Me, Clark and Elvis went down on Friday. Joe came later and Paul on Saturday morning. It's funny, the ride down there this year seemed shorter. It was still 4 hours though.
We drove the course, remembering things from years past. We liked the new back section that they put in. We pulled the bikes out at the start finish ride and did 12easy miles. Clark looks at the last hill and states it doesn't look too bad. Oh yea? wait until after 58 miles. So we rode the hill twice and formulated a plan, knowing where the dogs, pheasants and goats were on the course.
We had a good dinner at the cafe that seemed to be filled with riders. Good night sleep and of course a walk to breakfast at Denny's.
Off to the race on Saturday morning. Wait a minute where are Clark's keys? After a little while and head skratching he finds them where else but..... Denny's. Now off to the race. We have a meeting place off the course that gives us a parking lot to ourselves with a nice bathroom at the Baptist church. Belive me a nice bathroom before a race is much appreciated.
So we are behind the start finish line and a race goes off. Paul lines up with the next raceers to go off. "Paul that's not our race!"... It was our race. Thank goodness for Paul getting us in the middle of the start and for holding onto the bikes while we check our bladders one last time.
The first lap was exactly what I thought it would be, everybody feeling eachother and the course out. Nickie, Joe's girlfriend, gives me a good bottle handoff in the feed zone and here we go up the last hill. I get caught behind some slower riders on the right side from another category, so my momentum is gone. No excuses though, I shouldn't have been in that postiion to begin with. So now I'm dangling off the back of the lead pack. Luckily I was able to calm down and finally catch on again right at the turn going out onto the road after the s/f line.
The second lap had a 4 man break go off on the little uphill right before the right hand turn off the main road. No big deal. Bad thinking. Two of those guys stayed out the rest of the race. I have to commend Tati and Psimet and Wild card for their effective blocking. We go around with no major problems. I take that back, Clark botched his bottle hand off, so now he's mooching on my last bottle. Thanks to the Psimet rider who gave up one of his three to Clark. I think I'd say 2 guy's with blown tires, 2 dropped chains and one guy in a ditch by himself. I don't know if he was in that 4 man break or in another field, but he looked ok.
The hill before the feed zone took some casualties and I was not one of them. I was just behind Clark when the last hill came. I was only 4 houses in when the legs shut down. So what do you do? I started fishing for a gear that just wasn't there. It was good to see some guy's hurting in front of me. Now for the hunt. There's a guy in front of me on the hill I was able to pick off before the left hand turn. I notice 2 guys on the hill not peddaling, so I exert a little energy and get them also. One more around the turn and on right after it. Now it's time to calm down. Got the next guy's wheel. What I didn't know, is the guy I picked off just before that grabing the wheel grabbed my wheel. Around the last turn still behind the guy. When do I jump? I'm trying to find the 200 meter post, but couldn't see it. After one fake it was time to sprint. One guy passes me from I don't know where and the guy who grabbed my wheel just gets me at the line. 2 tenths of a second to be exact.I came in 19th. Clark even did better at 13th. Elvis 56th, Joe and Paul with DNF's.