Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Surprise tooth removal!

We’ll get to that later though. 
I managed to survive the 24 hour race with a *patched up* mouth. The dentists rebuilt all of my teeth, but that is not to say that all is good. They are projected to be sore for a couple of months, which quite frankly sucks. After my initial brain injury, I lost my sense of smell – though I still have my sense of taste. This means that I don’t get the entire “flavour” (taste and smell combined makes flavour) of what I’m eating, but I am so grateful that I still taste, otherwise life is pretty mundane; so food and taste is a welcome relief to my day. With my teeth out of sorts I’ve been putting myself through unnecessary pain by still trying to eat anything I want (and not taking the pain killers).
24 hour racing food was done with some thought to both extreme calorie intake and sensitivity of my mouth. Six cups of cous cous (dry) which is so nice, they named  twice! That meant 2 huge Tupperware tubs of cous cous, some pretty terrible taco salad I tried to make, some fruit, and of course jells and bars. My team had a pretty sweet campsite though the endowment from our wonderful sponsors the Great Lakes Brewery...which was apparently at the other Cycle Solutions site. After inhabiting a dry site for a while, the guys decided it was time to perform a heist. We needed that beer, and it really wasn’t going to matter what the other tribe had to say. It was shocking what we found there. Two big demo tents that said Cycle Solutions, two picnic tables, and a big tub with ice and a 60L keg of Great Lakes Brewery Blonde. No guards, nothing. We even came on it from the east side, as the sun was setting west. A beautiful mirage is all it looked like.
By about midnight we received a visit from some friends from Bracebridge, and I was getting sick of my gearing (still being stuck in my big ring). My resources were few. An old grip-shift shifting set, made for 3X9 drivetrains (mine is 2X10), but these were mountain bike veterans I was with, and nothing beats a micro adjusting gripshift shifter. Of course with beer as payment, things weren’t done terribly efficiently (my teammate Allan showed up while we were doing this right after his lap, threw up for a few minutes, but some good old “puke and rally!” encouragement got him back, he didn’t go thirsty), but after a while I was set up with a working front shifting system, using what is known as the archaic technology of “Grip Shift”.
The rest of the race was good, 1 fall, but as I was writhing in pain on the ground Preston Wagler (one of the top ranked pro/elites in Ontario) passed me, which was motivating to get back up and I rode out a night lap with him only 3 minutes slower than my day lap times. The morning wasn’t awful either. At one point I thought we were battling for a position in the top 3, so I was motivated and rode a double lap – and then some, just to get a T-shirt from riding through a bog on a plank while spectators sprayed me with hoses and water guns. SO worth it. Unfortunately I was not feeling great after the race, the fall in the night had left me unable to really move my left arm (even needed help to get my jersey off), sleeping accommodations were simply the back of a Toyota Matrix with a 134 pound dog, but 24 hour races are fun, you meet new people, and my buddy Nico that came with me had so much fun that he even did extra night laps for another team! Mission accomplished.
Monday I registered for what will hopefully be the best race I’ve ever done! The Redbull Monte Descend race at Mont Saint Anne. This race is a promotional race in which a Downhill rider rides down the hill, then the cross country rider (me) rides a lap (apparently these are usually pretty uphill) it is done in a sort of tag team, I`ve called our team the ``Humpty Dumpties``, so watch out! The team that gets the highest total number of laps between 8:30 and 10:00 (pm, which means dark laps with lights) wins. The real grabber for this race is that first prize is worth $3000 which would definitely help with my $5000 in newly accumulated dental bills. Hopefully I can get some money, pay my bills, and still have enough to afford tuition for University.  The race is tomorrow (Canada day!), and the weekend has lots to offer.
Mont Saint Anne last year was the site of the world championships,  and a long weekend festival called Velerium. This year there is a plethora of races and events, including a world cup race on Saturday. Perfect weekend for a roadtrip to Northeast Quebec . Let’s go!

The day of departure for the race I had a quick appointment with an oral surgeon, just to talk about a plan of action for the tooth that has a crack all up the root. Strangely I was sat into an operating chair to wait. Then Dr. Watson came in, with needles. Apparently the x-rays were pretty bad, and after a quick chat and some poking it was established that I was having a tooth yanked.
Needles were poked, my tooth was clamped, and I saw a man giving some good effort on my tooth, back and forth until it came out. That simple! I think it’s crazy that I’m racing tomorrow, but that’s it ! The most painful tooth ever is gone!
Dave picked up a sorry solemn toothy guy after work, and the roadtrip began, until we found the Mandarin that is. I like 3 things, athletics, science, and nefarious deeds.  The mission was simple, eat as much is humanly possible, and get kicked out of the restaurant. I was unsuccessful at getting kicked out but the shenanigans were worthwhile. All loaded up with food I’m just waiting to see what tomorrow has in store! 

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