Hoo-Ha

After getting rained out of the Murad race on Saturday several of us from Bike Doctor (Ian, Amanda, Cliff, Steve, Richard, Judd, and Mike P. from NCVC) hung out in the field and enjoyed the clearing weather while putting back some beer. I had 4 in a matter of an hour-30 which sent me home in need of a nap. I recovered, made some coffee, pounded it, and then went over to Drew and Stephs for an engagement party they were throwing for Judd and Sonja. I managed to impose some self control and limited by beer consumption to 3. Not bad for me. Kim and I got home around 12:30am and hit the sack. My legs were more tired from standing around at the party and in the field drinking beers than doing 2 laps of the race course (1 warm up and 1 real lap before it was neutralized and eventually sacked).

Woke Sunday to ride over to Jed Prentice’s place for a 6:45am departure for Massanutten and the infamous Hoo-Ha mountain bike race. They’ve been putting this on for 20 years and at one time this was a premier event in the world of mtb racing, especially for the downhill scene. It’s nice to see it ascending back to a big deal and it now counts as a national calendar event and qualifier for mtb nationals at Mt Snow next month.

The course was awesome. I’ve never ridden/raced here before, but everyone said it was the best rendition they’ve put together. I wouldn’t doubt it. It had everything. Tough double track and forest road climbs, single track, bermed swooping fast descents, and technical ridge rock gardens. It was the latter two which revealed my lack of skills. Cut to the chase…

4th in the Expert 30-39. I spent most of the race with Thomas Jenkins who took 3rd and Dave Weaver (cyclocross bad ass) who won the single speed class. We (Thomas and I) never knew there were 2 other guys in our class up the trail. Doubt I could have done anything anyway- I was 10 minutes off 1st place. I rode pretty well on the climbs, but felt tired the 2nd of 2 laps. I felt strong on the flats – road riding/racing will do that. But my descending and rock garden riding was atrocious. On the first lap Chris Scott and Thomas passed me like I was a rookie on a hybrid. I think Mike Carpenter went by first – who ever it was the theme from all of them was “come on, get on my wheel, I’ll show you the way”. They know these trails better than Dave Weaver knows his front yard. At least that’s how Dave explained it. Seems legit. I couldn’t hang with them for more than 10 feet. I sucked that bad. I’d catch them on the next climb and hoped I could get rid of them. Thomas was just too strong. I stayed with him on the long fire road climb on the 2nd lap, but gave up when I knew I didn’t have enough gas to try and lose him before the ridge section. I never saw him again and I rode like an idiot from there on.

I was so tired I was making mistakes constantly. I crashed no fewer than 3 times during the race and dabbed or hit a tree at slow speeds in the rocks more times than I can remember. Hi, my name is Joe Sloppy.

Finally, with about mile or two to go we hit the ripping single track back to towards the finish. It starts after coming out of rocky descent and weaves through some tight tree sections.

BAM. Caught my handle bar on a tree which threw my right side into another tree at full speed. This bounced me back to my left side and I collided witn yet another tree smacking my shoulder, face, thigh, and ribs. Hi, my name is Joe Pinball. I felt like I was delivered the winning combo from a boxer. My adrenalin kicked in and I just drilled it for the last 1.5 miles. Done. And so was the adrenaline fix so then came the pain. My shoulder was jacked up. My face hurting and swollen.

The medics thought my shoulder might be 1) dislocated, 2) torn ligaments, 3) worse, a broken collarbone. Jack pot! Now I’d have 2 f’d up shoulders.

Turns out my shoulder is fine. Just some major soft tissue damage. The face is ok, for whatever that’s worth. Too much rouge on my check as The Todd put it. Some nice bruises on the legs and both shoulders. But worse is a potentially cracked rib. Awesome. I could barely sleep Sunday night and the rib was the culprit.

I saw my chiro yesterday and she knows a thing or two about mtb wrecks. She diagnosed the rib, but since xrays won’t offer any better advice than take it easy, ice, and stretch – I bagged the idea of going to the old E-room.

So…4th place, effed up face, ribs, and shoulders. Maybe mtb racing isn’t safer than crits after all.

For my Mom: it really isn’t that bad. I managed to ride this morning and carry a backpack on my commute so things could be worse.

In Bike Doctor news: Theresa Richardson, Sobe-Cannondale pro and co-owner and wife of Bike Doctor Waldorf overlord Chris Richardson, won the pro women’s field! Jed Prentice, semi-pro bad ass and 40 year old dad with 2 kids, took 5th in the men’s pro class!

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~ by Indy on June 3, 2008.

3 Responses to “Hoo-Ha”

  1. Good thing I didn’t go, I would have gotten my ass handed to me! Sorry about the rough tumble you took. Added you to the blog list on my blog.

  2. […] salt to my wounds is the nagging rib injury and recently developed sciatic problem. I guess bouncing between 3 trees at Mach 1 has some long term effects on the body; one which seems to be aging quickly with each injury. […]

  3. […] I over did it with the riding at the IMBA weekend and suffered a little the next weekend at the Hoo-Ha. But generally things were shaping up for the Windham and Mt Snow races. The 3 trees that jumped me […]

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