Sunday certainly provided for a busy day. A 6:00 AM start at the parking lot of the Cheesecake factory put the Notorious B.I.G. and Teib in my car for the 3 hour journey to Landahl, in Blue Springs. (highway 70 to highway 7 turn right to Truman road, turn right, 2 miles up on right).
It has been a while since spending a day with a couple teenagers full of piss and vinegar (other than my perfectly behaved kid), but they handled themselves quite nicely, adult like, refraining from giving each other noogies and throwing stuff in the car, playing the pull-my-finger game. We were there to race bikes, and it was some serious intellectual conversation that they were in store for. I had an audience and they were to listen to my "isms". I was going to put a learn on these kids.
I was delighted to stop at Stuckey's, by the way. Highway dining is most interesting and you can always find a clean head at Stuckey's. Just ordering a fried egg sandwich sends you B-lining to the commode, returning to the counter for the piping-hot, wax paper, wrapped, lard bundle. We ordered three of them and got on our way.
I got a little pissed at the cashier. While there, we found it necessary to peruse the merchandise, stopping and checking out a couple things here and there. I stopped and picked up a small puzzle, a couple nails bent together. It was a game to try and figure out how to unhook them. It would either take a pair of pliers or a rulebook and I wasn't interested in either. I tossed it back in the pile and moved on to the bathroom. When I returned there was this old man, the cashier, counting the 20 or so nail puzzles and comparing them to an inventory sheet or register report or something. Who am I a 46 year old shoplifter? The old man was miffing me and I was, for a moment, his subject of an investigation. I should have opened up a six pack of belligerence on him, but refrained because of the children. I am not sure what B.I.G. and Tieb did while my "window was open". But it certainly wasn't try and lift a two dollar friggin nail puzzle on the way to a race at Landahl. The old man eyeballed us all the way to the X5 with 7 grand worth of bikes on top. What an ass?
We eventually arrived at one of the most kick ass trails in Missouri. Landahl Reserve. The place is an oasis of fast single track with many options for trail use. This particular race was a little less technical from years before, but very fast and fun. We did a warm up lap when we got there and got ready for the race. Tom Albert, Dave Breslin, Wes Bierman, Matt Keevan, Matt Grottoff, several others from St. Louis made the trip.
I think we all thought we would come up there and do a little ass kickin on the natives. The week prior was Rhett's Run in Columbia and most of us podiumed. We had kind of a rude awakening. These guys were tough as nails in all categories and you can tell that they train in that park quite a bit. Their are two race series in the area, the Midwest Fat Tire and Heartland. There region is filled with a lot of really good races and racers. They were not going to have us coming in and taking over.
The race started at noon and I suppose my goal was to stay as close to Albert as much as possible. I have been doing a bunch of endurance races so my shorter race speed recover might have been a little off. The last two weeks I have been trying to do more intervals, but by default, I still have a slow grinding pattern going. This was my first traditional Expert class race in a year and it showed. I took sixth with a 1:45. Should have been 8 minutes faster. My recovery was a little slow. I need more interval training in order to get the heart rate down. All in all I was pleased considering the talent. Flat Albert did his thing on lap number one and caught me on the fourth lap. I figure he had a great race and he is as fit is he has ever been. He ended up winning the 50+ and beating me by a half a minute (with a flat). Nice job Tom.
Teiber broke his front break lever (right after telling me at the start that once you go hydraulic, you never go back). We hammered together for most the race until I eventually got away from him. He is in expert this year, for 17 years old, he is making it real. I look for him to really up his game in the next several races. He took 6th, 4th last week at Matson.
B.I.G took on the beginner course, separate from the Sport, Expert Course and finished well. We were proud of him and because of his efforts, he gets a one year suspension from all fast food purchases. He will thank me someday. B.I.G. is a new recruit for Lindenwood and going to be the new cycling team mechanic.
I think Keevan won his race, his twin bother Breslin (dude, from the back I can't tell who is who) and Wes seemed like they thought the same thing, that the competition required some respect from our St. Louis posse, especially the 30+. Keevan, Breslin and Wes are freaks, really fast and great competitors. We are lucky to have such talent in our midst. Team Seagal, were at it again snapping wrists, a joy bundle as usual, bringing buckets of PBR and stories of grass root success of all things cool in the mountain bike culture.
On lap three I got a push up from Cameron Chambers, the Kansas freak who just won the Dirty Kanza 200, what has to be one of the the toughest races in the country. He was cramping and couldn't continue. Dudes a freak, but ain't all of us? I mean, we did drive 7 hours to ride bikes for 30 bucks.
I was home by 6:00 in order to take the lady out for Mexican.