Thursday, December 18, 2008

Greenlake Race of Champions 2008

You'd of had to be crazy to be out in a car this Thursday night on Seattle’s icy streets; on a bike, you just had to be determined.

In spite of the weather—or maybe because of it—the Greenlake Race of Champions was declared ON this afternoon and so anybody with an ounce of self-respect wouldn’t have missed it—and me neither.

The scariest part of the evening was just making it down the back alley from my house; once I was out on the streets, I felt progressively safer and safer as the evening wore on, an emotion only partly to be explained by the usual; additionally, as fewer and fewer automobiles attempted to navigate the roads, the real danger out there diminished. While there were a couple times during the evening when I skidded out, the only really frightening scenarios involved cars.

A good dozen-plus congregated at Westlake and spanned the gamut from Chase on his fixed gear with skinny tires to Lee on his Pugsley bedecked in Christmas lights which Featherhead, test-riding, wheelied on the bricks.

We had a sort of shakedown cruise along Westlake and Eastlake to the Zoo for warmth and prize pick-up then proceeded apace to Greenlake where we were welcomed by a reasonably impressive Roman candle display which may or may not have been for us, but sure seemed like it.

I raced in the preliminary December race and pulled a total Rosie Ruiz. Dropping back from the pack, I circled around behind the grandstand to the trail and hid, until I could just see the racers approaching.

Then, I hopped on my bike, and panting furiously, sprinted the last 50 yards or so of the course, arriving to amazement and cheers.

It was all I could do release the dream and come clean, but it sure was fun while it lasted.

The thing is, I probably could have pulled it off, and then even “beaten” two-time champ, Padraig, in the main event.


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