Of Hot Suns and Sharp Palms.

Raced the first race of the west coast Kenda Cup today. There was a big crowed, 30 guys in my catagory, which was great. It’s not as much fun to come in last and still place top five.

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Opening day of the new season. Just an hour and a half to San Dimas, woke ’round seven and played with the Sprout before loading the car and rollin.

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prepped and ready, sippy cup, too. After getting to the gate of the park and realizing I was cashless, it was a dash to the RV park and finally back out of the park to Chevron to find one of those little cash dispensing robots that actually works and grab a little cash.

I think I found the last shady spot not too far from the staging area and made camp. This place was packed. Vendors, riders, and all the floatsom that goes with a big race.

I was glad to have a shady spot, ’cause it was getting hot. But to get to the shade I had to cross over a big pile of dried palm fronds. Now I know, DANGER. Those dried palms are the sharpest effing things around! I impaled my calf on that SOB and it really hurt. Between sliding out in a turn earlier in the week and now this, I thought taking it easy this last week was probably more dangerous than if I’d just kept riding hard.

Go line up. There are a lot of people. It was great but i was a bit nervous since I’d ridden so poorly a couple weeks earlier. Grabbed a spot in the shade and waited for the inevitable. Check my start gears. 20 seconds. Start my watch timer, then GO. Fast Fast Fast. And hot. And full sun socal style. Such a difference between a 10 man field and a 30 man field. Guys everywhere. did I mention it was great.

It was a total power course, not the best for me but I wasn’t gonna just give the thing away. Lap two was the toughest. Mentally, knowing there was still another full lap to go after this lap… It was the hardest to stay motivated through, hardest to keep pushing, especially after pushing the first lap like it was the only lap. So much of this stuff is all in the head. Even with the mental demons, I managed a lap time only a minute slower than the first, which was tits. Starting the 3rd lap was like a release, knowing this was it. Tickling the cramps on the climbs, starting to feel heavy, but like I said before, I wasn’t gonna just give it away. Finished strong, even grabbed one place back in the last half mile to claim 7th in a field of 30.

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Even SPF 50 is no match for the sun around here. Yeah, check out that tan line. And I was feeling that last lap, too. Ouch, hello pain cave. But seriously after all that, the palm spearing my calf is still what hurts the most. The race however was great.

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