Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Perfect Script: Levis-Trow

Levis does not disappoint.

The course is fun, challenging, and follows the classic script or recipe of a great Hollywood movie. 

·         Act 1: The first four to five miles is where the plot development occurs. Its light and playful consisting of fast turns and quick dodge moves between trees. Here is where they “hook” you.  The characters are assigned roles. The riders are having fun and optimism soars.  At the start the geared community took off. Leaving my buddy Jason Buffington as the pacesetter whilst Martin Rudnick and I gave chase.  Like any great Hollywood classic this segment of the course builds interest, optimism, and momentum.

     Act 2: Miles Six through Nine…Now that the story is Set-Up with the basic characters and the challenge of the story, a great film has to focus on creating lots of Conflict and Increasingly Difficult Obstacles for your main characters to overcome. This is typically the hardest part to write because you have to makes sure that it builds upon itself and doesn’t become repetitive. Here Levis shines as the course heads up into a series of steep climbs and wild descents along a ridge lined with limestone cliffs. Act 2 is where the real story begins. The climbs are tough on the first couple of laps and then become nearly impossible on the middle laps and then simply impassable for the writer on the last two laps. Jason was running a 32X20 and given his amazing strength he was able to ride most of the hills for the entire race. I was pushing a 34X20 and I was forced to walk the steepest three hills on the last four laps. Act 2 is hard, but fun. As stated above there are steep climbs, two of them are so steep that one is not dishonored by simply walking them.  The audience is compelled to be empathetic and compassionate in the second act. They see the angles of ascents and they are rightly led to believe that only true maestros are able to ride through such terrain. While the audience marvels at Buffington's ability to climb the headwalls, they can more closely identify with those that are forced to walk (like me). They also delight in the fast and furious descents through wild Lord of the Rings-like stone towers.

·         Act 3: Miles Nine through Twelve…”Your Third Act starts with a turning point and builds to the Climax of the story with the big confrontation between your main character and their opposition.  This is where your character either achieves his or her goal or fails — usually it’s best to have them win.” On the Levis course herein lies what my friend and training partner, Tim Ek, refer to as the Valley of Tears.  In this grim place is where the writer meets with the big confrontation.  Years ago in the Valley of Tears, Eki and I were slowly, with weary heads held in shame, walking up an incline when a youthful Jesse Lalonde came by us so fast that he had a “rooster tail” flying in his wake! The juxtaposition was of such weight that we both quietly wept tears of indignity. History, of course, repeats itself especially for the maladapted. So it should come as little surprise, that this segment nearly broke me once again on one of the the latter laps of the race.  I believe it was Lap Six; I was forced to dismount and attempt to relieve myself as I felt a sudden burning sensation reminiscent of chapping in the private area.  In doing so I wobbled and fell…rolling down the side of the hill with my once proud manhood exposed. But alas the man-thing has shriveled to that of a prepubescent child’s so the task was more involved. To add to the humiliation, a group of 50-Mile riders suddenly approached as I wavered there in the wood, hands at the ready to do my duty, bike well above me on the race trail. The group was forced to stop as my bike was blocking their right-of-way.  One man looked down upon me and sternly inquired, “Is this your bike?“Yes, I am sorry, I have fallen and I…” But before I could finish, he matter-of-factly pushed my bike off the trail and they all took off.  So sad…

·         Final Act: After the climax, then you have the Resolution to show how it all works out and things get back to a basic, simple life again. Of course, I am but a bit player.  Buffington goes on the win the single speed class in perfect form.  He also takes fourth overall losing to the second place overall finisher by less than ten minutes.  And yet I too am a winner as I have the wonderful opportunity to ride with Martin Rudnick for several laps and I also very much enjoyed my time with Buffington as well.  

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