The author shortly after completing the Levis/Trow, WEMS race.
The fifth race of the Wisconsin Mountain Bike Series was held near the small hamlet of Nellisville, Wi this past Saturday. The temperatures were predicted to be in the "hot" category, combined with high humidity. "Levis/Trow" as this race is known boasts some of the sweetest single track in the Midwest, with Colorado style riding complete with huge sections of bench cut trail along steep ridge lines and techy sustained climbs. This is a pure mountain biker's course through and through.
Since the completion of the "Thunderdown in the Underdown" this writer has undergone several rounds of electro shock therapy in an attempt to come back mentally from that epic ride. "Levis" would gauge whether the return from the abyss transpired or not. In a rare, first time ever in fact, interview done by none other than 'Hondo' Eki is treated with the opportunity to sit down with the eccentric one for a discussion shortly after crossing the finishing line.
So, dear reader sit back and wrap your head around this:
Hondo: Eki, good to see you again, you look like you've gained weight.
Eki: Look away, I'm hideous.
Hondo: So, how did things go for you out there?
Eki: I've lost 19 pounds, do I look fat?
Hondo: You looked strong on the first two laps, yet you're weeping now. Can you describe what you're feeling?
Eki: I feel like I need to apologize for my disgusting performance and I'm worried that my recent therapy sessions didn't take. I was seeing my "friends" again.
Hondo: Your "friends"?
Eki: Yeah, the elves and goblins. They were flitting about for the last three laps. I tried to get them to just show themselves, but they like tormenting me by hiding behind trees and hanging out in the corner of my eye if you know what I mean.
Hondo: Interesting, but weird. How did "Big Mama" (Salsa Cycles) treat you out there?
Eki: Honestly, I didn't feel worthy of being on her back today. I kept apologizing to her as I drove her into obstacles and on one occasion failed miserably to roll her over a boulder on a difficult climb and simply tipped over. I thought I heard her giggle as I landed hard on another large rock.
Hondo: I've never seen such emotion from you. Do you think you could pull yourself together and stop crying so we can get through this?
Eki: (draped all over Hondo in an odd hug) Sorry, it was just a really tough day and I'm a bit demoralized by the two single speeders who made me feel like it was my first time on a bike.
Hondo: Interesting. Who were these MEN?
Eki: Well, one of them is our training partner, "Big Buff" and the other is the super humble and modest, Trevor Rockwell (who should really have a part time job as a mt. bike riding instructor).
Hondo: You realize this performance will put you up before the review board with Mallory, Crazy Horse and the rest of the DBD.
Eki: Yes, of course as it should, but make no mistake I will rise again. Although I was riding in a demented state, don't change your bet. I'll be back! As I've learned from you Hondo, success ebbs and flows in this endurance game.
Hondo: Yes, Yes! It reminds me of myself when I would do super long pulls at the front watching you dangle this past winter, yet somehow you would come back, only to ridicule the way I train you.
Eki: Thank you for this talk. I did enjoy the time.
Hondo: Now, pull yourself together, you're embarrassing me. Holy crap! There's Charly Tri and "Big Buff", I gotta go.
A special thanks to Hondo for taking the time to do this post race interview. Also, I'd like to acknowledge Charly Tri, who absolutely BLEW UP this course, Jason "Big Buff" Buffington and Trevor Rockwell who both made their single speeds look like they had motors on them.
Ultimately, I was awarded a 3rd place in class (5th overall) with 6 laps of 7 completed. A seventh lap was deemed unnecessary given my current position within the race, not to mention a looming "cut off" time made the decision to stop easy.