Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tour de Flatirons: Stage 3

Bowling Ball Scrambling on the First Flatiron (The Colonel, Nodin de Noggin, Colin, Herr Griebel, Ultra Lee, Deisel)

Kid Kyle did it again. And in doing so, he also broke 10 minutes for the 10-12 pitch, 800-vertical-foot Direct East Face of the First Flatiron. That's just plain ridiculous. And Hall and Oats and the Bearded Shirtless Wonder were right on him. They put a nice gap into the rest of the field and that would have been the podium except that Shirtless dude, who seems to live in the Flatirons, get this, got lost! That allowed Hans and Franz to nab his first podium in a couple of years. He used to live on that podium. Heck, he even left this toothbrush there, he was there so often.

Gory Killer, the Modern Major General, Newguydanus, and General Lee were sprinkled behind the leaders and gapping the main peloton. The rest of the field were locked into countless mini battles with some exciting position changes. I took my usual position towards the back. I was exercising my strategy of letting the guys in front tire themselves out. Or tip over. Seriously. Guys like Clemmensen, Mt. Vinson, Blanchard, and The Colonel are so top heavy with muscles, I'm surprised they can stay upright. While someone like myself, with the ideal center of mass created by my fat reserves around my waist, is very stable. I'm like Weeble. Except that I keep falling over because my ankles are made of balsa wood.

I'm getting a bit worried that Sheri might think something is up with Sonia and me, as we appear to be nearly inseparable during a stage. When I want to attract women, like to fill the field at the Ramble, I get bupkis. When I want to repel them, it's like I'm suddenly Brad Pitt. Sonia would say, "Hey, I don't like being near you at all. You stink, you know. It's horrible back here. I'm just trying to get by." But who you gonna believe?

I tripped on the approach to the First and Sonia nearly ran me over. I rolled out of the neatly and she roared by with inches to spare. I executed one of those Ninja moves to get back on my feet and sprinted after her. Too bad we don't have video footage of this. Impressive stuff. At the base of the First Flatiron I look up and see it completely swarmed with wanna-be-scramblers Minion runners, clogging up my favorite line. I cruised up the start, passing Jon O's, I think. I couldn't tell. I moved to the left and started paddling up a line I'd never taken before. Momentum helped stick me to the rock but a couple of minor foot slips focused me right quick. I had Sonia in tow and didn't want to take her with me should I slide down. Dammit, woman, get in behind those other Minions on the proper line!

I merged into my favorite line above, having passed a few other Minions. Sonia veered even further to the left. Alas, I'm free! I think I passed Mt. Vinson near here and he said, "I was wondering when you were going to come by." There's a novel thought to be sure. Not many people wonder this about me, as I don't usual pass anyone. But I know the First Flatiron. I know it very well. Sure, not like Stefan, who I'm absolutely sure could climb this rock blindfolded. I couldn't walk to my own bathroom blindfolded.

I got up to the tree at the top of the first pitch and veered further left on my standard route and there's BRB back in her usual spot, three feet behind me! It went that way all the way up to the top. The usual massive pain in my lungs and legs. I had to get to the rappel lines before her. If I have any advantage it is sliding down a rope. I don't need any fitness or skill. Just mass. And I've got that. Perfectly distributed, as previously discussed. At the summit I find Captain Koch is hanging off the side of the cliff, holding out a free line to me. I'd given the riggers explicit instructions to keep a line free for me. I was on it in a flash and the Captain checked my rappel device, while I hastily pulled on my glove. I was away in seconds and on the ground 20 seconds later and bouncing down the trail until the rope pulled free of my device, passing Sir Crimps-alot in the process. BRB, so out of oxygen that she forgot how to put her rappel device on the rope and had to re-do, fell back.

I dashed down the trail to the Sunset Flatironette and then down the climbers' trail towards the Second Flatiron. Crimps was closing fast and I stepped aside to let him pass. I didn't want to push the pace too much here for fear of snapping the balsa. I followed him to the base of the South Sneak, all the while with my ears pricked up like a Boston Terrier listening for signs of a beet red Irish crusher.
I fell in line behind Crimps on the climb. He veered to the right, on the correct route (kudos to him for that), and I followed the easier, shorter line of least resistance - the Modern Major General variation. When Crimps traversed back over, he was just above me and I was doing my best Sonia impersonation following him.

Just before the last piece of the Second, I took a new variation to the right, lower, and slipped in front of Crimps. I didn't expect to stay there, as he's a faster runner, but thought I might be able to hold it until the top of the Sunset Flatironette. I executed the top section quickly and got a 20-second gap on him by the summit. There I found a traffic jam. David "Crazy Fast" Glennon was demonstrating that vertical downclimbing is not the same as road running. Alexander The Not-As-Great-As-I-Previously-Thought and the Little Monster were there observing this demonstration. Normally, I'd fall into line as well, but I had a bogie on my tail. I downclimbed more directly, hoping to bypass the jam, but it was too radical and I traversed back almost getting in front of the Little Monster, but he's wiley and agile and I got pinched off. Once on the ground, those three gapped me nicely, as I did my usual water buffalo impersonation along the trail and through the woods to the base of the Sunset Flatironette.

Glennon stepped aside there and the Great and the Monster went by, but I was too far back. I caught Glennon on an easy section of this rock and paddled by him ferociously, instructing him not to let Sir Crimps-alot by. The Monster felt me coming and I could hear him above urging on the Great: "Come on, man, they're coming!" I had just enough breath to respond, "Easy up there. Don't rush him." The Great was on one of the crux sections of Sunset and needed to take it carefully. In fact, everyone did such a great job of slowing down and being solid when they needed to be and everyone just fell in line and let them work it out (if they couldn't find a way around). Alas, I gassed myself passing Glennon and the Great and the Monster pulled away nicely, with the Monster passing the Great and disappearing from my view for the rest of the stage.

Glennon proved a nice buffer between me and Sir Crimps-alot. Previously, I assumed he'd run by me on the long descent, but now, finally, I was full-on racing him. It's only legal to race two other people in the Boulder City Open Space and now I was racing the Great and Sir Crimps-lot. Game on, youngsters (we old people can call anyone a youngster).

I topped Sunset and scrambled off the backside to the old "trail" leading down to the Saddle Rock Trail. I could see The Great ahead of me and, remarkably, I wasn't losing ground. Joe Grant was back here and he urged me on. I was carefully picking my way down the technical terrain, trying so hard not to twist my ankle, moving at approximately the pace of my mother-inlaw with her bum foot, but actually on the edge of my control. I think at one point Joe was just walking along next to me checking his social media feeds on his phone.

Down on the trail, I started to close the gap to The Great. I knew I had little chance of passing him and wouldn't be able to once we hit the rock, but my biggest concern was Sir Crimps-alot. I didn't dare look back for fear of tripping but not terrier ears were on red alert for any footfalls. At the base of the last scramble, the Second Pinnacle, was Lady Crimps-alot her the 3-year-old lad Owen. The tyke cheered on the Great and I, not knowing we were putting the hurt on daddy. Thanks, kid.

In the chimney, the Great is fading and I'm so close behind him that I'm giving his butt a boost with my head. He cramps up on the move to the right and. As we pause to let the muscle release, Sir Crimps-alot arrives at the base, ready to slay any dragons above. Ack! Now it was my turn to urge on the Great. Above, still cramping, he graciously stepped aside and let me pass. I motored on up to the summit, hurting so badly, but nearly ready to do a Cordis-style jumping descent to maintain my position. Instead, I made myself slow down and be solid on the descent. I had slipped at the very bottom of this descent on a preview (with Sir Crimps-lot, as it turned out) and nearly had a nasty fall. As I started down, I could see the Little Monster finishing up the descent. There would be no catching him. I was solid and made the ground safely. I hurried down the gradual switchbacks and back onto the Amphitheater Trail for the final run out, finally secure that I wouldn't be passed.

So ridiculously funny! I didn't think it could get better after Stage 2, but this was even more fun for me, probably because it played more to my strengths.

Derek's report:
The race was just so good, as always. Though I’m disappointed Stefan and Colin couldn’t have gotten off-route again for me... selfish... smh.
Still, I had a good race with Ryan Monster and David Alexander, spiced with David Glennon and The Colonel Sanders.
Ryan and David hounded me on the First, passing just on the edge of out of sight, while I barely held off Sir Crimps. Connor Koch gave some sweet rope courtesy for the rappel and I was down quick and hot in pursuit. I passed Ryan once we hit the gully proper. Then I passed David A only to immediately go off route, got passed, then passed again shortly before the 2nd. I managed to hold off my chasers in the second, and passed David G at a tricky traverse section where I went higher. He apologized but I said there was no problem.
Higher up Ryan and David were chatting it up, wasting breath being nice to each other and me. I mustered some response but was more occupied with hurting.
I gapped them over to Sunset, and then caught up to Erik S on the upper part. He had gone right where I go left, so I said I didn’t know where to go other than stay left. I still managed to overshoot the steep jug move and quickly Erik was by me again.
I had a rough time linking to Saddle Rock. I looked a pretty big rock and stopped to make sure it wouldn’t move more. It didn’t get going very fast. I just felt slow. Erik was gone as soon as he hit the descent. I got to the chimneys and luckily had put some more time on my chasers. I summitted T2 and could see Erik on the down climb, but again, as soon as he touched dirt he was out of sight. Boy can move.
Danny's report:
I self identify as a climber, and have never enjoyed running. In high school track, I did the jumping events and would go to great lengths to avoid even the warm up runs. Yet, clearly it’s time to embrace this shit. This stage simply had too much climbing for me to have any sort of advantage. Of course, that’s mostly because the other guys I’m racing are all really really really fast on these rocks!
I trotted to the 1st with control and poise, getting there just behind world class David Glennon. Then things went sort of to shit for some reason. I made an altogether sketchy pass of David and nearly lost control of both feet. After a second I collected myself and got my head straight. I punched out a pretty solid (for me) lap on the first. I wish I would’ve taken a split as it was almost certainly a PR. Alas watch buttons are a far cry from feasible in the midst of a tour stage. Despite the good jaunt, Ryan passed me at the party ledge.
Stefan, as I had expected, was right on my ass for most of the 1st despite me beating him to the rock by a healthy margin. He’s done our most famous rock faster than anybody else in the race though, so I knew he would catch me here. When we got into the DC I thought I might get treated to a show, with him perhaps jumping clean over me or something crazy. Thankfully it didn’t come to that and I managed to hold a slight lead.
I kept expecting to catch Ryan any second, but every time I looked up he seemed further, or I would maybe glimpse Kilgore instead. By the time I saw him DC-ing sunset in the all too distant horizon, I knew the race was over for me. Now I just had to make sure I beat Stefan.
On the run to tower 2 I started to hear somebody catching me up and thought “ah shit, Stefan!” In the chimney I hear “Danny!” And look down and it’s actually Tony Krupicka. He fucked up S Sneak something fierce, and ended up doing FFA. Obviously this did not give him any sort of advantage. He passed me on the climb but as he clogged the upper chimney briefly I had a second to look down. Ah shit! “Eric is that you!?!” Yep, Eric Lee ladies and gentleman, he of sub 5m miles was now right behind me! Well needless to say I didn’t fuck around much on the run out. Barely squeaked it.
I honestly had a pretty good performance today, so it really just comes down to an altogether stellar performance by Ryan who, I think snagged 3rd. This stage pulled out all the stops. An absolutely all time linkup. In the lot I couldn’t help but marvel that 2 years ago sub 60m on just the first was a big deal. Me and about 10 other guys just got sub 60m on the first, second, sunset, and 2nd pinnacle! What a bunch of freaks!

Sonia's report:
Painful approach to the first, pretended to be Bill's shadow as per usual. 
Felt pretty good on DEF, took some weird variation on the start behind Bill that let us pass a bunch of people. Usually rapping is my best ability but this time I managed to put my rappel device on backwards and had to take it out and then got tangled in the other line on the way down, losing sight of Bill on the way.
Found the base of SS pretty good, getting some good vibes from a barefoot Adrian on the way up. I started catching up to some people but then got confused on the Pullman car and chimneyed up the side of it, arriving on the downclimb ledge. Tagged the summit then went back down and got kind of confused on the way to chase the sun, mainly bushwhacking down the hill through large boulders.
Too many o's was catching up to me the whole way up Sunset as I took every single tiny summit on the way up and had to reverse several times. Happily, I met the spirit of David Glennon at the top of Sunset and he guided me down the hillside until we got to the trail. I caught Glennon again on the second pinnacle but wasn't able to return him the guiding favor since I made the climbing look pretty hard and he took a different way.
All in all a successful outing!

Full Results:

Need some more times...

Stage 1: Slab to Fiddlehead to OnocleaStage 2: Front Porch to Angels Way to Hillbilly RockStage 3: DEF on First Flatiron to South Sneak on Second Flatiron to Chasing the Sun on Sunset Flatironette to South Face of Pinnacle Two
Kyle "I Didn't Run in HS" Richardson10:46:5510:46:3310:46:46
Cordis Hall "and Oats"30:49:35160:59:4520:51:48
Ryan "Hans and" Franz70:56:0660:51:1630:54:11
Jason "Halloween" Killgore130:57:5520:48:3440:55:24
Logan Newguydanus50:50:4040:50:2650:55:55
Anton "Overtrain" Krupicka40:49:509960:56:09
Danny Gilbert "and Sullivan Modern Major General"60:55:3250:51:0270:56:52
Eric Lee "I Play the Cowbell Roth"80:56:2530:49:5680:57:25
Stefan "Herr" Griebel90:56:48100:57:3590:58:44
Colin Simon "and Garfunkel"151:00:40150:59:23100:59:16
Nodin de "Noggin" Saillan271:07:56201:02:23111:00:30
Erik "The Colonel" Sanders120:57:2870:56:43121:02:51
Derek "Deisel" Wright181:01:2680:57:13131:03:16
Ryan "The Litlle Monster" Marsters191:02:28221:03:42141:04:35
Bill "Satan" Wright231:06:02191:00:30151:05:34
David Alexander "the Great"171:01:18110:57:57161:06:00
Sir Brian Crim"ps A Lot"211:04:39130:58:25171:06:24
Sonia "Beet Red" Buckley261:07:25211:03:06181:08:49
Jon "I like o's" Oulton251:06:55231:04:20191:10:11
Dan "Mount" Vinson362:15:12140:58:55201:10:19
John Alcorn "Muffin Top"241:06:35181:00:01211:10:34
Zach "The Spy" Ryerson281:08:10301:15:12221:11:22
David & Glennon"ith"141:00:22120:58:20231:12:54
Brendan "I'm no Barry" Blanchard301:13:54251:05:04241:14:33
Angela "I'll Report My Time When I'm Good and Ready" Tomczik291:11:21261:06:19251:17:28
Rush "To Judgement" Combs99341:45:09261:30:01
"Turn the" Page Weil311:20:27321:27:03271:33:00
Darren "Freezeway" Smith331:20:39331:29:30281:33:10
Derek "I love e's" Clemmensen161:00:4190:57:20#VALUE!?
Brian "I Race With A Backpack" Lehman352:04:45311:16:49#VALUE!?
Max "Jonathon Livingston" Seigal9999#VALUE!?
Maury "The Bird Is the Word" Birdwell9999#VALUE!?

No comments: