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Since I knew I wasn't in contention for anything but a mid-pack finish I went for the hand-up, I couldn't even see what it was. Then, just as I spotted the cheap pair of sunglasses I was grabbing for I went down. Over the handlebars while hearing the crowd both cheer and groan. I shoved those stupid sunglasses in my jersey, and got back on my bike for the next downhill section, only I hadn't realized that my left shifter hood was now at a right-angle to my bars. I crashed through the course tape trying to slow down, banged the shifter back into place and got back on. When I tried to get on the pedals I realized my chain had fallen off in the crash. Geez, by now it felt like I'd been in the same spot for about ten minutes, with practically everyone passing me, I was starting to wonder if I'd be lapped in the first lap. I finally got everything back in order and was able to get going. I thought I'd be good and rested, but seems I did everything in such a panic that I still pretty winded. Believe it or not I actually got to a point where I was able to pedal again and make it through the rest of the first lap. I started trading places with a 16 year old. He'd get by me on the flats, then he'd bungle up in the single track and I'd get by him. Just when I thought I'd lost him he'd get by me again just in time to slow me down on some technical feature.
Hit the down hill, yelled at the dudes in front of me "NO BRAKES" and they didn't put them on. Until we hit the left? Seriously? Braking for that left hand turn over the tracks? Seriously? No F'n way. Hit the track crossing, past the pits. Jamming on the pedals. Holding the gaps, staying in line. Around the tree, right hand u-turn 90 degree left over the tracks and UP THE HILL. It was touch and go making it up on the first lap no dab. But god damn it, i rode that fucking hill every time clean. I was even happy with the 8.2 one of the spectators gave me. Hell I'll take an 8.2. Esp since at that moment the guy who kept reeling me back on the roadies sections kept dabbing and riding that and then walking the top section (he eventually rode off and finished a couple places ahead of me).
Air is slow. If you bike is in the air you can't be pedaling or controlling where it is going. Landing can roll you a tubular or worse. Soups got a shot of me (he said he got it) when I deliberately caught air when I noticed him crouched in the photog position (the cane laying on his knee gave him away). We'll see if it shows up some time. That was the last lap.
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