Monday, June 02, 2008

PFFFFfffffssssssss.......and various other sounds

ZA,ZA,ZAzzzippppppppp, Ka-thump/Ka-thump/Ka-thump/Ka-thump/etc., KLUNK-klunk-bumpalump (x2), sandwiched by a couple of PFFFFffffsssssssssss's!

If you've ever thought of triathlons being filled with a bunch of sounds........the above sounds are not ones you want to hear. Come to think of it, it's pretty hard to spell sounds....try it sometime!

OK. Some explanations are in order. Following the explanations no further descriptions of how my race at the Route 66 Olympic in El Reno, Oklahoma should be needed.

With 5 minutes to race start I'm pulling my wetsuit onto my shoulders and reaching back and grabbing the string attached to the zipper that helps zip it up.....I get a ZA,ZA,ZA as the zipper locks a few teeth together with some resistance....then all of a sudden....zzzzzziiiiipppppppppppppp. Well, now, that was way to easy and fast. Sure enough, the zipper broke! Three minutes to race start and I'm takin' off my wetsuit trying to fix the zipper! A couple of nice volunteers see me and come over to help but to no avail. We had to put the wetsuit "down" right there on the track for everyone to see. Now I'm the only one not in the water and the guy on the loud speaker says, "wait, here's one more swimmer". That would be me.

The name of the triathlon helps explain the Ka-thump/Ka-thump/Ka-thump. The race is the Route-66 as in the OLD, famous, Route 66 highway that stretches across America. Stories are told about it, songs have been written about it and now curse words have been heaped upon it. You see, this stretch of Route-66 is still the original road. Concrete road. With some not so skillfully patched portions of the road. Every 20 yards or so the sections of concrete are separated making a distinct Ka-thump sound as one passes over. So, for 16 of the 25 mile bike portion it's a constant Ka-thump, Ka-thump, Ka-thump and on and on and so forth and so forth. It's enough to drive you nuts all by itself. Except not only does all the Ka-thumping drive you crazy, it also can, and did, cost me dearly in more ways than one.

That brings me to the KLUNK-klunk-bumpalump. The first one was my water bottle bouncing out of my holder on the back of my seat and landing on OLD Route-66. I wasn't the only one losing a water bottle. That particular portion of OLD Route-66 was like a graveyard for water bottles that day. I'm not quite sure what was worse...all the Ka-thumping or avoiding all the water bottles on the road. Anyway, the second KLUNK-klunk-bumpalump was my salt capsule container bouncing to the concrete. It escaped from my bento box while trying to down a GU.

By now I'm sure you can guess what the PFFFFffffssssssss represents. Yep, in the famous words of Howard Cossell (with some variation) "Down goes the tube, Down goes the tube". I'm flying down this hill and at the bottom is one of those not-so-skillfully patch portions of OLD Route-66. It's asphalt with about a 3-inch lip. I hit it doing about 35 - 40 mph. PFFFFffffssssssss is the next sound I hear. My first flat in an actual race. The silver lining in this thing is that I get to practice changing a flat. I proceed to do so and in the meantime I watch everyone zip right by me. I'm not quite sure because sweat ran into the corners of my eyes but I thought I actually saw a three-toed sloth pass me at that point. Anyway, I got it fixed, got back on and headed on my way passing some of those same folks who passed me earlier (no sign of the sloth). I'm back up to speed with a good cadence Ka-thumping my way back to the transition when.....PFFFFffffssssssss.....AGAIN. I usually watch my language but it was at this moment that curse words were heaped upon OLD Route-66.

I'm sure I looked pretty goofy walking a bicycle along the side of the road with a goofy looking aero helmet on and wearing these awfully tight shorts and shirt to all the farmers and ranchers whizzing by me in their cowboy Cadillacs in Western Oklahoma.

Mercifully a race volunteer picked me up and took me back to the transition area ending my misery and my race.....Ka-thumping all the way!

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