Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chasing Ghosts - Part 1

Tim and I headed to Mohican after work Tuesday for a spin on the mountain bike course. I had a feeling he was too tired from his big ride the past weekend at TOSRV but telling Tim he’s tired is like telling a child it’s bed time, he just wasn’t hearing it!

Luckily I was able to talk him into riding a geared bike while I rode the single speed. I figured with his lack of good rest, it’d be a decent match up. By the 12 mile mark Tim was getting further and further off the back so when we got to the covered bridge I took a picture and when he got there pretty much demanded he take it easy for a while and ride the road for the next section, get a lead on me and I’d catch up.

He reluctantly went up the road as I headed up Mt. Doom, the chase was on, or so I thought. I reached the parking area at the top of the hill and Tim had moved on so I started chasing at above race pace in hopes of getting a break when I caught up. I chased and chased and was riding over my head but when the next road crossing came and still no Tim I started thinking “He’s flying to try and stay ahead”.

I started the last 4 miles hammering away going too fast when I shouldn’t have and almost paying for it a couple times. I hit a rock garden at almost twice the speed I normally would and the impacts shook me and the bike so hard all the accumulated sweat in my skid lid got squeegeed out all over me and in my eyes making the rest of the rock garden a blinding out of control blur. There was so much sweat I thought it had started to downpour. I also got a little too close to a tree and it reached out and grabbed me by the shirt sleeve for running over its roots cutting a nice 3” slice through the jersey and the base layer and thankfully not me. It had a good enough grip to almost rip my hand off the bars.

Still no Tim. I kept looking over the hillsides down the switchbacks looking for signs of movement and the sounds of a chain slapping the frame but there was nothing but birds and deer. Just as I made the final 100 meters of trail I saw Tim crossing the bridge into the campground, perfect timing! Or so I thought.

“So much for riding slow so I could catch up eh”? All he did was laugh, and then he let the cat out of the bag. He had gone up the road but at the top there is a short trail that cuts from the road over to the parking lot. Tim took that trail and thought he could come back down the road a hundred meters or so and do the trail again before I got there. When he came back through the lot a 2nd time a couple guys asked him if he was looking for a guy in red on a single speed and if he was, he just went flying by! So here I am chasing Tim and he’s behind me!! He had done the fire tower to the next road then skipped the next section due to the fact he knew I was at full throttle and he finally had to admit he was flat out tired. He rode back on the pavement and the and headed back up the trail backwards and when he heard me crashing though the woods, turned around to make it look like he had just beat me back!!

When we crossed under Rt. 3 I headed off into the Wolholding River to splash some water on me. I told him to go grab the camera and I’d video him cross the creek. He said “NO, we’re going home!” So much for getting Tim to take another bath!