Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A renewed Tuscobia does not disappoint!!!!

Wicked Witch of the West: “And now, my beauties, something with poison in it, I think. With poison in it, but attractive to the eye, and soothing to the smell.” [cackles]

Wicked Witch of the West: “Poppies... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they'll sleeeeep!”

I think; therefore I keep moving forward…Tuscobia race recap…that is as best as I can remember…so sleepy…

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about as I headed over to Park Falls, WI on Thursday evening whilst searching for a good radio station and instead kept landing on these hard-core evangelists calling Obama, “the Son of Satan,”—“Too bad those righteous Christian fellas weren’t born a few centuries earlier ‘cuz they would have loved to have been in on them witch burnings and the like.”

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about as I walked into the warm glow of the Chequamegon Canoe Club— “This is my kinda place!!! These are my people. I made the right decision to come here. There’s Tim Roe over there in the corner…if there’s beer here—he’ll know where to get it! There’s Nick and Mad-Max, I love those guyz! Yeah sure runners are weird...but these runners are also super nice!”

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about as Jason, Charly, and I bedded down in the darkness of the Edge-O-Town—“Novak, Tree, and me….I’m so excited and full of glee…that rhymes!”

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about around fifteen miles into it as I broke my chain, then right away broke it again, then just a mile or two later broke my seatpost clamp and then thankfully had the always amicable Nick Wethington available to help me get the whole thing moving again—“What the *&%^! Holy $#@&! What else can go wrong!!! Oh NO my seatpost is slipping…thatz what can go wrong!!!!”

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about as I was forced to plow through long sections of crusty snow as Charly Tri floated over—“Life is not fair, but itz not my fault that life’s not fair. Itz Obama’s fault that life’s not fair.”

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I was thinking about as I rode then walked then rode then walked my bike along the Tuscobia trail from around 3:00 a.m. ‘til around 7:00 a.m. this last Saturday morning—“In cycling, anywayz, I am of the belief that a normal fella really can’t physically train for an event that takes longer than about thirteen to fifteen hours. After that time constraint is surpassed, nothing really matters in terms of making onward progress except for maybe possessing what the Finns call ‘Sisu.’ The brand or make of your fancy-pants bike don’t matter. The logo on your hi-tech jacket don’t matter, what your ‘coach’ told ya is irrelevant, the kinda sport’s drink ya got on board is a moot point…nothing really matters except that deeply personal little voice in your head that is calling out to you, itz sayin’ ‘Keep going’ then itz sayin’ ‘You’re done.’”

“Before this point, letz call it the Point of Forlorn Hope (or PFH), the racers are rightly and logically concerned with managing important physiological parameters such as monitoring adequate calorie and fluid intakes, spinning the pedals efficiently, and other stuff like that; essentially trying to keep the bike moving reasonably fast all the while trying to hold on to some reserves for when things go past the PFH.”

“Early on—some guyz are contendin’, some guyz, like me, are pretendin’…but itz all good…spirits are high…guyz are trash talking, guyz are laughing, and guyz are thinkin’ ‘can’t think of a better place to be right now than racin’ my snowbike on Tuscobia…’”

“Later on down the trail, some guyz might even still be realistic in their beliefs that winning the race is within their realm; while others, like me, are content to dream of how good that first beer is gonna taste at the finish line….all the guyz are now fatigued, everybody’s tired…but optimism remains…’”

“But once the amateur reaches the PFH it becomes simply an objective battle between the attentions of those two competing, compelling, and irresistible internal voices: ‘Keep going’ or ‘You’re done.’ No longer do the fast guyz dreams of victorious kisses from beautiful podium girls or big sponsorship opportunities. No longer do the average guyz dream of ice cold beers. Itz hard to put into words but after the PFH is breached the experience becomes incredibly myopic. Post PFH, itz all about suppressing that “You’re done” voice in favor of “Keep going.” “You’re done” “You’re done” “You’re done” “You’re done” “Keep going” “Keep going” “Keep going“ “Keep going” “Keep going” “You’re done” “No!!! Keep going!!!” And so it goes for hours…so it goes”

“For me it was basically a battle between succumbing to a strong, almost overwhelming desire to stop and bivy or to keep moving. After leaving the last checkpoint in Winter…I became incredibly, exceedingly, astonishingly, sleepy…I am talking about the kind of sleepiness that Dorothy, Toto and the boyz battled as they crossed the poppy fields en route to the Emerald City. Really the only other time that I can remember being that besieged by the need to sleep was a few summers’ back when Kershaw and I were near to the end of the eighty-eight hour Trans-Wisconsin [But then, I had Kershaw to keep me moving].”

“What had begun as a bike race, after nineteen hours on the move, had devolved into a very simple straightforward contest to stay awake, nothing else mattered. I wasn’t thinking about anything ‘cept stayin’ awake. I was thinking that if I think; I should therefore keep moving forward…In other words…”

“I guess I knew at some elemental level that the fact that I was moving (either biking or walking) was just a corollary or consequence of my wakefulness. I found that to really make a concerted, singular effort to focus on thinking about the fact that I was desperately trying to stay awake helped me to stay moving. I knew from experience that these periods of intense drowsiness don’t last more than a few hours and so by and by I began to come back around…Life once again became more engaging…gradually I became cognizant of my surroundings, the skies above started to indicate a transition from darkness to dawn….and my desire to relish the taste of a cold hand-crafted stout once again came back to me…I was back in the game!!!! I could taste the finish line…” Yep...Thatz what I was thinking….

As best as I can remember…Here’s what I am thinking about RIGHT NOW— “A sincere Thank you to Chris and Helen for putting on a great race. And also thank you to the super nice folks that manned the checkpoints. The volunteers were super generous and kind. I was a hurtin’ cowboy comin’ into Winter around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday night and I was greeted and really helped out by two amazingly good-natured young women. I am thinking on travelin’ to Argentina someday….Meeting the people at these events is why I keep coming back…I highly recommend this event. The Chequamegon Canoe Club (the official start and finish line) was a highlight for many of the participants.” Yep thatz what I be thinking...


  1. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150533336427803&set=o.269727176406650&type=1&theater

    Hope this link works - I think it to be quite an apropos picture for your blog entry. I had quite a similar struggle with extreme drowsiness after I left Winter in the wee hours of the night. There must be poppies in them thar woods. I succumbed and sat in my sled with my back against a pile of dirt for 30 minutes. Oh how fast 30 minutes goes by when you sleep that tired!

    Helen and I are so glad you made it to the shindig! Funny as it might sound (or not), having someone of your...presence....stature....personality, at the event makes it more enjoyable for everyone there. I have heard a lot of great comments from folks that ran into you during the race. And truth be told, you put a bit of a spark into me when we saw you on Friday night - keep on trucking Mr. Farrow!

  2. Oh, so true about that SLEEP! I think it the hardest part of this race. And so true about the gear...unless you're sponsored by super-ultra-wide float-king-tires and rims. Then you would have been saved! Great effort and write up! Bravo to the lone DBD'er!

  3. Here's what I am thinking... I think I followed most of that!!! :) entertaining recap. Great job out there. Glad my awesome friends Valeria & Kami treated you well at Winter - they were impressed by your willingness to leave when told :)

    PS round Ireland with a fridge... HILarious. gotta grab that one off the bookshelf again.

  4. You invented, "Keep Moving Forward". Bravo ole chap, bravo.

    I'll be submitting this re-cap personally with my strongest endorsement.


    Mallory mentioned you briefly last time I spoke to him - that's a good thing!

  5. Good times up there fellow Charlie!

    The rims and tires certainly helped, but you may want to think about evening out your weight distribution more. Your gear was on the back, mine on the front. Also, now is the time for blood withdrawals for later transfusions. The DBD medical staff I am sure can take care of that.

  6. Thanks for the advice C.T., but it is what it is...of course to be fair-- even if I would have had super mega wide rims and tires; you would have still beat me by 2.5 hours. I am awed by your humble awesomeness...


  7. Good job, one of the "boyz" a.k.a ScareCrow had this to say.............
    That proves you are unusual,' returned the Scarecrow; 'and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed."

    — L. Frank Baum (The Land of Oz)