Thursday, September 18, 2008


I got back to my mountain biking ways a couple of weekends ago at the Palos Meltdown out in the forest preserves west of town on top of the Manhattan Project detritus. Hosted by CAMBR, the great guys who keep Palos well-kept, and a shop called Richard's Bicycles out in Palos Heights. I haven't raced mtb in 4 years, so I went out to try and get back into the groove of mtb racing, which pretty much means dealing with pain for the duration of the race. At the sport class call-up I Lined up in front sporting my trusty Schlitz jersey, sprinted like hell to get into the single track in 5th position, and then settled in to dealing with the pain for the next 1.25 hours. Passed a couple of guys and was rolling with XXX'er Greg Heck (who's hosting the Jackson Park X race this Sunday) and we worked our way through the 20-29 field that had started 2 minutes ahead. He was on a rigid 29'er which turned out to be a great choice for this course. On the big grass sections he steadily pulled away and I dug deep to catch him again on the technical backside. Unfortunately, as soon as I made contact cramps set in, and it was all damage control until the finish. I held off a hard-charging Guinness rider and ended up with 2nd place in the 30-39 age goup - not bad for the first race back. I rolled around easy to get the cramps out, congratulated the other guys from my mtb posse and promptly went to get a hamburger and coke with my wife. I was gone eating when they did the awards ceremony, but when I got back they took my picture alone on the podium (above). Kinda like the Flemish saying, "no one else in the picture"... but not really. Nice crowd, great promoters, good times. 

No comments: