Thursday, June 2, 2011
McKinney Bike the Bricks
That's me at 0:54 leading the pack in the 3/4 race. Full disclosure, I was striking matches all afternoon just to hang with that pack. The race promoters put thousands of dollars 20 places deep and it was like yelling fire in a movie theater...in a good way. Were there women and children to be trampled, they would have been. Friends and family were there on the sidelines so I dug deep to ride by in the lead for at least one lap. It cost me precisely one lung and one vertebrae to swing it. And I finished 35th overall, out of a full field. Clearly I need to put in more miles, but notwithstanding my struggling fitness, that was a fiercely fast race.
I've never been in a race that intense before; I saw things I can't unsee. I saw a rider steal energy gel from another rider's jersey pocket, eat it, and return the used wrapper. I saw another guy tuck both hands behind his back on the downhills to get more aero; he steered with his teeth. His teeth! To save weight one rider forwent jersey and bibs in favor of body paint and another rode with baby's shoes. Neither finished well. I saw a rider squirt and entire turkey baster of EPO in to his mouth. I saw a rider with bottles of saline solution in his cages. One rider stuffed his jersey pockets full of potatoes, but when he ate one it shatterd glass everywhere. The potatoes were really glass light bulbs; he was eating glass! I saw a rider tear his helmet off and head butt the moto ref. I rode next to another rider for 8 1/2 laps who quietly wept the entire time. I don't know how he maintained speed because it looked hard to breathe. Tears were streaming down his cheeks and he was making those crying spit bubbles people make when they unsuccessfully hold it back. I saw a rider, for no apparent reason, in the middle of the pack, scream at the top of his lungs for 2 minutes and 45 seconds without stopping to breathe. Before the race even started, I saw a guy staple his number on to his jersey while he was wearing it. After he finished the race, I saw the winner lock his bike to a telephone pole and climb in to the trunk of his car.