Unlike Vegas what happens in Collingwood gets told to the world. Typical Saturday morning of a pot of coffee and a little to much excitement. Pawned the Monster off on Mom and headed west to Collingwood. On the drive over I'm watching the sky clear and the temperature rise. It's going to be a perfect day. Who's soul did Peter sell??? How many virgins did he sacrifice?
Met up with Andrew first who was more impatient than I was. We ended up not being the first ones there at least. The numbers just kept growing and growing as it got closer to noon, then rolled past noon. It's not a race and that was reinforced when Peter said time for your warm up. Out came a bottle and a stack of Dixie cups. I think this should be the way ever race should start. Finally rolled out and the talk of which way to get up to 3 stage. I'm used to parking my car up there or riding my road bike up grey 19. Well we took what ended up being the very hard way.
This was the hill that never seemed to end and every time it added to itself in got steeper. I had some ok momentum at the bottom but as I got to the mid way point I started to curse a bit for changing the 19t to a 16t after being bugged about it on the Monday night ride earlier in the week. Yes, it's been changed back. One problem I had to deal with was chain tension. I neglected to take out a link or two when I went to the smalled cog so when I really put torque into the pedals the tension was just slack enough to have some chain slip. Ya, this was going to make things interesting for the day.
There was lots of criss crossing and eventually walking. Most blamed it on the fresh grading of the road. I'm good with that answer, after a recover drink we were off again. That was the last of the gravel roads for a while.
The navigation to the top of 3 stage was interesting. Where the trail really should have been did not fully agree with the direction that we were heading. It was a site to see, we did finally get to the top.
The fun began, the single track was in fantastic shape. A week of dry conditions helped since 3 stage is mainly clay based and becomes a slip and slide when it becomes a little damp. This was a ride of go till a trail split, stop, regroup and go again. Of course one of the trails we took people that were 5 minutes ahead were with in arms reach to the back of the pack. I forgot how technical it is here. There were more than a few random crashes but nothing of spectacular ohh and awws.
I was having to much fun that I neglected to pull out my camera anytime we were in single track.
This was at about the 3.5 hour mark, we started to make our way back towards the top of the mountain. All that descending in the trails were now about to take it's toll on us heading back up. It was twisty and turny which killed every urge to whine. Even tired everyone was having fun.
Back at the top of the parking area everyone got prepped for the very very fast decent down Grey 19. This was the first time all day that arm warmer(see Watson) and vests came out. This was also when all the comments came out about the blood I was showing on my left leg. There is a bolt on the bottom of my left brake that took a chunk out of my knee cap. Didn't notice when it happened but the trail of blood did look very spectacular.
After the high speed noisy decent, knobby tires are far from quite at 70km/h the pack regrouped in the parking lot to get prepped for the evening festivities which included awards.
Peter came out with the best prizes of the 2009 season. The overall winner of the race which apparently he made every attempt to fix. Peter was determined to get me to attack during the ride, well I'll blame the chain slipping on that more than weak legs. So because of me messing up his plans he had to vote for the true nonwinner of the day which turned into Ryan.
Team speed took the overall award.
I ended up taking the modified award of best crash which was switched to the most blood drawn. From there things went down hill. The switch to the next establishment lead to vasts amounts of alcohol consumed. Eventually as all the snobby locals came in we were all asked to leave nicely. They swarmed Del, I guess he was the shadiest looking one amongst us. There were more things happening but those should stay in Collingwood.
In the end, it was an amazing day and evening. So amazing that I spent yesterday on the couch trying to recover from all the excitement. For those that missed Delstalk/Antirace. Shame on you.
Time for work. Don't forget to vote!!!