Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bob and Peter take on the high elevation in Leadville

By Bob

Our jerseys made their competitive debut in Leadville this weekend . . . in style. Peter and Bob sported their Rez Dog kits in the ultra competitive Silver Rush 50 that included only seven racers from New Mexico in a field of over 750. 

A report:

  • A BIG HUG & A PLEA. Here is the scene that played out in Peter’s driveway after work last Thursday: Sarah is giving Peter a big hug and, as she does, she pleads in a mock tone, “Please don’t hit a sheep.” Peter shakes his head and says to no one in particular, “What was once just a family joke is now a club joke.” Yes, Peter. First family, then the club . . . then Gallup . . . then the world. This is way too good a story to keep under wraps.

  • CAMELBACKS & BFFs. When not riding the 24 Hours in the Sage course in Gunnison, asking about last week’s plane ride by new BFFs Paul and Greg or bemoaning their failure to borrow Chuck’s 28-compartment-Gallup-flea-market camelback for their post race mountaineering, Bob was pumping Peter for info about his national’s racing history. Here’s the scoop: Peter’s highest finish was fourth in the 40+ marathon in Sonoma - in spite of a broken chain. He has had other top ten finishes in the marathon and top 15 finishes in the cross country. Peter is the only Rez Dog rider with enough cojones to ride nationals and he pulls off great results year after year. He said, “Sometimes, I’ve had better results at nationals than here in New Mexico.”

  • SHAVED LEGS, HEART RATE MONITORS & $10,000 BIKES. Peter and Bob got to the start/finish early and marked a starting spot with their bikes. Riders started drifting in and, man, were they a different breed: shaved legs, heart rate monitors and $10,000 bikes. No hand drawn dogs, sheep or grasshoppers for these guys and, yet, in spite of it all, an eerie sense of calm prevailed. Peter: “This is kind of disorienting. I don’t know what to do without Chuck trying to rebuild his front shock minutes before the start or going on a rant about evil roadies poaching a mountain bike race.”

  • HIKE-A-BIKES & HEAD ONS. Course beta: Start at 10,000 and push your bike up a ski hill. Climb to 12,000. Ripping descent. Climb back to 12,000. Ripping descent. Climb back to 12,000. Ripping descent. Turn around and do it all again – on two track roads with rock gardens, stream crossings and, in spots, the ever present fear of a high speed head on collision. Six big climbs in total - three of which forced even the hottest riders into granny gear and then hike-a-bikes.

  • 11 SECONDS & 55 SECONDS. Peter set a pre-race goal of breaking 5 hours. Bob was hoping to break 6 hours. Their times: Peter at 5:00:11 and Bob at 6:00:55. No joke. Close, but no cigar. Peter was 40th overall out of 750+ riders and 15th out of 207 in 40+. Bob was 190th overall and 22nd out of 72 in 50+, after his division was corrected. More on that shortly. 

  • BOB’S SECOND CHILDHOOD & ANOTHER EMPTY PODUIM SPOT. Last week Bob was on his way to Chuck’s house to meet the pack for the late showing of Horrible Bosses when he spotted Alan on a bike and slowed to visit. When Alan learned what Bob was up to, he popped off, “You are going through a second childhood aren’t you.” Minutes after the finish in Leadville, Bob thought Alan had pulled off an epic practical joke when Bob’s name flashed on to the big electronic scoreboard in 5th place in 19 & under. Seriously. Ask Peter. Needless to say, Bob didn’t stick around for the podium - again. 

CONCLUDING QUESTIONS. How does Peter pull off such great results in nationals? In fact, how does he always get top results in every big out of state race he goes to? Has he mastered the art of “peaking” for big races? Was Dr. Michele Ferrari – the banned Italian physician - Peter’s classmate at UCLA medical school? Or . . . is it just that when Peter is out of state he is also out of range of the killer sheep from the Bread Springs loop? Just asking.

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