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The Beatdown Part II

October 13, 2008

The winds continued throughout the night and into the start of the race. I had the privilege of doing the LeMan’s running start and busting out the fastest lap I could to get team in good position. The run really kicked my ass and left me pretty winded by the time I reached my bike. I get going and start passing the slow pokes who somehow out-ran me. Heading into the singletrack was a huge cluster-f. Some parts tighten down to only allow 1 or 2 riders in, but for the most part it’s jeep trail and you can pick whatever line you want. It’s not always the easiest line, but if it gets you around slower riders then it’s the best line. The climbing and elevation was absolutely killing me. It didn’t take much effort to get me redlining. Something just didn’t feel right. At least Big Tex was feeling good, and I was slowly making my way up. Going down some rocky technical descents, my front tire blew off the rim. I was in disbelief, but got to work putting a tube in. I brought a big air CO2, but not a hand pump. I had a hell of a time getting the tube to air up and went through all my CO2. It was enough air to get going, but I didn’t trust it from pinching in anymore technical drops, so I was having to ride extra cautious. About the same time my rear brake decided to poop out, so that made the descents even more fun. A drop snuck up on me and due to my equipment deficiencies I lost control and crashed. I did not realize it immediately, but the crash put a cut in the sidewall, and my tire would lose air slowly for about another mile before it got too low. Things were looking really bad now, because I only brought one tube. I came across a guy who had broke his chain, and asked if he had a hand pump. He did, so I got both tires aired back up and got going. Eventually the back tire succumbed to the leak and came off the rim. All I could do was start walking. There weren’t too many people behind me at this point and I remained optimistic that one of them could help me out. One guy threw me a tube, but it was schraeder and did not fit in my rim, so I kept walking. Another guy drops me a pump, but I still didn’t have a tube to fit. A chick comes by on a cool steel hardtail with the same Mary bars I run on my hardtail asking if she could help. I asked if she had a Presta tube. She did not think she did since her wheels ran Schraeder, but she checked, and sure enough she did, so I traded the one I had for hers. Got it fixed and finally got rolling again. The team was pretty bummed when I came in with a 1:50 lap time when we needed 1:15’s to compete, but they kept on going. I felt bad, but I had done all I could do, except leave my bad equipment luck with me in Texas

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