THE SECRET IN COMPARTMENT 42
REVEALED, FOUR DOGS IN POST
RACE AGONY & ONE FOR THE AGES
After being either cancelled or shortened due to snow three of the last four years, D2D moved from its traditional early April slot to mid-May and was rewarded with a full day of epic racing. But before we turn to D2D, we have a little catching up to do. A report:
1. CHUCK FINDS A SECRET IN COMPARTMENT 42. Early this year in Sedona, a certain Rez Dog who shall remain nameless (perhaps the one with an English accent mate) bought a sexual enhancement supplement called “Horny Old Goat” from a cheap gas station vending machine and planted it in compartment 42 of Chuck Van Drunen’s Gallup-flea-market-camelback (where it apparently blended right in). At Fountain Hills, Chuck had been lugging it around for over a month without a clue. This caused us to speculate that the mysterious one minute penalty Chuck was slapped with at Fountains Hills was due to racing officials getting an anonymous tip about his performance enhancing drug. Well . . . shortly after our Fountain Hills blog report, Chuck found the planted supplement and has ridden penalty free ever since.
2. PETER STORMS MESA VERDE. In case you haven’t noticed, Peter Tempest is riding strong this year. We know. Peter rides strong every year. But this year is starting out pretty special. After a strong showing in Santa Fe at the La Tierra Torture, Peter rode 12 Hours of Mesa Verde solo and won the 50+ category going away with 7 laps (112 miles) in 11.05.05 – 1hour and 35 minutes ahead of the second place finisher.
3. FLASH FORWARD. Before we get to the epic racing from D2D this past weekend, let’s flash forward with a teaser and set the scene after the finish. Here it is: Chuck is staggering around on cramped legs raving incoherently about some mysterious, un-identified man/woman who refused to yield on lap 4 thereby sending Chuck sprawling into the sagebrush and causing not one, but two flats (Paul to Chuck: “I’ve seen condoms that are thicker than your race tires.”). Andy Stravers is curled up in a fetal position convulsing randomly and Hadji Corona and Peter are both in catatonic states – incapable of responding in any way other than grunts and groans. (Editor’s note and disclaimer: Bob was out of town this year for D2D and he is therefore relying – as always - on wildly conflicting reports.)
4. THE MAIN EVENT. The main event at D2D is always the Gallup Duo Male category a/k/a the Gallup Cup. During the last two weather shortened years, Chuck and Andy have owned this race, but they have also suffered the indignity of having weather related asterisks planted squarely next to each of their victories. How would they do with a full 12 hour race against Peter in top form and paired with the always super- strong Hadji? And what would leave our duo heroes in such a complete state of utter exhaustion at the end of the day? Well . . . it’s time we find out. There was a stunning surprise right from the start this year. Morning Guy was actually at the start of the race for the first time in nine years. That’s right, Chuck actually showed up for the start (moved back to 8am with the extra daylight) for the first time in the history of D2D. Of course, he still made Andy ride the first lap, but give him credit. Chuck aka Morning Guy was actually there – for the first and only time in the nine year history of the race.
5. A BATTLE FOR THE AGES. It is hard to imagine a closer, harder fought battle than what played out this year. Let’s let the numbers tell the story: After seven laps the biggest time spread between Andy/Chuck and Peter/Hadji on any one lap was only 3:10. On four of the seven laps the time spread was 1:30 or less. After seven laps, Peter/Hadji had won four of the laps and Andy/Chuck had won three. The race was in doubt all day long up until the last minutes of the day. To heighten the drama our two local duo teams were also neck and neck with a three man super-team from Durango and a killer master’s duo team from Albuquerque.
6. A LAP FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS. When the history of Rez Dog Racing is written, years from now, there is a lap from this year’s race that is certain to be included. Chuck blistered his first lap in a time of 55:44 for the fastest lap of the day (Chuck also had the fastest lap in 2012). And, get this. The fastest lap of the day is not the lap that we will still be talking about years from now. What we will long remember is Chuck’s last lap – the 12th of the day (Yes. You heard me right. 12!). And here’s how it played out: Chuck finishes his tenth lap and grabs a beer. Andy goes out for lap # 11. Chuck is ready to call it a day even though Peter and Hadji are still within striking distance and the Albuquerque duo is neck and neck with them. In the Rez Dog tent, here’s what was heard next:
Nate to Chuck: Dude! You are so ready for 12.
Paul: Get our shit on mate, you’re going out!
Greg: After all the years you’ve made Andy start and finish and you’re gonna sit on your butt now???
Like a skipping record or a repeating sound track, this chorus played over and over and over and over again as Chuck hoped against hope that the cut off time would arrive and spare him from the inevitable. He declares that he is not going out with less than 1:05 on the clock and hopes the hoard will pipe down, but they don’t. With 1:05:20 still on the clock the Albuquerque Master Duo rider comes through and his partner blazes off. 1:05 arrives and then 3 seconds later with 1:04:57 left of the clock Andy comes screaming in and Chuck, who for 3 seconds thought his day was finally done, realizes he has no choice but to suck it up for one last brutal lap. And brutal it is. With an abundance of advice and encouragement – but no water – Chuck sets out after the Albuquerque rider and reels him in on the hills of Third Mesa and then gradually starts putting time on him. With only a couple of miles to go, the inevitable happens and Chuck cramps up on a short climb. Rather than spending two minutes he doesn’t have to stretch out his cramps, Chuck gets out of the saddle and stands on the pedals the rest of the way in to finish 12 laps in 11:55:00 to win the Gallup Cup and 1st place overall in Male Duo. The Albuquerque masters duo finishes two minutes back and Peter and Hadji just miss the cutoff time and finish with 11 laps in 11:05:00. Absolutely, historically epic!!!
A CONCLUDING QUESTION. Did any other Rez Dog’s ride D2D this year? Boy did they ever! There were a slew of Rez Dog soloists – ten in all – led by Dirk “the Hollebeast” Hollebeek who came in second in the Master Male category, behind former overall winner Brian Lugers. Dirk put in 8 laps in 9:49:29 and brought back some serious trail credibility to our consummate roadie. Paul DeWitt put in 7 single speed laps in 11:11:15. In Master Male, Brian Culligan put in 6 laps (10:06:00), Blaine Silversmith put in 5 laps (9:11:00) and Alan Philips put in 3 laps (5:41:15). In Solo Male, Greg Cavanaugh, Charles Chiang and Jonathan Chiang put in 6 laps each (8:29:00; 10:00:00 & 10:03:00 respectively). Luke Pikaart, riding without the benefit of a junior category, put in 4 laps in 9:38:00. That is 74 Rez Dog laps or 888 miles.
Supported by some serious Pit Moms (Pit Bulls?): Nate Haveman, Tim Pikaart and Paul Barry, who proceeded to feed and encourage riders all day and provide such thorough bike cleaning/support that another non-local racer asked Pikaart to fix his tire thinking he was neutral support, and Tim obliged!
This was one impressive day for the Rez Dogs...not bad for one day on the bike mates.