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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Big Upset over Mechanics’ Super D Championship

Over last weekend various categories of mountain bikers, professional and beginner, young and old, fat and skinny all suffered alike in the pizza oven heat at Cougar Mountain in Sears Point. The NORBA national mountain bike championships were at stake.

In what many consider a great upset, Georgia Gould (Luna) rode away with the pro cross country win over the likes of Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna), and Sue Hayward (Trek), and former Olympian, Mary McConneloug.

However, what I consider the Biggest Upset was the finish for the Pro Mechanics’ Open Class Pro-Am Invitational Inaugural Classic Super-D NORBA National Championships. Our Luna Team Mechanic, Chris Mathis, was racing for all the glory.

marla streb
Chris, blue Luna shirt, placed 3rd

Now, with all the current talk of drugs and blood doping in this summer’s Tour de France, I won’t brag about how this year the Pro Mechanics OCPAIICSD was largely negative, urinewise.

Under the spacious and well-appointed Luna tent it was so hot that it felt like the sun was standing still directly over our heads. I kept glancing at the fancy LED flatscreen thingamajig that Chris hangs from one of the window bays…and the time was stuck at 1:02. And then minutes later while wiping the sweat from my mouth breathing upper lip, it dawned on me that it wasn’t the time, but the temperature! It was 102 frickin degrees!

I had just finished my Super D run, (3rd place, better luck next time). Waldek, our team masseur, was rubbing my feet with fragrant unguents, while Chris warmed up for his big race by cleaning my bike. Chris is funny like that. I prefer to warm up on a trainer, or by doing some sprints across the venue, but go figure.

Anyway, when my short travel bike was “catalog photo clean”, Chris continued his warm up for his championship race by swapping out my down hill bike with a lighter wheel set which he had to build. And, he repositioned my grips the very special and subtle way that I like them, even though I was unable to communicate clearly to him as to how…because of the heat.

And then, just as Chris was about to squeeze into his helmet, he decided it would be a good idea to tweak Dave Mac’s (our Team Director) derailleur, because Dave was tentatively planning on possibly riding from the venue to the hotel…if it cooled down enough.

I didn’t get to see Chris run off into the haze for his Le Mans start, or see his gut busting, sweat soaked, finish sprint either. By that late hour in the afternoon it was too hot for me; I was reclining in my air-conditioned hotel suite. But, since I do have a lot of Team spirit, I had asked Zeph, our second mechanic, to stand out under the cancerous sun, on top of the softening asphalt, and with his Treo take a picture of Chris’ finish…and then send me the photo.

The Big Upset part is that Zeph missed the finish because he was working on Shonny’s and Georgia’s short track bikes for Sunday’s race. All Zeph was able to manage was Chris’ podium shot.

And that was very upsetting.


TreeSaw said...

Wow!!! You are blessed with such an amazing crew. My husband crews for me and is good, but not quite the same (I don't get my feet massaged that's for sure) ;)

8:02 AM  
ed said...

Get well soon.

2:37 PM  

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