things certainly went better this weekend on the mountain bike. it was HOT with a capital HOT. i think it was 95-ish degrees at the start. and that doesn't count the heat that the mosquitoes were putting out, either. there was talk that promoter matt james was carried off by a cloud of them, but i can say with certainty that he was at the finish line handing out ice.
the start was all st. louis...fast and a bit chaotic. this time, it wasn't because of me. i sat back until we dove down the super fun downhill that meets up with the actual course. after that, i was doing a fairly good job of following wheels. that was harder than it sounds, as everyone seemed to have forgotten about the heat and the 2+ hour race we were supposed to be doing.
the usual suspects were making life rough. schottler and chris ploch lead the charge with the incredible john matthews just behind. i struggled a bit in the single track to stay connected, with none other than dave breslin and super youngster devin clark buzzing my tire. i was so pumped at this point. it was incredible to be swapping pulls with these guys on the gravel. schottler and ploch were gone by this time, and the heat took it's toll. dave fell off from the group. that was very surprising. next, matthews fell off. wow. so it was devin and i left to fight for third.
devin was winning the battle. strangely enough, even though he's the crit rouleur extraordinaire, i would make up ground on the gravel and he would put time in me on the single track. curse getting old!! about a 1/3 of the way into the last lap, he had 20 seconds on me. i was trying to calculate how much time i could make back on the last section of gravel when i came around to corner to find him flipping the bike upside down to fix a flat! i'm thinking that while i was calculating catching him, he was calculating my age versus his age and came to the conclusion that i'm old enough to be his daddy. that forced him to acquiesce to the father's day clause.
i suffered like a pig in the heat, but it gave me third overall. i didn't stick around to find out how much i had been pummeled by the winners. the finish line guys gave me my payout and i bugged (like that?) out of there.
i'm still hot, and it's 8:38pm as i write this. that is after a trip to the pool and a father's day dinner at bandanna's.