THE UNCOACHABLES, SUPERPOWERS
MEDDLE IN REGIONAL CONFLICT & 23
SECONDS FROM THE NATIONAL’S PODUIM
Rez Dog’s were busy last weekend with Peter Tempest traveling to Bend, Oregon to the Cross Country Marathon Nationals while a motley cast of characters stayed home for the Care 66 Charity Ride. A report:
1. A PRE-RACE 20 MILER? Chuck Van Drunen apparently self selected himself as Peter’s coach for Nationals. (Yeah, can you believe that? Chuck! The guy who took wild flyers off the front at this year’s Tour of the Gila at exactly the wrong time now thinks he’s a coach?) Anyway, among other things Chuck advised Peter to make sure to do a complete rest day before the big race. Well, guess what? Chuck called Peter Friday night and eventually Peter confessed to riding 20 miles checking out course reroutes on the day before the race. Here is how the conversation went from there: Chuck: “Twenty miles!! What were you thinking!! You call that a rest day?!?!” Peter: “Yeah, and I told you to stay in the peloton in the Tour of Gila. So all it proves is that we’re both uncoachable.” Can I get an ‘amen’ to that brother?
2. FORMER MISMATCH NOW A BIGTIME CLASH. It’s the Care 66 Charity Ride folks! So why then is the final Bread Springs loop an aerial fireworks show every year? You’ll recall that last year Dirk “the Hollebeast” Hollebeek dealt massive pain. He actually made last year’s charity ride the hardest race of the year. So this year, Brian Leddy, Don Tamminga and Bob Rosebrough all invented reasons to bail out before the Bread Springs loop and Sanjay Choudrie wisely kept a safe distance off the back. That set up this scene (keep in mind that – as usual – we are trying to patch together wildly inconsistent reports here): On the big hill heading south on 602 toward the Giant store a regional clash is unfolding between Tim Pikaart and Kevin Zwiers. Tim, of course, was the undisputed big dog of the Rez Dog world three years ago when Kevin was just breaking into road cycling. Since then Tim took some time off from the race scene while Kevin paid his dues, put in the miles and became a force to be reckoned with. What used to be a mismatch is now a legitimate clash of titans.
3. REZ DOG SUPER POWERS MEDDLE IN REGIONAL CONFLICT. So heading up the hill, Tim and Kevin are leading with present day road superpowers, Chuck and Dirk, sitting up behind on high alert. It’s set up for an all out war between Tim and Kevin that has been three years in the making between former master and pupil. Tim surges and Kevin stays with him. Kevin pulls into the lead and then develops a ½ bike length gap. Then a full bike length. And then two lengths and growing. And then what happens next you ask? What always happens when two super powers see a regional conflict flaring? They have to start flexing their muscle. Dirk can’t stand it. There is no way he can sit back and just watch. Dirk busts loose with a vicious surge, passes both Tim and Kevin and lets Kevin get in his slipstream until they develop an insurmountable lead over Tim. But what happens when one superpower picks a side? Yeah, you got it. Chuck leaps into the fray and starts pulling for Tim to progressively close the seemingly overwhelming gap just before they all reach the Giant store together. After fighting to an exhausted standoff our heroes face fifteen more miles of pain, rez dog packs, sheep, mechanicals and cramps –on a charity ride.
4. LADIES IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. A strong group of Rez Dog ladies – some sporting the new pink version of the Rez Dog kit – had a somewhat different experience. Eryn Hannink and Nicole Jones who are aiming for the 100+mile Tour of Tucson cranked through the full 66 mile course. They were amused by the stop and start jackrabbit frenzy of the boys “who were always stopping at the top of hills.” Jenny Van Drunen, Holly Herr, Kris Pikaart and Lizzie Philips all did the 40 mile course and when asked, Jenny reported: “We all had a good time. No drama. It was a beautiful day.” Whoa. What? Good time-no drama-beautiful day. What kind of weird alternate universe are these ladies living in?
5. 23 SECONDS OFF THE PODUIM. Oh, yeah. Back to Peter in Bend – as far away from the Bread Springs loop and his arch-nemesis as possible. This, of course, is the year Peter made the big jump up to 50+. Expectations were high and Peter did not disappoint in spite of ignoring his self appointed coach’s advice. Even with one brief wrong turn (Kevin: “Did he see a sheep and swerve off the trail to try and T-bone it?”) and a flat, Peter took 6th in a time of 4:35:28. First place was taken by a rider from Bend in 4:24:03. Peter missed taking the fifth place podium spot by only 23 seconds. The top five riders were from Bend, Beaverton OR, Birmingham AL, Bend (again) and Honolulu. Peter was the only rider from NM in the whole race. He was a full five minutes ahead of a super strong rider from Colorado Springs who took 7th. Next year’s marathon Nationals are in Sun Valley. Peter said the scene at Nationals is “a lot like the US Pro Cycling Challenge where you can hang around top riders” (in this case guys like Todd Wells, Carl Decker and Adam Craig who were the top three in the pro category), but even better “because you get to race too.”
CONCLUDING QUESTIONS. What in the world is next for Chuck? Magazine publisher, photographer, graphic artist, snow mobile mechanic, remote control helicopter salesman, flea-market-camelback-model, cabin builder and now . . . . cycling coach? Is there anything this guy thinks he can’t do?