Some weekends are just not meant to be…
There seems to have been a black cloud hanging over me since the Powderhorn race, and it followed me to Trinidad. Right after the start of practice, I managed to hit a cholla cactus with my left forearm. I don’t even remember seeing the thing – all thought of was the scene from Forrest Gump when he gets shot in the buttocks and yells “Somethin’ bit me!!” Shortly afterward, I came over a blind rise and crashed into a rocky drainage, mangling my bike and my right leg. Check out the video where I get ejected – woooo hoooo! You can’t tell in the video, but the drainage was literally 8-10 feet deep.
Several of us tried straightening the twisted subframe with no luck. After giving up trying to bend it back, I ended up shimming the exhaust with a nut – just enough to keep it from hitting the rear tire.
I decided to try and race on Sunday. I’m not gonna lie – my leg was pretty sore and it was tough to stand up and down on the bike. I thought if I could at least finish and get some points, it would make it worth the trip out. I got a really bad start but made several passes in the first straight, only to dump the bike in the first corner, then stalling it right after getting it picked up. Not good. The dust was horrible. Similar to Monticello, only with the added bonus of widow-maker rocks lurking all over the course along with their evil cholla cousins quietly waiting in the wings.
Then I managed to hook my rear brake pedal on a pine sapling, almost ripping it right off. This pic is AFTER I managed to lay the bike on the ground and kick/stomp it back in to something useful. It bothered me the entire race, not having a rear brake in the correct place.
If that wasn’t enough, I pitted at the end of lap 5 and my pit guy managed to dump gas all over my lap – soaking the boys. It took about a quarter lap before the burning really set in. Finally it got so bad I had to pull over and try to get my pants undone. I’m not sure what I was trying to do… I thought if I could get some air going down there it would help cool things off a bit. No luck… I just had to zip up and keep pushing through. I’m not sure if I was ever so happy to see the checkered flag and the end of a race.
All in all I was happy I pushed through and didn’t pack up and go home. Each race is a learning experience, and at some point you’re going to get tested. I just hope the rest of the season gets a little easier and at least slightly less painful.
Happy trails – Chris