Monday, September 28, 2009

50 miles on a BMX bike.

Yesterday, I entered the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison Classic, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on my Fit Series 2.5 (equipped with a 44tooth sprocket).

I basically wanted to do the 50 mile ride as a personal challenge, but I also wanted to have some fun with people who take stuff a little too seriously; which is why i entered the race, instead of the ride. Nobody who I talked to on the line really seemed to mind, though I'm sure the vast majority of racers were probably confused as F-word.

An estimated thirty people entered the race. I'm not too sure about that number though, since I was too busy stretching on the front row during staging claiming the Butterfinger Holeshot. Once the announcer said, "GO!" I took off in a dead sprint laughing hysterically as if I were racing the ABA Grands. I gaped the pack by a good ways and lead the first mile.

A few miles later, I received a lot of mixed comments as I was being passed by the racers and just those doing the ride. Things eventually settled in to where I was riding with a group of road bikers who were riding my "bmx pace." I met a lot of interesting folks, including one guy that had to have been a 90 year old WW2 vet who was sporting an American Flag jersey. For some reason he kept telling me I needed a bigger bike.

10 minutes before the first pedal; preparing for the holeshot (first one into the first turn).

As far as the ride goes, I wish I would of put on a different rear cog to get more top end speed. I was actually passing a lot of people going up hills - mostly because they were either old, carrying their children in a wagon, or morbidly obese. Most of them were just doing the 25 mile ride, and the closer we got to that 25 mile mark, the more I passed, which must have been pretty demoralizing lol...

My chain ended up breaking at mile 27. I banged it back together with some rocks and kept going. From there on, it came apart several times in the next ten miles when I would crank hard up hills. Usually though, I would hear a few clicks, look down to see one of my sideplates coming off and then smash it back on with my lucky rock before the chain had a chance to fall off. Lucky Rock only stayed with me for a little while, as I accidentally dropped him while talking on the phone with my buddy.

During the last 13 miles I had a ton of chain problems! I probably had to beat that sucker back together on average 3 times a mile. I probably went two miles at the most with no problems. This actually forced me to lower my energy output, since there was no possible way I could push hard without my chain falling apart. Since I was riding as slow as the people who were struggling just to do the 15 mile ride, or 25 mile ride; I was out on the road alone the last 30 or so miles with nothing but my iPod (and Lucky Rock until we got separated). All the workers pretty much had to stay and wait on me, which I kept apologizing to them for. I soon realized those working the event didn't seem to mind, and in fact, towards the end of the ride I got the feeling they were rooting for me.

In true Hollywood fashion though, with half a mile to go my chain totally disintegrated off my baby blue rocket. I looked down and saw parts of the weak link that was giving me trouble tumbling down the road; so I did what anyone else in my shoes would have done, I said, "Fuck it," and just starting running towards the finish line!

When I rounded the last corner and saw the finish; pretty much everyone there working the event, all my friends, and a few road bikers still on hand were cheering me on. I pretty much did the thing as a personal challenge, but it felt good to get that kind of feedback, even if I finished the "race" in dead last by a few hours. Nearing the finish line though, I hopped on the pedals and vocally dedicated a chainless 180 to fakie rollback across the finish line, "To all the workers whom I made stay extra late."

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