So there are only three pictures, but when you only race 20 minutes of a 28 mile race, you don't get many pictures!
To truly test the waters of a relationship, one must bring his girlfriend to a bike race, give her a water bottle or two, and say, "stand here, I'll be back in an hour, give me the bottle when I ride by." It never occurred to me though, what if I were raptured during the race? Would she still wait around, or would she finally give up and head home? She doesn't know how to drive my manual transmission car so I guess she'd find another single, spandex-wearing racer to taker her home. It certainly wouldn't be hard to find an available male at a bike race. At any rate, I gave Janie the International Race Team cooler, pointed her to the feed zone and told her to check out the downhill on the first lap since I wouldn't need a feed anyway. She also brought her gold cape and realized that the cheering at the race was pretty lame so she wanted to run around and chase the racers. Fair enough, mountain biking could definitely use some gold capes.
The beginning is pretty much boiler plate: the start hurt, a few minutes elapsed, I took one gel, and focused on the skinny dude in spandex in front of me. But, then, all of a sudden I was flying through the air. Hmmm, that's funny, I sure didn't see the rock that my pedal apparently just slammed in a successful attempt to stop my bike's forward motion but not that of my body. Sure the rapture was supposed to happen at 6 pm last night, but there is a 6 month window. Maybe this is it, maybe this will be glorious....bam. Nope, ow, that hurt. It wasn't my time yet. Blood was spilled, skin was torn, a bike seat mangled, and a race ended.
Janie was still waiting on the course, and while she wasn't surprised the sport women had already gone by but not her boyfriend, she figured maybe she missed me. She had begun moving in on a handsome photographer to hedge her bets in case she did need a ride home, but when I arrived she was kind enough to carry my broken seat and walk back to the finish line. Using her google machine she tracked down a hospital, she made me an ice pak, and would have given me a lolly pop had one been available. We spent the rest of the evening getting a couple stitches in my knee and eating really good food at a local brew-pub in Frederick, Maryland.
Still I'm really excited to be racing again, and I'll test the waters in two weeks at the Hoo-Ha in Harrisonburg, VA. To steal Walt's words, "I hope all my idiot friends" in Colorado and elsewhere are all doing well. Hang in there for the next 6 months...