Icycle happens with or without you. This year, we rented the cabin so there was no holding back. With chains purchased from Marietta Tire, I knew we didn’t have too much to worry about. How horrible would it be to get stuck on the highway with a bunch of beer, your wife and two dogs anyway?
It was an epic journey that took 8 hours instead of 3 in the car. The worst of worst conditions being that the passes were all completely covered and the rest of the highway only slightly covered called for installation and removal of the chains several times. By the way, if you are going to travel with chains, travel with bolt cutters too.
Luckily only one 180 degree sliding turn later, we arrived at Fontana Village with our sights set on the keg and some racing. Staying up till 3:00am drinking tea and eating crumpets on Saturday had me feeling perfect for race day.
Two of the best laps I have ever had at Icycle came next.
Going into the downhill the first cross country lap, I was in Fifth position even though I didn’t know it at the time. As always, the downhill at Icycle suits my skills and when I emerged at the bottom, I was in 2cnd place even though I still didn’t know it.
Then close to the end of the first lap, Zach catches up and we start scheming about locking this thing down. Little did we know that we were being schooled up ahead by one other rider in the single speed class.
We finish the first lap and ride into the second lap. About halfway through the second lap, Zach took off ahead and I couldn’t hold his wheel up the climb but I thought I would reel him back in on the downhill.
Once I got to the downhill I knew I wasn’t far behind so I let it loose still feeling good. Three-hundred yards later I was lying heaped up in a ball off the side of the trail wondering what the fuck just happened. I didn’t waste any time and just hopped back on the bike. A hundred yards later I realized my back brake wasn’t working at all. Not from the fall, but it was the culprit of the fall. I must have toasted my pads completely running the downhill the first time. After the race, I would find this to be true.
I heard the cheers for Zach and caught sight of him for a moment but the lost time was too much so I settled in for an easy third place.
After some shit talk ensued, I was told I had to do the downhill even if I walked it sense there were only two other people signed up for the Hard-Ass downhill. I signed up, made a horrifyingly slow albeit safe trip down the mountain for my practice run and then waited. I was riding the SURLY with flat pedals and hiking boots since I had NO desire to put cycling clothes back on.
Another safe run later and I was at the bottom securing a double podium. I only note that in case AT&T or Gatorade needs a new sponsor. First or third loser is pretty synonymous with those companies anyway right?
Pictures courtesy of Brad with Kristin’s photos to follow on the morrow.