|my race number|
|"Camping" at KOA|
|prologue warm-up joke|
Stage One was going to be a combined start of those of us racing the two stages and those racing the one day and those racing for 35 miles. It was a mass start and had no clue who was racing the what distance. I jumped into a nice pace line, but with this being gravel roads
there were potholes that you needed to watch for also. Three miles into the race I paid for attaching a third bottle holder on my seatpost. I hit a pothole and it turned the third bottle holder into a bottle launcher instead. I had to change my game plan now from going all 65 miles without stopping to hitting the only aid station at mile 27. I rotated to the back of the pace line a few miles later and drilled another decent pothole that sent another bottle launching into the brush on the side of the road, so I had to stop and find it. I squeezed the metal bottle cages tighter to prevent this from happening again and it worked. Now, I had to give chase to this group of 10-12 racers that dropped me. I kept pushing my pace, but couldn't catch back on. I came across a couple riders ahead and they jumped on my wheel to work together and then we gathered a couple others. We were coming up to the aid station and I let them know I was stopping and asked what they were doing. The response from all but one of them was, "going right." That was not good since right meant they were the 35 mile racers, so I took off on my own. For the rest of this stage I was on my own except for about 5 miles where I worked with another racer. With about 9 miles to go one of my bottle cages on the bike worked a screw out, so I was stopping again to take the cage off to put in my jersey pocket. Lesson learned, check bottle cages for day 2 and put the third one in my jersey pocket. I crossed the line in a timeof 3:28 that I was not happy with, but could have been worse.
|Photo taken by Brian Fancher|
This race was awesome and well run by the promoters and as flat as it was I am looking forward to returning next year to have a better go at it. I ended up finishing 10th in my age group over the course of the three days.