Monday, April 09, 2007

The Trees of Tranquility...

On the path to enlightenment... (photo: Mitch Kline --

Despite the cold and windy conditions, a strong contingent of racers showed for the first Psycowpath Series race of the season, held at Tranquility Park in Omaha. Kent McNeill showed us all why he's the Boss right now, and (from what I hear) basically rode away for the unchallenged victory. Nice ridin' Kent.

My initial lap of the race was spent trying to figure out how hard I could push myself in the cold. My achilles tendon has been hurting a bit, and I didn't stretch well prior to the start. About 1/2 way up the starting climb, I was feeling it. By half-way through the lap, I was sitting on the ground beside the trail stretching, watching the bulk of the sport class stream by me.

"OK, so I'm on more of a leisurely cruise," I thought to myself. So I got back onto my bike and started to pedal. I stopped to talk to Hoss about 30 seconds later, figuring what the heck... I've already lost this much time. So Hoss and I chat for a bit, until I recognize a familiar Dos Niner ride by. "Hey, I wonder if that's Bruce Brown," I said aloud. Hoss had no idea what I was talking about.

Now Bruce and I know eachother -- we have for at least a couple years. But we've never actually talked in-person. Our communication to this point has been on So while I thought that might be him, I was definitely not sure.

So I tell Hoss, "dude, I gotta run and catch up to this guy," and I took off in hot pursuit. And after probably pulling my least graceful pass of the race on a mid-pack sport racer (sorry), I caught up to his wheel.

"Hey, are you Bruce Brown?"


"Matt Gersib."

"No way."

So that's how we finally met in-person. We rode together and chatted for a while. I noticed how amazingly color-coordinated his Dos was. Amazing attention to detail... Nice. And as I rode along chatting with Bruce, I realized that my achilles was no longer giving me grief. Like, no pain at all...

So with a quick "on your right," I upped the tempo, bid adieu to my new old friend Bruce Brown, and set off to reel in as many people as I could in the remaining laps. I'll be interested to see how the lap times work out, but laps 3-5 were pretty good for me, with lap 5 being my strongest of the race. Actually worked my way back into the expert field. In the end, I think I finished somewhere around 10th place in my class -- and I had a big smile on my face at the finish, because it was fun.

A big thank you to all who helped put the race on this weekend. It was very well run, and every single person I talked to after the race was super stoked, despite the nasty cold and biting wind. Kudos.

As always, I'm extra thankful to Salsa Cycles and Monkey Wrench Cycles for their support of my riding and racing. My Dos Niner was flawless during the entire race -- wish I could say the same thing about my body. That'll come around.

Finally, Ryan Feagan sacrificed racing to step up to mic and play commentator -- and he was GOOD. In fact, it's not an understatement to say that Ryan was the reason I finished the race. On two of the five laps I was pretty much convinced I was going to pull out of the race and pack it in for the day, but each time Ryan said something that inspired me to continue on.

Ryan's one of the good guys... And while he may not always be front-and-center with the spotlight on him, Ryan is a big reason why the Psycowpath Series is at the heart of mountain bike racing in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. Thanks Ryan!

With races both days this coming weekend, I'm hoping the forecast of consistent rain this week won't materialize. We'll see...



redstone said...

That's sweet to hear that TP is rippin. I grew up about a mile from there. I checked it out 2 years ago and was please. I bet it's all fast and broken in by now.

MG said...

yep, it's broken in now. it would have been even faster had it been warm and not windy as f***.

how's the spider 29 treatin' you dave? i better check in on your blog and see how the build-up is going.

... funny how life works out, isn't it?

redstone said...

eta for the lg spider 29 is end o april, so nothing yet...

MG said...

ooohh... i was thinking you had the frame in-hand. bummer about the wait, but at least you know without a doubt that you'll love it!!

i do wish i had a full-sus 29er, but i think i'm just missing full suspension a bit, regardless of wheel size. relatedly, i actually started building up my old klein adept last night, just for kicks... you know me -- always tinkering. and it'll be a good 'sanity check' for all this 29er kool aid i've been drinking lately.

it's been a while since i rode a 26 inch wheeled bike... i wonder if i still know how?

MG said...

BTW -- Just saw that I finished 9th place in the Expert Open. I worked the lap times out, and it looks like Kent was, on average 1-2 minutes a lap faster than me, even on my best lap. I would have likely been battling in the 4-6 place range, had I not had my first lap issues (based on lap times).

Good thing there's lotsa' racin' yet to do this season!!

Bruce Brown said...

Matt, it was nice to chat with you on lap one as you were working out your achilles tendon woes. Well, you chatted while I pretty much gasped for air....

Anyway, glad to hear the tendon is feeling better. When you took off up that last climb in lap 1 - I kind of figured the tendon must be feeling better.

I'll be doing most of the Psycowpath XC series, so we'll meet again.

Say it isn't so - you're building up a kiddie wheel putt putt?

MG said...

Thanks Bruce -- I think it was talking with you that allowed me to clear my mind of what had just transpired with my left leg.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the season, especially the reappearance of warmer weather!!

And the kiddie wheel bike is just a fun experiment. I know I prefer 29ers almost all the time, but I like tinkering with bikes, and I've got 18 years worth of parts and frames hanging around... waaaaaaay too much stuff, my wife would say.