles Standish before? Such a great place for a CX race. We got off the course as the 4s were trying to get the hole shot. Got to witness my first Cat 4 bike tosser. Why bike tossers why? Your bike loves you. Why do you hate it so....its not the bikes fault you don't know how to back pedal and just ripped the rear derailler off. Really bro. It wasn't even a good toss. Maybe 2 feet? So we sort of chuckled and went to line up. Then we saw the juniors were starting in front of us. Hahaha. Ok I wasn't actually laughing. But it is what it is. I was just happy to be racing. Juniors go off. Then we go after them like some horde of Visigoths. Not surprisingly we catch them right at the logs. Its actually helping me as its keeping the race all together. I am locked in with Spencer and Grant which is nice. People are taking questionable line choices which is super funny.

We hit the first runnup and I almost blow sky high. But I do pass a couple of people. Doing my best to get up to Spencer and shake off Grant. We get mixed up with some juniors and a few Landry's riders. We get back through the start/finish and I am oddly feeling good. Other than the beast of a runnup this is MY type of course. No high speed grass chicanes just gnar and CX skills in the woods. I get a little gap on Grant. Then pass one Landry's guy on the run up. Settling into a good battle with the other Landry's rider. We come through on lap 2 and I see Utah just shredding. I think to myself I need to get up there and party with Matt. We blast down the loam descent. Swing through the first sand pit. Then I just stack it in the second one. No one's fault but my own. Came in way too hot and tight and got hung up on the turn. But as I go flying through the air I take my bike to my leg like a baseball bat. I didn't really think about it. Just remount and pedal. Turn descend. Hit the long sand pit at warp speed. Get off and OH FUCK. Almost collapse in pain. Literally can't even put any pressure on my right leg. Limp up the runup. Hobble down the other side. Hop up the other side.

Remount and pedal. Right leg doesn't even work. Try and just pedal through it. Losing count of how many people have passed me. Rob Hale starts heckling me severely. He doesn't know how hurt I am so I just grimace and try and say something but can't. Get to the log hop and try and stand and pedal. Pain just shoots right up my leg. Ok I am done. I get off and try and massage it. Nope. The women have now caught me. I just pedal one legged back to the start and roll up to the officials and tell them I am a DNF. Mike came over and was so nice. I just told him what happened and rolled to the car.

Such a bummer. But if you can't walk, pedal or run you can't race. I have ridden home with a broken arm, broken ribs, collarbones, concussions. Leg injuries are different. You just can't do anything. So I got to the car and Gewilli was there. He gave me some great advice and a hug. Live to fight another day. Still one of my favorite courses. And Community Racing, November, Mike and everyone who made it happen deserve high fives! This is a race to build on. It adds so much to the season to have cool races like this so close to Boston. The good news is it was just a stinger. Ice, Traumeel, KT Tape and rest and its manageable. We will see if I can race this weekend. But driving home I thought my season was done.

On another note this is happening:

Yes. That amazing bit of radness is going to be a tshirt! I asked my good friend Stevil if he could do a drawing for a tshirt for the Zank SSCX series. All I asked him was to see if maybe he could do a drawing in the style of Rat Fink. My god he nailed it. Jon Nable did the font wizardry and design. We will be doing pre-orders on this soon! We will be offering two tshirt styles. The one pictured we like to call Orange Jumpsuit. The Petey will be a teal tshirt with black ink. And yes a limited run of hoodies will be black with white ink. If you are interested you know where to find me!