Well, I alluded to some tough times at Summer Solstice, here is my sorrowful tale. I did the event this year with my usual bunch of transplants from Newfoundland. We were in the 5 man 150-200 years old category with 50+ other teams. We don't have any ringers (pun intended) but we are pretty steady and were hoping for a top ten finish.
I led out for our team and had a wicked start from the second row. It was fast and furious up there but were soon into the singletrack where I should be able to hold my own. Not so much, I am really struggling to corner and not carrying any speed through the single track. Uh-oh, I am pretty sure my bike handling skills are at least average but I am struggling. I Keep thinking it'll come back, just relax. What the heck. Huh. This is messed up. What's going on? All this went quickly through my head as I searched for my absent left pedal, the crank fell off!!! Explains why I can't turn. Once I re-attach it I'm off and everything is better. I figure I have all my problems out of the way in the 1st lap and the rest of it will go nicely (foreshadowing).
Lap two is really good, I put in the fastest time of the weekend for the team and the legs feel good. We are in 7th place!
We decide to do double night laps and my turn rolls around at 11:00 PM. About 1/4 the way through I break my chain, no problem, I practiced this plenty in North Carolina. I'll just fix it with the chain tool I DON'T have, aww crap. Nobody wants to stop and lend me one so I head to a Marshal and cancel my lap, head back to the pits and put on a new chain. Because we are doing doubles nobody is ready to ride so I head out again pissed off at myself for losing 45 minutes.
The downpour started in the first 1/2 km, I was in no mental state for this. Everybody started crashing left right and center. I think I went down 5 or 6 times including 2 times on the double track. This is where I lost it, I talked myself out of continuing. I don't know why or how but by the end of the lap I was checked out, and I convinced the whole team to shut it down until daylight. Quitter. I have never had this happen before and I still can't figure out what happened.
the only good news is that when we shut it down the campsite quickly devolved into this: