Robert Ray, John Tietz, Mark Brooke, Landen Beckner, Byron DeFord, Kevin Downs, Steve Creigh, Randall Greene and myself (did I forget anyone?…apologies if I did)
So there I was (oh wait that’s Byron’s line)….I tried to tell the group that I am really no good at these types of things but the vote was made while I was still racing to Spring Meadow hoping to make the ride before it rolled out of the parking lot….seemed like old times. I’m late. It was to really seem like old times. Several years ago, when I first started doing these Hell Rides…the warm up…well it was my hell. I was catapulted back in time Tuesday night. Was it the track workout, the 12 miles I ran on Friday, no matter…I was sucking wind and could not pull through and that old familiar thought crept into my head “can’t we slow down, pleeeeaaassseee? what’s gonna happen to me when we cross the second set of tracks?” There was a brisk northeast wind on the warm-up which means nothing on what to expect later. There always seems to be this little lull in the tempo when we cross those second set of tracks, like everyone pauses for a brief moment, all with the same thought “whose goin’ first and how hard are they gonna make it on me?”.
Leg 1…The sound of gears shifting, the tempo quickens and everyone is quick to stick to a wheel. Kelly Parsley’s words echoed in my head “Bleed from your eyeballs to stay on that wheel!” We pop over the rise and head down the other side for a brief catch of our breath and few heart beats of recovery. But not for long. Just as we approached the base of the climb I lost contact with Randall, Mark, and John as my legs would not pay attention to what my head was saying to them. At the same time, Robert and Landen popped off the front and stayed there until the finish….Landen, Robert, Mark, John
Leg 2…I always love this leg with the rollers. But tonight the wind was cruel and no one wanted the front. We stayed bunched up until then end right before the big dip. John attacks. No one responds. It’s still a long way to go in this wind to the finish. But commendable…attack when it’s hard they say. Demoralize the competition. Nice try. Reeled in and swallowed up. Mark, Robert, Landen…
Leg 3….We almost had a tail wind as we left Silver City, more of a northwest wind that somewhere lost its mind and I am not sure what it became…but it was howling.
Again we stayed bunched up until the end….ok I should have wrote this sooner because it slips my mind what happened next. I think Mark attacked, Randal went, Robert went, I was frantically looking for a wheel that wouldn’t leave me in the dust, but no cigar…..I forgot the placing here. Mark and Robert were there…apologies.
We rode down the other side to return via Applegate and Green Meadow….ah, finally that coveted tailwind all the way back to town. I reflect once AGAIN, how I never regret going on Hell Ride! Nice ridin’ and racin’ everyone. Until next week.
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