The Hammer

© Eric Wynn 2012
Leadman Epic 125 Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV • 2012.03.31
According to or , the Texas Hold ‘Em hand 7 & 2 is apparently known as “The Hammer.” They don’t go into the reasoning behind that particular nickname, but they do list it’s other nickname – “W.H.I.P.” which stands for “Worst Hand In Poker.” Well, I don’t know what my 7 was – perhaps the 7 in my swim split – or, more appropriately, the 27 that was part of my 3:27 bike split. How much of that split – exactly – was spent on the side of the road, I do not yet know. I haven’t been super motivated to dig into the Garmin file to check. And I didn’t have a clock on, post-repair, to time how long it took to un-wedge my chain which somehow – in a bit of black magic – ended up behind my chain catcher. Well, I guess when everything is going wrong, everything goes wrong. My first flat came early, as there was clear a problem with my front wheel within the first few miles. I tried one CO2, hoping that the flat might have sealed, but no such luck. So I used my single spare & second CO2 to do a full change and got back on the road. The rear seemed fine, but, as one of the camera moto came up beside me about 15 miles in, they pointed out that I had a leaky rear tire as well. They called for neutral support at the first aid station – at 20 miles – and I kept riding, as there was enough air to keep rolling, but once I finally got it changed, I realized how draining it had been riding these sponge-y tires for 30 miles. 
As good as it felt to be riding on firm rubber again – finally, my legs were drained from fighting a soft back tire on a very tough course, made even tougher with truly epic winds. Ultimately, I knew it wasn’t going to be my day to end up on top, but unlike how I ended my season in Arizona last year, I knew I wasn’t going to do myself any physical damage by finishing the race. I was able to finish, so I did. And while it wasn’t a great way to kick of 2012, I still have a lot of racing to look forward and was happy to close out my day crossing the line and handing my chip to volunteer as they hung a medal around my neck.

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