Lost: The ability to pedal hard

Excuses at the top, race reports at the bottom!

It’s hard to motivate and do a blog post when things aren’t going the way that you’d thought they would. After an amazing Alpenrose experience I found myself in a world of hurt. The day after, actually the entire week, I had a solid black eye and abrasions on my face. At work customers were constantly asking if my head was ok.

“Yeah” my head is fine, I would say, “but I can barely move my neck, arms and back.”

What followed the statement was a poor excuse for the robot dance that I so love to do at parties. I would rotate my head, arms and torso about 5 degrees in any direction. Not good. I couldn’t lift bikes to put them on hooks and I generally was just feeling sorry for myself as I struggled through my Monday and Tuesday work shifts.

When my days off rolled around, I had made the decision that it would be a rest week on the bike, since the thought of holding myself up with my battered limbs on the handlebars, was far from appealing. Instead I set off to drink coffee and write. On Thursday I had a massage scheduled that I tried to push back to no avail. I had spent the morning typing away and really did need to get out on my bike, so I canceled the massage. That proved to be a mistake.

Following a disappointing Rainier Cross Crusade I realized that maybe my body was more messed up than I thought. I did a warm up lap and my back was hurting. I didn’t think too much of it other than the fact that it had never happened. My back starts to feel the races, but usually not until the end. During the race I had nothing. I felt like I could barely pedal hard and I couldn’t stand up to accelerate. My back was screaming at me the whole time and it took its anger out on my legs by shutting down.

That race hurt, but at least my curl stayed in place. Photo: Dave Roth

After the race I came to terms with the fact that, for the first time ever, a crash had taken a major toll on my body. The following week I made it a priority to keep my massage appointment with Amber. She went over my back extensively and found that my right side was wrecked from my neck down. I even had a few ribs out of whack! Nice!

A few races later and a visit to Rene at Rebound Physical Therapy has me feeling much better, but not completely fixed. My neck is still feeling the effects of whiplash and certain movements remind me that my ribs are still tender. Rene did some EMS on my back, manipulated me, had me do some pelvic bone realignment and diaphragm breathing exercises. Was this PT or a bad date???? Ah, I digress.

Following Rainier, Sherwood also disappointed, but by PIR (another favorite) the legs and back were coming around. I even managed to lead most of the first lap, but when the heads of state decided it was time to go, I couldn’t follow.

Alpenrose. Damn you Alpenrose! You are so dear to me and my summer was spent thinking of how I was ready to rekindle our romance for another year. You lifted me up for a brief moment and when I wasn’t paying attention, you reminded me of your power by striking me down! Now you linger in my mind constantly reminding me of your presence like the ex girl friend that all your friends like more than they like you! I guess Poison said it best.

Here are some quick race recaps from the middle of the season.

Heiser Farms:

Hey Portland cross racers. Don’t you think it’s time you drove your car 45min and supported some races that aren’t the Cross Crusade? I mean, seriously. Get in your fucking car and race some sweet courses on a Saturday. If you think you’ll miss the circus atmosphere of the Crusade, don’t worry. There’s a pumpkin cannon and they shoot cars with it. Yes, beer too.

Oh yeah, there was mud. Too much for me to want to ride hard. Good thing my freewheel broke. I think I got off easy though, as some broke both their “A” and “B” bikes.

I think I got off lucky with just a broken free hub body.

Rainier:

My back hurts. Can’t really hide on this course, but there’s a sweet downhill to shred. Good start up the hill…there goes the top 10. Huh, I’ve got no punch. What a difference a week makes. This new loop is all punch. See previous sentence.

Shit, here comes Tuckerman! Gotta ride the last lap hard. 14th.

Sherwood:

Trebon, Shep, Babs, Tonkin, Skerrit, Molly. Dang. Hot, dry, fast. Holly shit, these tires are getting pushed to their limits on these corners. Bah! I nutted myself on a remount. 2 laps of stomach pain. One lap of excruciating ear pain caused by a bell in my face up the hill. I really did try to pick up a dollar, but no luck. Glad I spent the whole race with my skin suit unzipped to my belly button. Pulled without being lapped and charging for the top 10. Oh well. 12th.

PIR:

Wet. Cold. Muddy. Fuck yeah! Whistle, pedal, pedal, pedal. I’m in the lead. I didn’t want to start this hard. Oh well. There goes Shep. There goes Skerrit. Thompson, Sheagly, Luelling…Fuck! My legs don’t like running today. Damn you Bradway why are you falling in front of me???? Oops, I just fell in front of Heather Clark in the same spot. I feel dumb. Hard last lap charge. I have more energy than I thought. Dang. 11th, but I could spit on 8th…I tossed my favorite glasses (blue Smith Pivlocks) and forgot until I was ½ way back to Bend. Did you pick them up for me? Don’t tell me to use fucking croakies…although I appreciate your opinion.

These frames w/clear lenses...anyone???

Thanks for reading!

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