September 14, 2016
I love Windham. It’s the place I earned my first podium. That race was a ProGRT too. But this was my first time riding a World Cup course. Knew the track well from so many track walks as a spectator. Knew it was steep. The nerves were there for sure. Showed up super early on Thursday and set up our pit with the factory teams again. Partnered with Defiant to get a good spot and a decent rate. Jeremy and Tracey showed. Amy was there. Joe P. and Dylan too.
We finished set up on Friday, threw our gear on and headed up the lift. It was me, Jeremy and Dylan. As soon as our asses hit the chair lift, the sky opened up. It was good enough to soak us all pretty well through. Enough to turn the track into peanut butter. My first World Cup track…in the pouring rain.
We dropped in. Dylan and J pulled ahead steady. I dabbed a foot here and there and just tried to keep off my brakes. Made it down. Gnarly man. Track is just so steep. And in the wet like that….it’s just tough to hold on. Didn’t rain at all after that and the track dried up real fast.
Practiced all day long, getting faster and faster throughout the day.
Jeremy and Dylan broke off and were putting the entire track together piece by piece. By the end of day 2, they had every feature dialed. Including the road gap – a personal achievement for them both. These two really had a great weekend.
Amy was doing well too. She was hitting the sketchy little rock wall drop and managed to keep the bike upright all throughout practice. She passed us a few times on course and seeing her get after it gave me a decent boost of confidence.
Saturday Practice. Got a few runs in. Getting faster and faster through the rock garden. Did a run with Jeremy and on the way up, there was a voice in my head. Something about not wanting to do another run. I brushed it off. I shouldn’t have. My head wasn’t in it for this run.
Followed Jeremy to the rock garden. He stopped and I speed by him, turning it up a notch or two on the way in. I got sucked to the right and over a shark fin I was clearing all weekend. Too fast this time. Suspension packed up and I got shot over the bars faster than I have ever been ejected before. Tons of people crashed in this area for practice. My bad luck? I got my hands out and into the rocks. My left had must have cam down on a jagged rock cause it dislocated my wrist something fierce. I took a rock to my goggles and hit my helmet pretty good. Got up and could feel my wrist numbing. Shit. Problem was, my eyes couldn’t focus. The rock that hit my goggles left a giant gash in the lens. I had some sort of occular concussion for about 5 good minutes or more. Jeremy came down and went for help. Every other rider around went back to riding and watching people in the rock garden. One guy came over to help. Kris Roy. Good dude. Stayed with me till Ernie got there and my eyes came back. Then I looked at my wrist. It was jacked hard. Rode the gator down and drove myself to Albany. They reduced it, wrapped it, told me it was fucked bad, and tried to get me to do the surgery there. I told them I was going to do it in Baltimore and went back to the hotel after a 6 hour ordeal in the hospital. Not going to go into detail here. I have another post on the way for that.
Amy qualified third while I was at the hospital. God bless her, she was going to give up quali to ride with me. Even saw her walking after my truck but I couldnt bring myself to let her ruin her weekend when she was killing it like she was.
Got back, went to sleep, and woke up and hung out for a while the next day. Packed up the pit and shoved off to Union Memorial. Drove right into the ER. Had my doc picked out on the drive there. Got surgery 5 days later. The pics I was able to grab were all from just before everyone’s race run. Joe P. showed up day of race with Jennie and the kids. He actually tried to have Dana ride the course. That lasted for one-third a run. Genius buddy.