Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GrassHopper-Uh oh I blew it, it's a Moth

Lake Sonoma
We had our third GrassHopper last Saturday with beautiful weather welcoming us at Lake Sonoma with 100 riders-strong showing up to Gianni Cycling's growing race series. Max Plaxton may have taken time out of his racing schedule and showed up again amongst the ranks of the local heroes. Out of what I could see, Soulcraft also had good presence with the return of Jeff Cleary and the regulars, Keith Marchando, George Hope, Eric Schleth, Sebastien Chevrolet, Jason Matthies in Gianni camouflage and your's truly.The race went in the usual Grasshopper manner, steep climbing right out of the gate and regrets about not pre-riding the course constantly reminding you about the pain and suffering you are about to endure. Time to change the game plan, this is no longer a race but survival. First signs to attest this change in strategy is the number of flats riders were experiencing once we past the point of no return, deeper and deeper towards the end of the Lake. I contributed to the new spirit of comraderie by handing over my only spare tube to Derek Jansen that promptly flatted on the single track. I only came to learn, after the race, that my spare tube had a good hole in it rendering it useless. It's the thought that counts. But the real heroes were....

The Real Heroes
At one of the many creek crossings, we encountered the "pink" Sebastien tending to a fallen rider that had a good gash in his calf from a chain ring bite. I passed the scene and did not give it any further thought as I was convinced that the rider would eventually be ok. I waited for Eric at the top of the switch backs and saw that he was getting involved with asking too many questions about the fallen ride. I decided that the day was going to be long enough and that I needed to follow the riders ahead of me. I figured I would slow up and Eric would eventually catch me.

What I had not realized is how screwed the fallen rider was. He could certainly not pedal, had an open wound that would inevitably get infected and he was very far from being able to get out of the trails with all the help in the world from any fellow cyclist. The only option that the cycling rescue team came up with was to flag a boat and get this guy back to civilization. Eric and Sebastien gave up all thoughts of the race and sacrificed their Saturday to help this guy out. And so they did...

Meet Eric Schleth and Sebastien Chevrolet whenever you have a chance...real Soulcraft riders.

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