So, just let me preface this post by saying the inspiration came from a satirical article in a recent issue of The New Yorker called "Ask the Jihadist" by Andy Borowitz. In no way am I really suggesting that terrorists or war are good. M'kay. Moving along...
We (D, A, J and me) arrived at Hurkey Creek on Sunday morning so that the boys could race Super D, but when we got there at 7:30 am, um, virtually nobody else was there. A quick check with the volunteers gave us the answer: the race was cancelled. The race director got taken to the hospital the previous night. No dice.
We had still planned on riding at Vail later in the afternoon, but c'mon...we had to make the drive up there worth something!
Allison had to return the camera battery she charged for Michael, so we swung by to say hello. We found Michael happily making coffee, and Heidi was out making a phone call. (By the way...Heidi and Michael are two of the coolest, nicest, funniest people I have had the pleasure of meeting through mountain biking.)
See, the thing is, that Michael always gets jokes about being a terrorist because of his hirsute face and dark hair (though I don't really see it). We also happened to be talking about the article in The New Yorker. And, we also happened to be joking about they guys killing themselves to make it to the bottom of the Super D course when the idea was born: the race would be re-named the Suicide D.
We all decided to ride up the course and let the boys have at it. The rules were pretty simple: first guy to the bottom wins. (Though somehow, finding the "bottom" proved to be trickier than originally thought!)
Heidi quickly produced some improvised trophies: pine cones of various sizes and states of decrepitness (the prettiest and nicest for 1st, of course) and also some random personal grooming products (mini soap or moisturizing shampoo packet anyone?). There was even a podium of rocks to stand on for the awards ceremony.
Pine Cone Awards, 1st and 2nd place
Of course, what rumble is complete without intimidating-looking pictures of the entrants, all giving their best bomber-I'm-gonna-get-you faces:
In this corner, we have Dan "the Pacifist" Mc.
And in this corner, Justin "the Mannimal" M.
And in the last corner, Michael "Scary Beard" D. (with his sissy pink detonator)
After much posturing and ego-stroking (j/k) we were off and riding up Keen Camp. I figure that the best thing for me to do is to climb the damn thing until it gets easier, which it did today. Since we are planning to do the 24 hr race in September, I know it's good practice. I felt much better in terms of my breathing on the way up, though my lungs were still heavy and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest.
A & J on Keen Camp
I pedaled across the meadow in a higher gear than in the race and didn't rest once I got up to May Valley Road. Michael told me to go chase down Heidi, who had taken off ahead of the crew (since she would be going for a few days without riding, she wanted to get in a good strong effort). I caught up to her and was getting some advice about climbing, when I realized that she was pretty quickly pulling away from me.
What posing for a photog will do
I pushed hard up MVR and wanted to see if spinning in an easier gear would help...I think it did, somewhat.
At this point, we tried to figure out the exact location of the Suicide D start...it was debated back and forth for a few minutes. A rider from Don's Bikes came by and the guys' three-some inadvertently became a four-some. Hmm.
Heidi, Allison, and I took off meanwhile down Tres Hombres Uno to scope out and set up our photo posts...we'd be doing trail paparazzi duty today while the boys duked it out. We left Heidi on Tres Hombres, me on Exfoliator, and Allison at the bottom of Coyote Run.
Me taking a picture of Allison who is taking a picture of Heidi taking a picture of Allison, Tres Hombres Uno
I waited for what seemed like a long time and had numerous false-starts with other riders coming down the trail. Some of them were scaring me with their two-wheel-sliding-full-fist-braking! I scoped my vantage point...I was lying down in a rut on the side of the trail, getting ready to let the rapid fire setting on the camera do its thing.
But then, I waited more and more. And more. And the camera kept shutting off.
So, when Michael busted around the corner and threw up a cloud of dust to confuse Justin, I'm pretty sure I did the whole "Oh shit!" thing.
I was able to snap another single photo of Justin, who was right on Michael's heels.
Don's Bikes dude came through next and then a few minutes later, Dan.
Don's Bikes dude
I asked if he was okay, and he said yes. Turns out later he crashed and then couldn't get clipped back in (cleat loosened up). He technically finished 4th but the Don's Bikes dude didn't know there were awards (duh! :) ) so Dan got 3rd by default. Justin and Michael duked it out, but technically Michael pulled out the win! Whew!
mechmann, excited by his 2nd place pinecone and moisturizing shampoo packet
The awards were distribute with much fanfare and adoration from the crowd. The first and last running of the Su(icide) D was over...get it? Oh, nevermind! It was a huge success!
Underground Super D podium
Heidi made us cute hors d'oeuvres and yummy sandwiches of PB2 & J. Thank you!!!
The best darn PB, B, & J sandwich ever!!
We soon departed and left for Vail Lake and double sessions......