Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sea Otter XC part 2

Previously on Sea Otter part 1:
I had seen Boone chasing me and taken off like a scared bunny.

I passed the two guys I was working with and put as much time into my chasers as possible, catching my wife Brooke in the process.
The last section of the course was rolling single and double-track opening onto fireroad and I knew Alex was back there so I pushed hard, sprinting over all the rollers and passing when I had the chance.
About a minute after I hit the last LONG (after 2.5 hours racing) fireroad climb out of the valley and over the hill onto Laguna Seca I heard Alex yelling "I'm coming for you Lyle!!!!!!!!!!!!" and turned around to see the familiar Fisher blue of Boone, charging up the hill after me.
At that point, for us, there were only two people in the race. Him and me.
It was honestly the most exhausting, drag-race of a finish ever, with us drilling it for the line at warp, no, PAST warp speed. We may have hit PLAID:

Yep, plaid.
So there we were, racing each other for the line and I think it gave us the extra motivation that we needed because I kept seeing friends that had passed me early on (a nearly 3 hour race is pretty long!). Chris Brown, Romolo, Jason Siegle (YESSSS, sorry Jason but after the ass-kicking that you handed me at Fontana I was particularly happy to reel you in), finally it was one last all-out effort to make a last pass before the last singletrack, fast (but not to fast) as I could through the twistiness, a quick "Hi Cheryl!!!!" (and thanks for the pass) as I saw one of my teammates about to podium in her race, up the funky, gravelly, sketchy, loose, steep right hand turn and out onto the track where I semi-coasted for the line.
I kept looking back all the way down the track, completely relieved that I had enough of a gap that I didn't have to ride hard any more.
At the line I had my timing chip cut off and 45 seconds later Boone came in with only one guy separating us.
Then he and I and Cheryl cooled down together and Brooke and I went back to the hotel with the rest of our family to shower and check out.
We considered having lunch at this phoking place, just because the name was so phoking sweet:
We went back to the venue instead though, I had a beer or 2 with Team Bearclaw, we watched the end of the Pro race (nice job Sammy! 1st in ST and 2nd in XC. If they'd had an omnium you'd have crushed it.), said "hi" to friends (including the Bravo Condoms bulldog, the sweetest and possibly only condom spokesdog to ever ride a quad at Sea Otter), took care of some business and got the heck out of Dodge.
The drive back was scenic because we chose to head down along the coast, even though it adds a bit of time.
We stopped at Taco Temple, possibly the best restaurant in the universe.
We arrived home. We did not unpack. We slept.

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