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CMP Presents: The Burning Flame Part II, Great Moments In Mountain Biking History

August 31, 2010

It was a calm mid October morning in 2007. An modest warrior emerged from his dwelling, weapons and provisions in hand, and he  set out on a journey that would change his life and legacy forever. 24 Hour mountain bike racing was no stranger to racers and weekend warriors alike, nor was it an unfamiliar face to the hallowed singletrack that is Rocky Hill ranch near Smithville, TX. This creature, or Caveman, as his peers liked to call him, was nothing more than a mere mortal of a mountain biker. He had picked up a few wins in the amateur scene across Texas, but nothing to garnish any national bravado. He was hunting for the chance to take it to the next level. He was looking to trade in squirrells and rabbits for mighty mastadons. Opportunity found him in the coming 2 days.

He had never done anything of this magnitude.  Only the craziest of the crazy wake up one day and decide they want to race a mountain bike for 24 hours straight. Only the bravest of the brave, the ones with the biggest juevos actually go through with it. The forty minute jaunt to the ranch from the city via a compact pickup truck the morning of was uneventful. Caveman only thought to himself what the heck he was going to eat during such a long journey, and whether or not his arse cheeks would sustain such a brutal beating.

At high noon, the gun went off, and the rest, so they say, is history. Caveman got off to a blistery start, choosing at first to conserve energy by walking the LeMan’s running start and then taking his time to hit the trail. Not in a particular hurry to reach the finish line 24 hours from then, he was actually the last rider to enter the singletrack. This was all part of the plan. Giving his enemies a false sense of security only to overcome them halfway through battle was a tactic Caveman had artfully executed several times before. This time would be no different.

Caveman fought through heat in the day, and a chilly mist at night. Unimaginable hunger and fatigue tempted him to quit and crawl into the portable man cave for rest and creature comforts. He endured crashes, bike problems, and a host of demonic hallucinations in the darkest hours of the desolate night. Had he the blood sugar for proper thought process, he probably would’ve thought “why in the hell am I doing this?” Blood sugar could not be spared for such silly thoughts though, more important tasks were at hand.

Morning light finally broke throughout the forest and a brought with it a renewed sense of energy for this sentient being. His triumphs over the demons of the night had propelled him into the lead. The end was coming into focus, but a few more laps would need to be cranked out to secure the victory. His nearest competitor had many years over the rookie, and being as such, had more experience pounding his body into submission. His enemy’s gristly physique and iron grit would prove to push this young pup to the brink of self destruction. Caveman was unaccustomed to this kind of pain and his consistency faltered the closer to the end he got, but he kept clawing right up to the end.

When the dust settled and the clock turned over 24 , only 5 minutes stood between Caveman and the wild beast of a man that had been pursuing him relentlessly. Sometimes, though, the difference between catching dinner and starving for another night is only the length of a tiger’s paw while chasing a gazelle. Caveman had passed the test. A gazelle no more, a tiger he was now. A new legacy was born. A burning flame was sparked into existence.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Charley Rome permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:40 am

    Why the look back down Memory Lane? You racing Rocky Hill solo again this year?

  2. aardvark102431 permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:00 pm

    Patience, Charley. This is a mini series. So far, I’ve got 5 parts, I think. We’ll see. I’m just enjoying messing around on the blog again.

    • Charley Rome permalink
      September 1, 2010 2:09 pm

      Cool. Just wanted to make sure you weren’t “retiring”. Blog On!

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