Sunday, August 17, 2008

300 Warriors Ride

Let me start this off by saying that nobody likes being lied to, unless of course you are fat and wearing horizontal stripes and you ask if this shirt makes you look fat. Then sometimes people like being lied to. But when someone has an organized bike ride and they say it is 98 miles long and over 14,000 feet of elevation gain, you expect to climb 14,000 feet. When you get done and it was really only 9800, you feel somehow cheated.
It ended up being a small family reunion for me. Cousin Kevin, who rides with me all the time and we know each other very well was signed up. Mike the Hunter who married a cousin of mine, and bought someone elses spot at the last minute and was doing the ride as well. I have never ridden with Mike because he spends most of his time shooting things. Really, who goes bear hunting with a bow and arrow? I talked to the Hunter a few days before the ride and he was planning on going up and leaving water bottles in bushes along the route the night before. Having never ridden with the Hunter, he was a bit of a wild card and i figured we could either be leaving him at the start or he could leave us. It is very rare that 2 people are as similarly matched as Cousin Kevin and i are at riding. Cousin Johnny Rub came all the way from Tahoe to do feed for us and take care of us along the way. He had a few other reason for coming in town but this was the most important by far. Rick the principal came along as well for a training ride for LOTOJA and was seriously questioning whether this was a good idea at all. We figured he would be with us until the first major up climb up sundance and then we would climb at our own pace and slowly leave him since he gets a late start on his training for the summer riding season every year. It makes it tough when he is in school until the middle of June to get a good jump on it.
We were at park City Resort freezing and ready to go when they said a few words and then told us to filter out slowly and be careful. I left in a hurry because we had ridden a few miles from where we slept that night to the start and then stood around for a few minutes in 45 degree temps. I was just anxious to get going and warm up. As good looking as it is, spandex is not great cold weather clothing. With the temps expected to get up to the 90's i didn't want to be hauling around too much clothing either. Mike, Kevin and i ended up getting off quickly, and since it was a tour and not a race some people hung out in the parking lot until it lightened up a bit. I just wanted to warm up. The first couple climbs were a nice warm up but the 3 of us were in front of everybody by at least a minute. We made our way past the south of jordanelle and down to midway, where we hit a red light and a group behind us caught up as we waited for the light to change. I was happy for this since the next few miles were the only flat section of the whole route and it would be nice to have a big group to work together for the flat section. it turns out that the group that caught us didn't want to work so Kevin, Mike and i spent most of the time at the front working. Johnny Rub was waiting in Midway for us to get some food. We just rode by and told him to meet us at the bottom of the Sundance climb, since it was early and cold, i had hardly drank any of my liquids, so i was good for a while longer. We met John at the bottom of the climb and replaced bottles and took on some fuel. A few guys didn't take on anything and left us there. Cousin Kevin enjoying the Sundance climb

A few minutes up the Sundance climb, i got a phone call from principal Rick who we unintentionally left the first mile, saying that he blew out his tire back by deer creek resevoir and he had been trying to get a hold of me, and needed Johnny rub to come back and give him a new tire. I tried 6 or 8 times to get a hold of john but his phone or mine wasn't getting reception. A few miles up i finally got a hold of him and sent him back but at this point, mike had slowly climbed away from kevin and i, never to be seen again until Snowbird. Johnny Rub went back, but at this point someone had come by and taken pity on Rick and gave him a tire. Kevin and i climbed side by side the rest of the way up the Alpine Loop. We started the decent down American fork canyon. I did not know of the deal Cousin Kevin had made with his wife. Apparently she told him that she would not get overly upset when he buys expensive carbon fiber bike wheelsets without telling her first (he bought his second pair last week) if he descended down American Fork canyon like an 80 year old man who is on the brink of having his license revoked. He kept his part of the bargain. I left him near the top and expected him to catch me on the flats or at least on one of the next 2 climbs. On these longer rides, he usually gets stronger as i start to fade late in the ride. At the bottom of American Fork, I ended up running in to my brother, Dr. Storyteller, who left from his house an hour and a half after we left and rode the course backwards until he met up with us.
He turned around and rode with me up the back of the Suncrest Climb. I was wearing arm warmers and a vest going up this and started warming up quickly at this point. I called a firey redhead from Idaho who lives at the top of Suncrest to come out and meet me, so she came out to the 4 way stop, took my sweaty clothing as a raced by. Jose was also up there with drinks and food but i was still good at that point. My legs were starting to get on the verge of cramping at so i tried to ease off a little bit and let them recover. We rolled through Draper and headed to Wasatch Blvd and the wall. At this point i was getting low on liquids and luckily for me Jose leapfrogged us a bit and was on the side of the road with cold water and gel blocks.
The flat section along the top of wasatch blvd before the start of little cottonwood was enough to make the cramps subside little bit but not enough to have my legs stop feeling like the weighed 200 lbs each.
I started up little cottonwood and slowly climbed my way up. About half way up i was getting low on liquids again and was wishing i had a drink, when another, different, fiery redhead from Draper drove by with her family on their way up to the finish and cheered me on. I yelled at them for a drink and they pulled over and handed me some cold water as i rode by saving my life.No bike climb is complete without a Devil yelling at you on the 12% grades

I crawled my way to the finish and was done from start to finish in unofficially 5:41.
the weather couldn't have been better for us with a tailwind coming down american fork and a tailwind coming up little cottonwood. The Support and help i had along the way was amazing and i have to say i enjoyed it. Rick finished in style and even Johnny Rub, who has been working way too much lately, borrowed a bike of mine and parked at the bottom and rode up the last climb. This ride was easier than the 4 canyons we did last weekend and better than LOTOJA because it didn't have that annoying 100 miles of flat after the climbs.

1 comment:

matt b. said...

I'm proud of you. I think this is the most you've ever written at one time.