Part One - The Team
The phone rang a couple months ago. I answered with the usual "Hey Dude" when the caller I.D. told me that it's Skippy on the other end. I don't remember the exact words from the conversation, but it was pretty close to "Hey man, what do you think about putting together a team for the Burn 24 hour race in May?" Having never raced in any type of event other than cross-country, I was a bit skeptical, yet still interested and intrigued. "Do you mean a team to try and win, or a team to just go have fun?" was my question to him. "Just to go have fun. I want to do a co-ed with you and Pookie on the team. Would you guys be up for it?" Since Pookie was listening in on the conversation (it was on speaker phone), she gave it the ole shoulder shrug and raised lip expression that almost 13 years of marriage has taught me to interpret as "Sure, I'll try it".
Skippy stepped up to be our team leader and point man for the organization and implementation of our plan to take over the world...well, something like that. He took charge of collecting our entry fees, getting us pre-registered and recruiting the other two racers who would round out our co-ed 5-person team. He also supplied the team with a name; The D-List. When you're a superstar, you're on the A-List. When you do commercials and occasionally get recognized in public, your B-List. When nobody knows who you are, you're C-List. Then, there's the D-List. That's us. We fly way under the radar.
Here's the D-List roster:
Skippy - Age 30 - Expert MTB Racer. Team Leader. You'd be amazed how fast he can go downhill on a hardtail. I've seen him whoop up on a big singlespeed field at the Poor Farm Cup in Ashland, VA a couple years back. I've seen him break more bike parts in a single season than I own at any one time. He's also one of the easiest people to strike up a conversation with that I've ever met.
Chris - Age 39 - Sport MTB Racer. I've known Chris for about four years and have seen go from a pure beginner to a very strong rider and racer in a very short time. He seems like he's always in a good mood, even when he's not. I heard him tell a story once about being so mad he wanted to rip some one's head off, but had to laugh because he smiled the whole time he told it. (Remember the hardwood floors in your house Chris?) He'd also go out of his way to help anyone at the drop of a hat. One quality individual.
Adam - Age 27 - Clydesdale MTB Racer. Adam is the quiet, unassuming type - until you really get to know him. Then he's the quiet, unassuming type with quick wit and a mastery of cut-ups. He can also hammer pretty good on a bike. He's been beating up the competition in Clydesdale class in SW Virginia this season. And, he is the man when it comes to finding us an almost unfair advantage for this 24 hour race. (More on that in a future post)
Pookie - Age 19 (Hah! You'll have to guess her real age) - Expert/Singlespeed Chicky. We put her on the team because she has boobs. So does Adam, but his are fake. She also races on a singlespeed and routinely beats all the other women on geared bikes over the same course. I married up. She would be our secret weapon. Girls aren't supposed to ride singlespeeds as fast as she does.
Me - Age 39 13/16 - Expert/Singlespeed racer. I was just along for the experience. I wanted to see how hard I could push myself, and how well I could recover. I never had a problem leading up to a race, but seemed to habitually do the wrong things after a race. This was my chance to test some things I had been doing differently s0 far this season. I am also the token Italian guy on the team.
The Other Secret Weapons:
Moe - Skippy's wife. Official team timekeeper, peace keeper, care-giver, cheerleader and commander of the racer rotation board.
Angelia - The glue that would hold it all together. She could tell you where anything or anyone was when asked...unless she was sleeping.
So team D-List was set. Coming up next, the unfair advantage. Stay tuned!