So basically I get to this point in the season and start panicking. I feel slow. I feel like my bike is too big. I feel weak. I’ve been to the track twice and pretty much got lit up both times. I feel like everyone around me is getting stronger and faster and I’m in a terminal spiral of suck. I’m eating better, eating less, drinking hardly any booze at all, and all it’s doing is screwing me over. I’m literally within days of stripping my S-Works frame bare and reinstalling everything on the older, smaller Trek frame that I rode all last year in some last ditch desperation attempt at getting back to last year’s form.
So I do Crank the Kanc on Saturday. A solid 22 mile uphill time trial effort. A few days later, I hit the weights. I put some of the lightest wheels on the market on my bike. Swap the tires. I swap out my insoles for these fancy-pants ones that Todd sold me last year. Instead of double-caffeine bowel grinder powergel, I go for run of the mill Clif vanilla. And some Accelerade rep gives me a little cup of their nasty tasting drink before the event. And I wear my neon green wifebeater. And the night before I got barely any sleep. This is precisely the magic formula for turning the corner and getting back into the form of yesteryear. I rode like half a champion and it is all because of this simple collection of nine things.
We get to the second hill on lap 2. Things are awesome. Tim and are cruising, and I’m even plotting another dash for points. The next thing I know, some guy is apologizing and people are just hitting the deck. Apparently greybrown jersey guy decided for some unknown and impossibly insane reason to hit his brakes as the pack was charging uphill. Thats a really good idea if you’re looking to just wipe people out, and it definitely worked.
The funny thing about people piling up in front of you in the pack is that you’re screwed. And going uphill, you’re extra screwed because you have to kill all of your momentum to avoid running people over, but then have no speed at all to cut around the pileup. And you can’t cut around the pileup anyway because you’ll end up screwing someone directly next to you over and probably cause another wreck. So basically you’re screwed. You have to crash and you have no choice.
So I crashed. I ran over some dude in a black jersey and maybe his wheel and just fell over in a heap of bodies and bikes. I’m flat on my back staring into the sky, and all I can see is my bike which doesn’t make any sense until I realize that my right foot never unclipped and my bike is sitting on its back wheel with the front wheel in the air. Tim recovers and I ask him to politely unplug me from my bike. I stand up and immediately want to puke. Then I remembered we were racing and got back on my bike and ended up doing really well the end.