Monday, September 1, 2008

naccc's 2008 race report...

alright kids...this is a race report not an event report. i'll give my thoughts on the madness later. well, let's start from the beginning...i woke up really early. i think it was about 745 or 8am or some sh*t. i was a bit hungover from the brews the night before. no, i didn't make it to the naccc's friday festivities but i still managed to get festive for a different occasion. anyway, i wake up early and shower but jump right back in bed. i can't stay awake and am beginning to regret even considering racing. the lovely miss casual wakes me up at 945am and lets me know thats it's time to man-up and do what i set out to do.

i should have known the race was going to start late. i don't think i have ever attended a messenger event that started on time. no big deal because it provided alot of time for many, including myself, to run the course a few times. warmed up the legs and took mental notes of the check points and the nasty turns. the course was alot more brutal than i expected. if cats that raced had any experience in cross racing then this race was definitely suited for them. me on the other hand...well, let's just say that this past weekend i rode my bike more than i have in the past couple of months combined.

i make another round just to say goodbye to marcus before he leaves to open up shop. when i get there i notice some other cat asking them for a sharpie and he starts to write things on his! why didn't i think of that? i grab another sharpie and write out the course...

I.nside - 2/6/9
M.iddle - 4/5/8/1
O.utside - 7/3

now i know which lanes to take for each of the nine checkpoints...genius!! i stroll to the start/finish and augie gets on the horn to notify that the race will start at was supposed to start at 10(ha!). the time comes up and they ask us to line up. 10 riders go out every ten minutes they yell out. mike mo notifies cats that we have to pick up in the exact order provided in the manifest but we can drop in any order we see fit. the first couple of heats leave and i start inching up...i figure it's better to just get it over with then to prolong the misery.

they call out for the next ten and i immediately make my way through the crowd. i look around and notice we have a whole chicago contingent racing this heat. some heavy hitters if you will but as al put it..."we're not just racing the ten of us". they give us the, i put the dispatch skills to the test. i begin to write up in chronological order which checkpoints to hit when. the only way im going to be able to keep up with cats that actually still messenger is to use my other skills.

the countdown begins... sh*t, am i really going to do th...1. f*ck..."go, go, go!!". i literally run out of breath and i still haven't made it to my first pick up. i roll up to the first pick and already my heart is on fire but it's too late to turn back now. my goal was to try and sorta goal was actually to just finish. anyway, my dispatching was working out. i was hitting the picks and drops in the order i wrote down on the manifest. everything is beginning to flow and then i pull up to check point nine. i take my bag off to grab my package and realize i have dropped the package somewhere through the course...f*ck!! now i have to go all the way around and pick up the package to make the drop. i roll out of the inside lane and into the middle lane and as i pass the start/finish i hear the voices of friends cheering me on while i yell back..."i dropped a package!!". some packages i don't even bother putting in my bag. i roll up a few and put them in my side pocket. i was trying to think of anything to get moving quicker.

pic by steve vance

checkpoint five was wasn't many steps but it was enough to annoy the sh*t out of me. then once you made it to the top you had to free-lock on the other side of a cart that was set up to the east of the check point. once i made it i got all kinds of sh*t from the minnesota twins fan who took her sweet a** time to stamp my manifest because of my cubs shirt. same thing happend at checkpoint 2...damn it! why did i wear this shirt today? checkpoint five treated you like a messenger dealing with building security in chicago. had to show i.d., wait in line, wait for the package to come out, and get yelled at. if your bike touched the tape you had to get out of line and take it off and get back in line. it was madness...especially if many cats showed up to drop or pick at the same time...that line seemed endless.

well, i pull up to the final check point on my manifest and notice i have two packages still in my bag. i know what you cats are thinking...he cheated. nope...i have no idea how that happened. i doubled back for the dropped package so maybe i grabbed that one twice? maybe i grabbed more than one package at another checkpoint? maybe im getting really old? any case i pull up and ask augie if he would like for me to make another round to drop the two in my bag or just call it a day. he says f*ck it and just keep going...! what?! keep going?

mike...yeah, give him the other manifest.! another manifest?! you have to be kiddin...fuck it! im out.

pic by simon...check out his flickr here

...i had no idea i had to do this sh*t again but at this point im hitting a groove. everything but the dropped package was flowing well. sure my legs were hurting but it wasn't messing with me enough to give up. i roll up to the dreaded checkpoint 5 and as i start the motor to roll out i see rene next to me...damn, just like the old days. we're coming up to a turn when...POP!! a f*cking flat! that literally took the air out of me...mentally. i hop off the bike and am ready to give up. i begin to walk the bike and have it in my head to just throw in the towel and walk the bike to the start/finish. as i stroll along i pull up to a shady was hot as hell out. i flip the bike and man-up. gotta fix it at some point anyway and the goal was to finish...i can still make that happen.

i get it done and roll tired and more tired. i feel myself slow down. the legs are beginning to go on me. there's nothing i can do. all i want to do is finish. here it more drop and it's over. i pull up to the start/finish and turn in my manifest praying they don't make me go again. i look down at my forearm and notice the sharpie cheat sheet i had made is almost all gone from the sweat. after going around in circles for over an hour i had memorized what and where checkpoints were.

i pound down gatorade eat some hot-dogs and relax in the shade with friends. im feeling like sh*t and if i don't head home now im going to pass out...literally. i ask mike about the results and he lets me know that they will post them later. i roll out. later in the night i check to see if i qualified...nope. you would think i was bummed but i was thanking God the entire time. the last thing i wanted to do was punish myself all over again. im not saying it wasn't fun but i am saying my body didn't have much fun. i finished with a time of 1:44:54 and the cut off time was...1:27:18. considering my flat and the dropped package i think i did very well but as i very happy they happened cause Lord only knows if i would have made the qualifiers.


Oswald said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That course looks badass! I love the way it forces you to do a lap for almost each checkpoint, and provides plenty of opportunities for taking a wrong turn. And if you miss your turn you have to do the lap again. Awesome.

Did you have to pick up from each numbered checkpoint and drop them at the start or what? said...

i wish we could drop them all at the start/finish...instead, as an example, i picked up from checkpoint 4 but it was going to checkpoint 6 but my next pick up was check point 7. so now i have to i want to loop around and drop and have to go all the way around or pick up and hold two and make another loop and start dropping...ofcourse this decision was made by which lane the drops were and the which lane the third pick was at. i have no idea how many times i went around but i was dead tired by the end. you basically were at every checkpoint 4 times...aaaahahahahaha!!

vxla said...

Hey, congrats on making it through the course...and thanks for posting a copy of the map...i woulda been all dizzy by the end of that! :-)

Anonymous said...

lol it was even harder than i thought then!