Yesterday I decided to kick it up a notch and take the Karate Monkey to ETSU for the now infamous Short Track racing on Wednesday night. For 1 measly dollar you can ride till your heart redlines for 20 minutes or just cruise the course with JC's own "Local Cult Hero" and listen to a story or two or hear him cuss me everytime I pass by. Anyway, back to the KM experiment, with my thumb still on the mend I decided to give it a rest and take my bike that does not have any shifters. I wasn't sure how things would pan out, it's been over a year since I last lined up at a race on the Monkey but I figured Wed. night ST was a good start to get the ball rolling again. On the ride over to JC I kept having this weird experience in my head like someone was speaking to me. I thought at first I hadn't ate enough and my sugar had dropped but then I decided it was just my conscience speaking out. A voice kept repeating "I will dominate the field tonight at ST." "I will dominate the field tonight At ST." It made driving really hard and I think Melinda thought I was crazy. As I stepped out of the truck I went around to the back and started unloading my bike. It was then that I realized it was not my conscience but the Karate Monkey speaking to me telepathically. It was planning to win. I had a feeling I my legs weren't up for the challenge but I decided to lay down some mind games and let it be known to my friends that they might as well go home. I was taking home the funny drink in a tall can that makes you stagger.
I lined up with a good sized crowd some of who I knew, some of who I didn't and some of who I knew were going to make us all look slow. Josh yelled "GO" and we were off with me leading the crowd. That was a first for me but unfortunately that lead didn't last as Ben passed me at the halfway point on his new CX bike. Three quarters of the way I was passed again. I really didn't take off with a ridiculous pace like I've seen the past few races in fact I lead out with the pace I planned to keep the whole race making myself as wide as possible in an effort to keep things in check. I held onto 3rd for a little longer than I thought I would with the fast crowd that had decided to show last night but I never got passed by another singlespeed rider. I felt like my pulse was going to burst a vein in my neck and I started standing up to mash the pedals earlier and earlier on the climbs. That's what an SS'er does instead of down shifting to an easier gear. The cool thing about a singlespeed is that while you may be standing a little earlier, the fact that you have no gear to make the effort easier you have to maintain somewhat of a faster pace than you would if you had gears to wuss out with. I still managed to complete 13 laps, same as last week, 1 up from my previous runs but it hurt a lot worse. I think I'll be back next time with the KM on hand.
The crowd on Wed. night varies every time I show bringing out different riders every week. I have yet to see the heavy hitters that originally dominated the field at the beginning of the summer. I guess they either have better things to do or they're no longer up to the challenge. With only a $1 entry fee how can you pass the chance not to show. Who cares there is no fancy podium, prizes or a watered down pasta dinner. That's not what draws the crowd. We need more events like this in our area. It's all about the fun of racing with your friends.
I've been harassing Fat Tony to make an appearance, ST is right up his alley. He likes to go out really hard at the beginning and fizzle out before the race is over. I figure since the race is only 20 minutes plus 2 laps he might just have what it takes to pull off a win. He said he had a package to deliver in JC last night, no doubt it was something sketchy. He never showed by race time and after it was over I checked my phone to see he'd left a message at 7:25 that he was running late, you think?
The new NTMBA T-shirts were in and I had brought them to the race to sell a few. After the race I had a line of folks standing at my rear door in the parking lot waiting to get their hands on the goods. I didn't think anything of it but I did notice an ETSU patrol car pass by on the road eyeing us as if I were a drug dealer selling out of the trunk. After everyone got they're shirts Melinda and I hit the road only to get pulled over by ETSU security just before we crossed the boundary line of ETSU's property. The rent a cop insisted on searching the truck and I told he was welcome to but he might regret it when he starts digging through my pile of sweaty stinky lycra. I don't think he found what he was looking for but did ask to if he could buy one of the really cool NTMBA T-shirts I had for sale. I told him no for harassing me and got out of there before he decided to haul me in for further questioning.