Sunday, May 31, 2009

My throat hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love.......

But that was what i did.
My 2009 Dirty Kanza 200 experience was no where near as enjoyable as last year, and judging from what I have heard so far the attrition rate was really high.
I woke up feeling pretty good, but as the day wore on I started feeling a sore throat coming on.
Anyway, We rolled out of Emporia in a mass start with the pace set pretty high. I was feeling pretty good, and was trying to keep Skip in sight, as he was last years 2nd place SS finisher. For that matter all of the Nebraska crowd was looking very strong. My money is on Cornbread at 3:1!
At about the 12 mile mark, where you encounter the first real hill, I felt my rear rim make contact.
I was set up tubeless so I hit it with some CO2 and did the shake and shimmy. I was rewarded with a spraying of Stans from a sidewall slit that was parallel with the bead. No sealage.
Throw a tube in and watch the entire field pass me by. Get back on and charge back through the field. I have to admit that it felt really good to be able to reel positions that quickly. I was able to catch back up to Joel Dyke, the copromoter of the DK 200, at aroud mile 45. I slipped away for a few hundred yards and then decided to walk a (not so) big hill as the camera crew drove by giving me all kinds of crap about my weak skills(thanks Lelan!)
Got to the top of the hill and started rolling down the backside when I hear the PPPSSSSHHTTT of my front tire going flat. Stop, change tire, and watch the field pass me by again. from here on the fun factor went way down. I was out of water before hitting the 60 mile checkpoint at Cottonwood Falls, and while I managed to catch everyone that passed me on my 2nd flat I knew that this was not a sustainable effort.
I managed to jump on the John Mathias/Peter Krause pain train as we were rolling out of Cottonwood Falls. John pulled me for a long way, and it was obvious that he was feeling very good, as was Peter (who, by the way, is capable of sending a text message while riding gnarly gravel). I was able to hang on to John and Peter until about the 80 mile mark, where we picked up BGR Teamate John Waller.
less than 2 miles later I look back to see that John Waller is kicking at his pedal. He snapped the retaining spring in his Crank Bro's pedal so there was no clippage. We decided that we could not keep up with John M. and Peter, and went it alone.
At mile 85 I was feeling absolutely shelled. My chest felt really tight, it hurt to take deep breaths, and my throat was sore. I looked at John and told him I was calling it. I called Alison and said come get me. We kept riding toward the 100 mile point. We came across Dennis Grelk changing a flat. Dennis and I have a lot of experience seeing each other with flats. I whipped out a CO2 cartridge and got him aired up and on the road while Waller chatted with Doug Long.
We made it to the 93 mile point before Alison found us. On our drive back to Council Grove We also found a very lost and out of water Mike Wise so we crammed one more bike into the back of the Recreational Turd Colored Vehicle (RTCV) and John and rode on the tailgate into Council Grove.
All in all, I have to admit that even if there had not been strong west winds for the first 40 miles I still would have pulled the plug.
To give you some perspective last year I averaged 17.8 mph up the first CP, this year I averaged 13.9 mph. There was some serious wind!
Riding 200 miles in the flint hills is not a impossible feat, but when the wind and the temperature conspire against you like they did this year it really is a super human accomplishment just to finish!
Big thanks to Joel and Jim for all their work putting together a really great, well marked course.
I think that everyone appreciated the spray painted arrows in addition to the ribbons.
I am looking forward to seeing who finished. If you see a 09 DK finisher you can rest assured that you are looking at one tough hombre!
I am gonna go mix up another theraflu cocktail and try to get some more sleep.


Andrew Slater said...

The more I read your musings the more I start to think we lurk in the same internet locales.

Brad said...

Heck of a day Josh! Good effort. Wudga' eat for supper afterwards?

Cornbread said...

Sounds like you gave it all you had and that's all that counts. Keep that chin up and the pedals turnin' over!

LeLan Dains said...

I do what I can my man. Video will be good, not the great masterpiece I was hoping for. But, trying to hold that camera steady on those roads while riding in a Jeep makes the blair witch filming look steady.