I'd be crazy to challenge Chad in any other race, but you introduce guns into the mix and it's a whole new ballgame. When Paz, Ryan, Chad and I unite to race the Soldier Hollow Biathlon, there is always a lot more on the line than bragging rights. A whole lot more. What could make this race so important, you might ask? The last across the line buys churros at Tarahumara, that's what. And these ain't your Disneyland churros.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was a little worried going in since I'd be racing against the fast guys. I was happy not to be in last place going into the first shooting range, but my gun was having problems, so I had to get up and wait for another minute while another gun became available. I was last place leaving the gun range, but only missed one shot, so I caught a few guys who were burning extra calories in the penalty lap.
Next lap, I was on a roll at the range, but double-cocked the gun which wasted a round, so I had to ride another penalty lap.
By the way, have you noticed that when you say the word "cock" in relation to a gun, it sounds normal, but when you write it down, it still seems a little, um, weird? I digress...
The next three laps, I never missed another target. I was shooting the lights out. Paz was way off the front despite starting a minute after Chad and I (Watch out for Paz, Expert 30-39'ers - he's back), but I caught and passed Chad, who was literally getting so dizzy riding penalty laps that he lost count during one of his many visits.
The race was only about 9-10 miles (12-13 for Chad), but it was the hardest 9-10 miles ever since it is non-stop sprinting. Even after doing at least 11 fewer penalty laps than Chad, I only narrowly beat Chad and Ryan to avoid buying churros.
Speaking of sprinting, I pulled what you single-speeders might call a dirty move at the end. I came around the last turn and saw a single-speeder pulling out of a penalty lap. As you may know, the last few hundred yards is a flat paved section - a single-speeder's worst nightmare. I saw the gear-impaired rider was spinning his brains out and pounced to edge him at the line (which, in a Wed. night race is an imaginary line somewhere right before the tag-pulling lady, so maybe I didn't edge him out). Hey, in my defense, it was really just retaliation for all the times you 1-speeders put me in the pain cave as you pull away on the climbs. Kenny will certainly make me pay for that low-blow. So is it a cycling faux pas for a geary to out-sprint a single-speeder on flat pavement? The equivalent of punching a helpless old blind lady? (I'm not sure how many more penalty laps Kenny did than me, but since I was with him at the end, I'm guessing it was a lot)
Oh, and since we're on the subject of single-speeds, I may be in the market for one of those new-fangled contraptions. Give me a heads-up if you see a size medium on the market.
Island Park July 4
5 weeks ago