This race is always a highlight of the season as the weather seems to be nice when the winter is wrapping up in the North. This year seemed like it might not work out that way. As I started out my drive I heard reports of an inch plus of rain plus an inch of snow on the ground near the course. I just hoped it would clear up for race day since that clay would not be fun in the rain or if really sloppy.
So my buddy Lucky and I headed down Thursday afternoon with plans on making it as far as Roanoke for the night and then an easy drive into Wilkesboro Friday morning. It was a great plan but I didn't want to forego riding Thursday just to drive. With this in mind I came up with the plan to ride Michaux State Forest and do a good portion of the Curse of Dark Hollow 20 mile course. I thought that might work well since Michaux is really techy and hard while the 6WC course would be super fast and flowy in comparison.
The ride went great, as it was fun bumping through the state forest and went a little long as we came out just after crossing the 2 hour mark. Then came the real fun. As we approached my car, my rear driver's side window was smashed in and all of the contents in the back of the car were gone. Camping gear, cycling gear, laptop, work bag, work keys, regular clothes, and all of the other contents gone. After making a list it's probably around 6k worth of items of mine gone alone. Lucky had all of his stuff taken as well which was probably about the same value. The part that hurts the most is that there is not much stuff that can be resold. The electronics, jewelry, and some other stuff for sure but all that clothing and cycling clothing that is so value and near and dear to me is gone. I kept every option I had in my cycling bag so that I was prepared for anything. It's gone...
With this totally screwing up our trip and our heads we filed the police report, sorted through the goods to see what was left and headed home with nothing. Well close to nothing. Thankfully the thieves weren't that thorough as they left our wallets that they missed so we didn't have to go through the headaches of dealing with replacing all of that stuff. We still couldn't press on with nothing though.
So we went back towards Harrisburg PA and stopped for dinner as we were just driving in a fog. I couldn't wrap my head around anything and hadn't eaten since noon. It was now about 7 so it was time to stop. We ate and contemplated our decision. Home or not? Was it even possible to press on? We would have to stop somewhere and buy everything. We didn't have camp gear, or clothes to make the race happen. We at least needed that and couldn't justify buying everything. Then I called Dan. Enter Mr. Dan Rapp. He lives just outside of H'burg and said to stop by. Hell even if it was just to chat and then go home. We chilled for a while and then gave us the pep talk. He said he's got everything we need if we want it. Camp gear. Clothes. Food. Whatever... On top of that enter Mr. Brent Lester. Through this Brent was doing the same from a long distance. Brent extended the same from Greensboro and said as long as we made it down there he would help us out. I couldn't believe the support. With all this how could we not go. With a little coercing Lucky and I decided to head back south and not let these Ahole thieves ruin our trip.
So thanks to Hotel Rapp, we crashed on Dan's couch and regrouped. Up in the morning with his awesome family, we packed the car full of our loaner gear and hit the road. With all that Dan gave us, and that Brent was bringing for us we felt like we could pull this off. We still had to pull off and hit up some stores to make sure we had the other necessities like toilettries(that I just bought that were stolen too), clothes, and underwear(yes that was stolen too). It was a lot of bumps and it make for one hell of a long ride down but we made it to NC and were ready to settle into camp and relax for the race the next morning. It was a little hard to relax but we did the best we could given the circum stances and just hoped the race would go a little better.