Another incredible year for the Jamboree. The competition was stiff as always, but, we managed to squeeze in lot of fun between the leg searing stages. I was hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when a hard fall took me out of half the stages. Other than a slight mishap on the first stage, I had a relatively clean race and avoided serious injury.
Historically, this summer-time counterpart to the Outlaws Punk Bike Enduro always seems to land on the hottest, most humid day of the summer. I'm sure this may be an exaggeration, but, it sure does feel that way. Maybe it's going from 0 to 110% that makes it feel this way. Maybe it's chasing down guys like Cargo Mike and Gwads while your lungs are burning and it feels like someone just ripped your legs off and beat you over the head with the stumps. Who knows? What I do know is the Jamboree is a helluva lot o fun and I'll always keep the calendar open when Jim sets the date.
Numbers were down a little over last year and a few friends were oddly absent. Their loss is all I can say. A bunch of the usual suspects were in attendance and we had a strong turnout from the SSOFT crew. RiderX rode fixed and did extremely well against his freewheeling brethren. RickyD, always the fashion diva, busted out a football inspired ensemble that had a lot of people shaking their heads. DC had a strong contingent this year with the aforementioned Mike and Gwads (Joel). DCTony was rocking the course and his bike stayed together the entire day. Always a pleasant surprise. The WUSS boys supplied most of the representation from the Commonwealth and were looking to keep the yellow jersey on their side of the river. They just weren't looking very hard. ;)
Speaking of the yellow jersey, I got to wear it on 3 separate occasions during the day. I was pretty stoked about that and tried to give Mike a run for his money when I could. He was, and usually is, the man to follow and I had fun chasing him through the woods of Patapsco. Then there is Joel, the big man, you give him an opening and he'll punish you for the mistake. Geez, he's fast...and big. On the last stage, I lost the lead to Joel just before the split. Then he made the same mistake I made last year and went to the left. That same mistake cost me 3 spots last year and I believe that was the toll exacted on him this year. You gotta love a little previous beta for these type of races.
At the end of the day it all came down to a hand of BlackJack. Mike was in the lead with 80 points, I had 70 and I think Joel was around 48. Last year I went all-in, busted and went down in flames. This year I was "trying" to be conservative and not really knowing much about gambling focused on the wrong person. I should have hedged my bet against Joel's 48 points and instead I pulled a pussy move and only bet 1o of my points. I know, I know, what the fuck was I thinking? That bet doesn't even make sense. In the end I didn't bust, but neither did Joel or Tony who both went "all-in". That moved them up and me down into the 4th position. The DC contingent sweeps the '09 Jamboree. Oh well, maybe next year I'll play a little smarter. I just hope the legs will get me to the table again.
Huge thanks to Jim, Amy and her parents for their continued support of this event. It's always a great time and after the "adults" are done playing the kids actually get a chance to race as well. Jonathan and Jackie participated this year and Jonathan did it on two wheels. I got him steady for the start, but, after that, it was all him. It was awesome to see his face beaming as he crossed the finish line. Jackie got some assistance from Will and she was very excited as well. The kids race really is an event where everyone is a winner, parents included.