For a non-caffeine addled race report, see here.
It's 2:00 pm in Hagerstown and the Rockstar goes down a little rough. I'm spinning on the main drag in Hag-town, finally feeling better from Poolesville and Reston two weeks ago, but now feeling worse about the dark skies in the West. On the fourth turn the blood on the pavement from the face of the Kelly rider is still there.
No caffeine for a month, and for some reason (maybe the sight of Blair's face after his accident) I'm doing the hard stuff.
Five minutes later I'm suffering from euphoria, supreme confidence, a loss of appetite, insomnia, alertness, increased energy, a potential paranoia (ending after use), and a craving for more cocaine.
The day had been beautiful and cool till the moment we 4s hit the start line. It starts pouring and the race is delayed.
While the rains come I sit alone on the front porch of some beautiful old Hag-town home and feel the supreme confidence and euphoria hit. I can win this race. My legs will shut up and do as I say. I scrap my old plan of sitting in and saving my energy for the inevitable bunch sprint: I'm going to attack from the gun.
When the rain slows and the race starts I jump. I have no idea how to take the corners and take completely wrong lines coming into them. I hear Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and the Korean kid who plays the Super Mario Brothers theme with two guitars in my head. I forget all the clips of crashes I watched the day before. Yes, I'm a boob.
Bert Garcia comes up and says something like, "let's go ballistic." So we kind of do, but because of the corners, we really can't. Avery Wilson is on my wheel and I suddenly realize he's less than half as old as me and maybe I should start thinking sensibly so I ease up a little. The corners have rivers of water running through them.
Yeah, then I'm down. Back up, on my bike, sprinting to catch back on and suddenly I can't pedal. My crank's stuck. "There's a stick in your crank," the motoref says. Actually, it's my cable housing.
I'm done. Or am I?
I run up to the pit, throw my bike on the grass. Where's my brother? Where is the bastard? Why isn't he here?
People are staring at me, covering their children's heads. "See honey," they murmur, "look at what crack does to you!"
I run down to the edge of the course. "WHERE'S MY BROTHER? I NEED HIS BIKE!!!!" My teammates stare at me. They have not seen me like this before. I may or may not have thrown various objects and bellowed in frustration.
Tony A and I manage to get my brother's bike from the car, and we're running with the frame back to the pit. We throw the spare set of wheels on. The ref isn't sure what's going on or what happened. I cajole him and Tony presents his Congressional credentials. My brother draws a logic chain out in the dirt with a stick, Socratic-like. The ref relents. I hop back in.
After a few laps, I go off the front again, this time with Coppi's Tom Blonkowski. Although we worked well together, we didn't have quite enough juice to build a real gap.
With five to go, we're all back together.
I see Ringer on the sidelines. Must have been caught behind a crash. There are only about 15 of us left, and I'm only partly there.
On the last lap Matt Braughler made the right move, jumping early, before the car backed out on the course. Pete Warner jumped after him, but not quite quickly enough to avoid the car. Pete eased up a little, I think wondering if the car would kill us all. Well, when we caught up to Pete, Adam from 540 touched bars with him and took him down, so maybe Pete should have just left us behind.
In the end, I caught Bert's wheel and got fifth.
The Rockstar wouldn't let me sleep after the race.
I do not endorse this product.
Thanks: Sam, Tony A., Martin and Brown for staying and cheering and helping me get sorted out.