The Waffle House Chronicles...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bike racing? More like adventure racing. So Sunday was the day of my least favorite race, The Sunburst Showdown at Kewaskum. Jess and I seriously debated if we should even go or not. Jess checked the radar and said, oh yeah, it looks clear enough, the storm will miss Kewaskum so we headed out. We picked Shelley up and went on our way! Looked cool and cloudy so if the rain held out, the weather would be perfect. After an hour and a half of talking and/or complaining about work we arrived!

I was hoping to have a good day. I cleaned and fixed my bike up the day before, I was well rested and coming off a great race at Chequamagon and the amount of racers seemed to be only about half of a normal race. The Sunburst Showdown is usually held in August and it usually is 90+ degrees so it was a welcome change. After my normal routine of warming up, chatting with Kenny, Garett and all the usuals we were lined up.

From the goooooo…… my legs weren’t ready. But Kewaskum is wide open so I could pass later. Unfortunately they ran the course a bit different and we got jammed up in the first singletrack and since I was near the back I lost many seconds (probably almost a minute in a 3 minute span to the leaders. That was the closest I would be to the leaders all day. We get out to the open field and all of a sudden…downpour! Uh oh, this race is all on dirt and grass, dirt and grass+rain = slow and sloppy mountain biking/hiking. It poured most of the rest of the race and I even saw a lot of lightening and a few large claps of thunder…scary!!! I made it to the base of the climb, second to last in the wave. I decided then that this was my best shot to make up spots so I went for it. I passed 5 people in my wave (2 in my age) and was one of few people to make it to the top still on my bike. That was the highlight of the day, followed by 2 more laps of low-lights. Once we got to the top field I was fighting my bike and getting mud in my eyes. Wasn’t fun. I finally realized that my rear derailleur was so gunked up my pulleys didn’t want to spin so my crank would freeze up about every three pedal strokes. I am not a very good bike mechanic. I first thought that if I switched it to my small front ring and big rear ring that I wouldn’t put as much torque on the system and it would work better. Later while thinking more while walking my bike, I decided I had to use my big ring. Big ring on the front and rear was the ticket (44X28.) I could climb everything that wasn’t too muddy and was power past people on the third lap. People were pointing at me when most people were in the granny gear and I am pushing my big ring. I figured the slow cadence gave me grip, when you are pushing 30rpms the traction is awesome, a new theory to mountain biking. Anyways, back to the race, I would say 75% of the course was ridable. The only problem, the other 25% of the course was so muddy that if you pushed your bike 20 feet it would gather up so much mud the wheels would lock up and stop. So carrying a muddy heavy bike through singletrack so slick you could barely walk wasn't much fun, but I made the best of it. It was more like survival than racing. After a lap or so the challenge wasn't beating people it was seeing what I could and couldn't ride and seeing if I could ride more or longer than those around me, the game within the game. Anyways, towards the end I was closing on Ebben on the third lap but already lost too many seconds to catch him. 13th in my age was my finish, guh! Seems everyone in our wave were in my age also (25 people in our wave, 16 starters in my age group.) And of course all the crappy racers (besides me and the guy that I beat and the two DNFers) stayed home and all the big guns showed up. It did however likely increase my sereis standing one spot (currently 8th) and I should get 8th-10th in the final standings. A disappointing season with a few bright spots. But look at how cool I look!

Anyways, after the race I only brought one set of clothes but I still wanted to watch the girls come in. So I sat In my muddy bike clothes and tried to take photos. The girls had a very tough time as they had rain from the start of their race and the course was wrecked before they could even ride it once. Shelley came in for 2nd place (her best career sport finish) and Jess came in shortly thereafter for 3rd in their age group. We cleaned up the best we could, listened to the depressing Packers on the radio while we drove home… I only wonder how much our bikes are damaged, I’ll find out tonight when I clean the bikes.


  • Ugh - glad I was at home. Although the pictures would have made an excellent page in the WORS scrapbook Missy is making me. Would it have been worth painful, dizzy, muddiness for some good photos? "No," says Jason. "Weeelllll, maybe don't be so quick to answer," says Missy.

    By Blogger J.Bro, at 9/26/2005 5:00 PM  

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