Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lil Ball's Dirty 30

Lil Ball is prone to these moments of enthusiasm and motivation. Once in awhile the stars align, and he has a good idea, one worthy of the effort it takes to bring it to fruition. Thus time, it is the Dirty 30. Basically, this is a 30 minute dirt crit, or short track race. Keeping it grassroots, with no classes or division, it's just simple enough to attract folks to the show.

About a dozen contestants showed for this inaugural race. The crowd spanned the gamut, with riders as old school as myself, to the latest generation of juniors. Lil Ball showed everyone around the course, for a lap or two of warmup.Having had my body revolt against the heat the day before, I opted to handle the start, finish, and timing duties.

They were off with a bang, and young Graham Gillis proceeded to begin issuing the spankings he'd promised the field, in the parking lot earlier. Unfortunately for the younger Gillis, his body was soon to leave him hanging, much like mine did me the day before. His 1st lap pace was blistering, but soon enough, a group formed around the rabbit. A few laps later, the rabbit was gone again, only out the back this time.

Ricky Silk went to the front, and began dishing out the hard laps, in typical Silk fashion, making it look effortless. I know he hurts, but he never shows it. His poker face is formidable. As the laps ticked down, he lapped the entire field.

John A. threw down an excellent effort, riding an uncontested 2nd to Silk. John impressed me, keeping many of the middle laps right on time with Silk's pace, no easy feat!

Longtime Tallahassee stalwarts, Tom Gillis and Zach Finn teamed up in the their efforts, which lead to a lot of debate for those of us on the sidelines. Tom has a healthy sprint from his road experience, and Zach is a super talented mountain bike racer. Zach was apparently concerned with the senior Gillis' sprint, too, and proceeded to unload him in the closing laps, to avoid the situation entirely, and wrap up 3rd.

StorminNorman passed Jeff M in the early laps, and in the confusion, I thought he had nearly lapped Jeff. I called StorminNorman as 5th and Jeff as 6th, only to be corrected after the fact. Turns out, Jeff rallied, and passed Norman back. As various folks got lapped, dropped out, reentered, etc, I lost track. That's what's cool about these small local events, everyone looks out for one another, Mr Norman corrected my mistake, and I owed Jeff an apology.

Our last finisher, and the guy I was most proud of, was StorminNorman's son, Blake. He stomped big gears at the urging of myself and Wrecking Ball, early in the race. But the efforts caught up with him. I even joked at one point, about blowing him up, and unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. I think that in the excitement, WB and I were simply a little too encouraging. Blake held tough, grabbed the wheels we instructed him to grab, and held each one as long as he could. He never gave up, and never once complained. Even at the finish, he still found the juice to rise from the saddle, and hammer it home. It's gonna be fun watching this one rise through the ranks.

All in all, it was a cool event. Folks were stoked, and I had a blast watching and cheering. A crew of us finished it off with a stack of tacos at Los Amigos, where once again, Blake got grilled about his birdish eating habits. If he's not careful, he's gonna grow up to look like Silk! Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.


Human Wrecking Ball said...

Awesome pics, awesome post. I really want to see if I can finish one. I'd be happy to be last if I finished.

Treeman said...

In all the fun I forgot to thank you for scoring. Blake said he felt like he had run an XC race.

BIGWORM said...

No sweat, Treeman!

In all honesty, 35 minutes isn't too far off his normal race times, is it? Besides, the shorter the race, the more intense the pace. Ultimately, you get the work in, with either type.