Monday, June 22, 2009

Easy Bake Oven

I said in my last post that the Dauset course suited my strengths, and that I hoped to do well. What I should have said was, "Stay tuned for tales of Bigworm's tour of Dauset's Outdoor Easy Bake Oven!".

Notice the bright shiny exterior with large, easy to read control knobs.

As usual, I was having a blast preriding the course. The familiar lines were there, as a large part of the course was run in my preferred direction. It was a little dry, but certainly not out of control dusty. I drank a ton of water on the way up, and more during my ride, and still more afterwards and into the night. This little heat wave of ours is pervasive, and I didn't want to blow it.

This year's easy bake oven is the easiest to operate, yet.

Come race morning, I lined up and noticed just two other guys on the line with me. One of which I beat at Yargo, earlier this year. The other was my buddy Junkman, who dropped me as I imploded on the 2nd lap at Yargo. I couldn't wait for the rematch. I was completely blasted going into Yargo, so I knew I had a better chance against him this time.

Just combine all of the easy to find ingredients, per your recipes directions, set the timer and temp, and you're all set.

The whistle blew, and I made a quick decision to lead this one out. I usually sit in and stick to my plan, but my excitement at a true shot at the top step, sent me on a New Plan. I wanted to be able to flow the singletrack at my pace, so I grabbed the hole shot, and started to settle in. On the downhills, the gap would open. On the climbs I would try to chill a little, and they would come back. I went too easy at BUMP, so I decided to push a little this time. I wanted to be alone, so I could relax.

Keep an eye on your cooking, to be sure all is going well. Smell that tasty goodness, as your Easy Bake Oven does all the work for you! Peek through the Easy View Window, to see your treats turn a delectable golden brown!

About halfway through the lap, Krystal(A guy in my class is riding for Team Krystal Burger. A clydesdale. Quite apropos, huh.) asks how I'm doing. Now I've spent this whole race so far, trying to figure out how to unload these guys, without blowing sky high. I've been running a little harder than I should, but if I can just break their resolve... Now how broken is this guy asking if I'm alright. I let him by, and he assures me he's not going any harder, just get on his wheel. Yeah, you can imagine my surprise when that didn't work out. I kept telling myself that the last time we raced, he cracked and I caught him, so just keep it steady, and hopefully history will repeat itself.

Please don't allow children to use the Easy Bake Oven unsupervised. Items left in the Easy bake Oven for too long could cause a fire hazard.

Now it's just me and Junkman. He's slowly gaining, as I try to keep my pace under control. No sweat, well, actually a lot of sweat. It was hot out there. At the exit of the Huff-n-Puff section of the trail, the promoter has provided a couple of guys with coolers to pour cold water on your back. That water was welcome, but freezing! Eventually, Junkman passes me on a downhill. This worries me a little. Like I mentioned in the Yargo post, he's got skill, so I don't want to let him get away. I sit on his wheel, and we carried on a conversation, while I secretly plotted my 2nd lap tactics. Did I tell you it was hot out here. Somewhere in the last couple of miles of that lap, Junkman got a small gap. How the hell did that happen?

Seriously folks, we here at Dauset's Easy Bake Oven are deadly serious about keeping children and idiots from using the Easy Bake Oven unsupervised. Otherwise there will be a big ass fire, and all your culinary hopes and dreams will go up in smoke.

As Junkman and I started the last lap, he had about 10 seconds on me, but by the time we got a mile in, I'm pretty sure he had over a minute. The heat became suffocating. About ten minutes later, I took a sip from my bottle, and downed nearly half the bottle easily. Oh oh, that's not a good sign. When you can drink half of a 24 ounce bottle in one gulp, and still feel parched, the damage is done! I began to worry about having enough water to finish the last 6 miles. I just hoped that the water dousers at Huff-n-Puff were still there. My water bottle had been completely dry for 10 minutes by the time I reached the piece of trail where they had been earlier. Nobody was in sight, though. I was stoked to see the cooler was still there! I opened the 1st, and there was 3 bags of ice and a little water in the bottom. I hoisted the cooler to the table and let the trickle fill my bottle. I went to another cooler, and there was about 2 inches of ice and water in the bottom. I grabbed a cup off the ground, cleaned it on my jersey, and scooped and drank until the freezing temps were cramping my throat and stomach. Oh well, my race is over, but I am riding Dauset. I've got a full bottle so let's just finish this out. All power was gone. I rode slowly, but I rode. The heat was just out of control. My internal temps were through the roof. At least the fresh water had gotten rid of the chill bumps that had covered most of my body earlier.

We warned you there would be a fire. All warranty claims must be filed in triplicate with our service department and attorney's office. Expect a reply within 1-2 years.

I blew it. Derwood and Big Jim Slade were about a 1/4 mile from the finish on the trail, walking back to look for me. I was glad to see them, and trust me, they had jokes! I lost nearly 20 minutes on that 2nd lap, all because I had to push too hard. In that heat, I should have backed it down a notch, not pushed it up a notch. The carrot of the W was just too much for my weak ass willpower. So be it. I'm 39 and still learning my lessons.

I was sad to hear that Mingo didn't enjoy the trail. I have not taken anyone there yet, that didn't like it. I guess it just didn't fit his style. Or, maybe he just had a rough day. Son of Mingo did his 1st Big Guy race. He's 10 with a racing age of 11, so he did the 11-14 juniors race. That meant a full lap of the 9 mile course. No kiddie loop this time. I talked to him before the race, and he was nervous. I asked what worried him the most, and he just shrugged. I know what he means. I've done a million of these, and I still get so anxious before the start. Once the whistle sounds, it all blows away, and you get to work. But the anticipation, that's the killer. He finished the race, and he says he was glad to not be last. I heard his Mom was a nervous wreck, as Mom's tend to be when their offspring jump to the next level. He said he didn't want to ever do that again, and he may stick by that claim. Either way, it was a big accomplishment, and I hope he hangs on to that, more than the hurt and fear.

What a trip. We had a great time hanging with all the family members who made the journey this time. Usually it's just the guys who are racing. This trip we had Mingo's entire family, Derwood's family, my Better Half, and my little brother. Everyone seemed to be smiling alot, so I guess I wasn't the only one enjoying the vibe. I even saw a big grin on Big Jim Slade's mug. Honey, Greatness is Home!


juancho said...

There's a little Worm? Scary.

Everyone one of these race reports confirms my commitment to never get within 100 miles of one.

BIGWORM said...

They are definitely tough, and I'm displaying an unprecedented level of "suck" this year! But I still enjoy the show. It's hard to explain. I'm planning to finish out the GA series, and then get back to riding for riding's sake. I need to see some new vistas, and revisit some I've seen before. I suppose that's another positive about these races. I'm seeing a lot of trail systems I otherwise, probably never would have ridden.

BIG JIM said...

Nice recap Worm. I don't think it was the trail Mingo didn't like, just the race conditions that day. I can't wait to get back up there in the fall.

Greatness out.

Mingo said...

It was way hard. Big Jim hit the mark, the trail is great, the race conditions, not so great. I’d have more fun there on a regular ride I’m sure. It always feels good to ride well, finish the race a couple notches up, feeling that much stronger. Making that stop at DQ on the way home all the sweeter. Although I wouldn’t start the race looking for it, there is a place in my head worth visiting when things get that hard. As slow as I felt, as slow as I was, it was good to be there.

It was good to be there with my and the other families. I just asked Mini Mingo if he wanted to go to another race, with some hesitation he asked if it was more difficult than Dauset. I said no, he said yes. He learns a lot from the races, he learns a lot from watching, listening to and talking with each of you. Thanks for engaging him in conversation.

I get the no race thing. My first mountain bike was a road bike (a motobacon) the second a Ross Cruiser, the third a Specialized Stump Jumper Sport. Our riding routes were based on topo maps, aerial photos and the opportunity for adventure, speed was not a factor. Discovering new places to ride, finding our way by feel and flashlights often lead to the underlying motivation for all rides. Head time. Through the intensity of a race, the uncertainty of unknown lands or the roll along a familiar trail, the destination is the same.

bikechain said...

I love this blog, I love racing. I'm cursed...