March 8/05 10:31 am - The Shep Report
Posted by Editoress on 03/8/05
Hey! I just smoked my head trying to pee in a shoulder height Canadair J50 bathroom. I wonder who the engineer was that miscalculated the average height of an adult male. It's not 4 foot 10"! The bump on my head did remind me to start writing about yet another season of racing, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
I am returning from the first round of the NORBA National series which took place in Boerne Texas. Texas Hill Country has quite a beautiful landscape with rivers eroding limestone canyon walls, plenty of deer and of course Tex MEx. Definitly starting this update with a blast from the past. Not the good kind either but a whack bit of a story that no way reflects upon the people of Texas. Just this lady I met.
We booked our accomodation through the internet and upon talking to the landlord, she readilly informed me that she would not leave the key under the door mat because of all the "wet-backs 'round these parts"! Can you believe that in the year 2005? Wanting to get a rise out of her in a few days I informed her that our mechanic "Gabe" aka Gabriel our mexican/american mechanic would be picking up the key. Nothing like breaking in the new wrench by sending him to pick up the key from a racist texan! Ha! As luck would have it my plan was foiled when the lady received last minute tickets to the "Brew. Spew and View. Lawnmowwer racing Challenge". Dang!
Three stages for the crew- a fast single track time trial, a climbing short track and an almost entirley single track cross country. The TT was straight forward with Kabush notching a victory followed closely by Trent Lowe then some gappage to Adam Craig, JHK and yours truley separated by a second.
The Short track was a wee bit knasty for the first race of the year and served notice to those who weren't fit. Each lap had 100ft of climbing making the 10 laps quite challenging. From the get go Kabush put his cards on the table and showed off why he won both series last year. Leading for the entire race, Kabush towed Trent Lowe while other like myself blew off the pace halfway through. Craig took up the chase with two other tallented young riders (Wicks and Miller) on his wheel. JHK was in no man's land between the groups and would eventually flat having to ride out the last two laps on a rim. Big sprint at the end with Kabush on top. Lowe, Craig, Miller and wicks followed with Taberlay, Toulouse, me, Killeen, Wedge and McGrath rounding out the top 10.
After the finish I re-stoked my ego by crushing three classes of kids in the Shimano Kid Series races. Those 6 and 7 year olds had nothing! NOTHING I TELL YOU! HA! We rode home in the rain then settled into an afternoon of grazing. Did I mention that Texans love to hunt? Turns out our neighbor has a penchant for playing with guns and decided to start firing off 30-40 rounds just before dinner! We were scared shatless not knowing who or what they were firing at let alone whether or not it was some psycho running a rampage towards our house. Good times!
OK. Let's talk about the cross country. Now normally I look forward to muddy death marches on east coast single track but someone forgot to tell me that I needed to bring my technical skills with me this weekend! Ouch. Non-stop torrential rainfall turned the course into what amounted to be a single track coated with Adams Extra crunchy Peanut butter. The "extra cruchy" part was the soilless limestone that was strewn accross the course making this, one of the roughest races and most challenging I have ever done. The front four riders (Kabush, Lowe, JHK, Wicks) pushed the pace off the double track and into the woods. Toulouse, Taberlay and I swapped position for the next five miles of treacherous single track before Craig, Killeen, Bishop, Trebron and Decker left me behind.
Everyone had issues so its a matter of how each person delt with them. I chose some hard compound skinnies from last year and a hard tail. Not wicked. My back got jacked from the jarring about 40 min in which threw my technical skills (or lack thereof) into a downward spiral. Sad state of affairs my friends. There were a grand total of two hard tails in the top 20! Anyways Craig worked up to the front riding ever so smooth (he's by far the best technical rider in North America) with Kabush and Lowe leading the charge. JHK dropped off a bit While Adam jumped into third heading into the last lap. Kabush would crack with ten minutes to go while Adam solo'd past Trent (who had gotten by Kabush)for his first victory in the NORBA national series. Kabush cut his losses but the gap made by Adam was enough to vault him into top spot in the over all. Perhaps one of the most solid rides of the weekend was that of Carl Decker. He just recently traded in his pint glasses and dirt bike to start training. Carl used his jedi-inspired single tracking skills to ride through the ranks with Liam Killeen (5th) to finish a super solid 6th. The overall took shape with Craig, Kabush, Lowe, JHK, Killeen in the top five while Barry Wicks finished 6th.
Next round is in Scotsdale Arizona two weeks from now. I have already started my desert rate sun dance.