Things clear out really fast at a GNCC race. I have never been at the site the next day. I am staying here at Snowshoe for the week, as we are having a 2010 product planning meeting for the company I work for, Trek Bicycle. A bunch of people from the company are meeting me here today, for a week of meetings. A GNCC race seems like such a huge production, that it would almost be impossible to tear it down in a day. Lots of equipement, trucks, a trail that has to be repaired etc…
That parking lot WAS the pro pits from the race yesterday. It had huge semi trucks, and you looped through that on every lap. This photo is from 8am. Look closely, and you can see the truck picking up the hay bales.
Last night at dinner, in the only restaurant open at 8pm after we were done cleaning bikes, we sat down at a table next to Rita Coombs and another GNCC Racer productions exec named Donna. The Coombs family started the GNCC series and still does an absolutely fantastic job with the whole series.
Rita overheard Scott and I talking about the race and the course. After a few minutes of that, Rita asked us how long we would bench race this race. Clearly she has been around racing forever and already thought she knew the answer. I replied with, all the way up to the next race at Unadilla in 2 weeks. She busted out laughing, and that started a conversation with her and Donna that went on for about 20 minutes.
She asked us where we were from, she told us the story of 2 guys that drove down from Allentown, Pa. But, their truck broke down 40 miles away. So, being guys that did not want to miss the race, they put on their gear and unloaded the bikes and rode them for 40 miles to the village. 40 miles on pavement, on highways on DIRT BIKES!
Unbeknown to Rita, we had our own experience with those same guys. During the morning race, we were sitting at our camp next to the course when a guy rides up and asks “Do you guys have any water?” Scott handed over a 1 gallon jug, and the guy drank about half of it. While he was drinking his buddy pulls, up and he drank most of the rest of it.
They thank us profusely, and then proceed to tell us that they were on the way to the race that morning, and their truck broke down 40 miles away so they rode to the race. Of course we thought the story was made up. We laughed and sent them on their way.
They were having the time of their life, you could tell. They left our pits together, and were just hooting and hollering at each other.
So when Rita told us the story, we both burst out “Oh my god! We saw those guys! We gave them water from our pits on the side of the course!”
Rita and Donna went on to tell us that one of them was Dr. James McGee, the head doctor for Loretta Lynn’s national championships. He was down doing only his 1stGNCC race with his nephew Ryan Higgins who was turning 18 that day, that was the other guy he was with. Rita had talked to Dr. James after the race, and he had told her about getting water from some guys on the side of the course.
Wow. We all could not believe that. What were the odds that Rita would tell us that story in the restaurant, out of all the stories that she must have had from the day? What are the odds that she would pick that story, and happen to be telling it to the same guys that were involved in the story?
In fact, we all felt the odds were so astronomical, that we had to get Dr. James on the phone. We did and on speaker phone, we all had a great laugh.
Hopefully Dr. James and Ryan will look us up at Unadilla.