Falls arrived…

To say I was excited to race this past sunday would have been a long shot.  I wasn’t totally into it mentally, actually the whole last week I was a little phased out since Ellen had an accident mountain biking at PQ Canyon.

Last sunday we were out having a glorious day riding bikes, excited to go to a party afterwards when she fell, going fairly slow, and sliced her arm wide open on a small bush.  It was just one of those odd crazy things that happened. the cut was 4 inches long and 2cm deep.  It resulted in her passing out and getting a ride in an ambulance  I am so proud at how brave and tough she was through the entire debacle!

After hiking 1.5 miles out of the canyon and into a neighborhood to get Ellen to the ambulance, I ran back to where we stashed the bikes and rode mine out while pushing hers, which took 40 minutes.  I didn’t leave though until I went back to look for the branch that cut her, I saw many sharp blades of shrubbery but none with blood on it.  Had I had found said branch i probably would have gone crazy on it, or just brought it home and framed it?  This incident really made me think of what is really important in life, and was kind of a slap in the face of how fragile we really are.  Especially after the paramedic told me that if it would have cut a vein or artery that I shouldn’t have hesitated to call the helicopter for a lift out.

So onward to the Turkey Trot up in Glendale.  I found myself going through the motions before the race, but really not wanting to race, I had no drive or fire burning.  I got my warm-up in and pre-rode the course about 5 or 6 times cause it was so darn fun, and toed the line against one of the larger fields this year.

As soon as the whistle blew, and some foreigner in our race who “can’t speak english’ almost put me into the tape on the first turn, the fire was lit!  We had a large group the first couple laps and kept a pretty mellow pace, with myself, prenzlow, gritters and a couple other people taking some turns in the wind.

Little bridge section.  Photo: Phil Beckman

At the start of the 3rd or 4th lap I was in the lead and had planned on trying to open a gap, if not on Gritters and Brent at least the rest of the field so we could have some space.  But Jason Siegle decided he was gonna make his move and bombed passed us on the long straight road section.  I know that in the past he likes to get a gap 1/3 of the way through the race then just time trial the rest of the race, well I wasn’t gonna let that happen. After some ‘encouraging’ words from Brandon to stay on that wheel, Jason fumbled coming out of the sand pit and I saw an opportunity to make his attack short lived, so I sprinted in front of him right before a left hand turn through the mulch.

Only to somehow loose my front wheel in the loose bark!  For as fast as we were going I didn’t slide anywhere and just kind of stuck there, which left Jason no other choice but to run into me.  It took a couple seconds but he finally got off of me, I peeled his bike off of my bike and myself and handed it to him, then grabbed mine.  I got back on with a dropped chain which left me about 15 seconds back from Jason and about 30 seconds from the lead group, and around 9th or so place.

Pretty bummed at what just happened I kind of just dazed my way through the rest of the lap, and contemplated dropping out and drinking some beer.  After more thought, I figured I’d get my money’s worth and at least get a workout in after driving this far.  Its already ridiculous enough to drive all this way and spend all this time warming up, etc for an hour long race, even worse for a 15 minute race.

Pretty much sums up the day…

I started building into it and after a lap or two finally started catching some other riders.  On the last lap I put down my fastest lap (third fastest overall) and managed to catch John Bailey and steal 5th place from him, which is way better than I thought I would do after falling.  Despite laying down the bike, it was a really fun day of racing with a bunch of good people on an awesome course.  Thanks to everyone!

Ohh here is a picture of Ellens arm post stitches, warning possible gore factor…

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