Monday, August 27, 2007

The Pinnacle

made a last minute trip to The Pinnacle, EFTA NECS #8 this wknd. it being my 5th wedding anniversary i was surprised at the opportunity however unfortunate the circustance. see, miriam also decided to attend the event, albeit with a wound in her leg comparable to a shark or grizzly bear attack. we had to see how miriam was doing, and drat, there's a race involved.

been having good legs all week, pushing hard, shenandoah 100 on the near horizon, last chance to lay-down some quality. a large nail made waste to my only road rims on a ride w/sean up middlebury and app gaps the wknd prior and had been forced solely onto the mtbike, ripping it up and down the Valley walls on singletrack sweeter than any i've ever ridden. hadn't had time to get-out on the singletrack much this summer. just like in winter, can't believe how quick the season flies by, but as usual, find the time before it's too late. smooth and flowing switchbacks through stands of wide Beech, prime black bear habitat, to well laid-out descents through root and rock gardens that i probably shouldn't be bombing alone. nature is so close on these rides, the perfect flow so frequently just out of reach. tuesday, it finally came together on trails not previously explored. good legs help. by wednesday i'd dragged Sean the same way, made a new turn steep down the opposite fall line, soon into blow-downs and junk, ghost trails, then the long hike up the way we'd come... only way to learn unmarked trails is to ride 'em all, even the shitty ones...

but really, the riding is just a subtext to it all, sometimes selfish, other times redemptive, pure, necessary. middle ground is there, been trying to find it, keep to it.

sunday. the pinnacle. pj and crew organize and run great events, build and maintain the trails - and rip it up out there! good folks, this is a favorite race. the singletrack is unrelenting, the climbs for realzy, and the downhills downright epic.

lined-up w/the best in new england, stacked field! had a nice start but felt it quick, soon eased-into it behind 5 others, moody and o'keefe breaking-off the front. schmid and i found ourselves trading places, my hands so numb on the technical descent of the first climb that i wondered how the hell i was gonna do this race, but as i relaxed, so did the grip and by the 2nd descent was in more of a groove on these fantastic trails, yet not anyway near the flow. hit the last descent and i'm over the bars, pedal clipped a rock, somehow land on my feet before summersaulting hard to the ground. back up and to the bike, looks fine, on and pedaling, right foot won't clip in, won't clip in, won't clip in... yup, busted. 2nd pair of crankbros pedals to bust this yr, i'm done w/em. ordered a set of heavier, stauncher shimanos today.

since i was out of it, the rest of the race is thom's tale to tell. can't help but give a quick summary, that dude had a great ride! steady and strong, had a feeling after the first 20-30mins of tough singletrack that i'd see thom before we rode all 27miles of course, gnarly trails and tough climbs are that guy's specialty. nice one. was also great to see how well miriam was doing, spirits high.

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