Sunday, May 3, 2009

antelope island (in the rain)

Antelope island is a rare and beautiful, but little appreciated local treasure. Sure it can be stinky and the swarming brine flies can be overwhelming, but it can also be sublimely beautiful in a uniquely western way. The way the clouds play off the other islands on the lake and the sun plays on the water, the sand, and the rabbit brush and sage can be amazing. And the sunsets can be truly magical, enough to make you stop the car, get out, and frolic in the beauty of it all.

It can also be cold, windy, rainy, and wet, wet, wet! as was the case yesterday for the Antelope Island Classic Road Race.

The wind wasn't too bad when we started, but the rain was coming down hard, and the wind picked up before the end of the race.
DC proclaimed to us all before the race: "i'm feeling really sick and will probably drop after the 1st or 2nd lap." He then proceeded to jump on an early attack and he and three other guys got a break. Unfortunately the officials turned everyone else off on the dog leg to the finish a lap early after they had sent DC and the lead group around the loop one more time. Imagine their surprise when they thought they were ahead of everyone, but then saw the other groups headed back to the finish from the turnaround while they were still on their way out. Fortunately the officials realized the mistake was theirs and bumped them up from the 20-something places where they finished to the first four positions.
The artist stuck with the chase group, working with another team to keep the pace down since he knew DC was up front. He was equally surprised when he didn't see DC and the lead group coming back on the out and back, then did see them a good 7 or 8 min. behind still heading out after the artist's group had already turned around. The artist put in a good uphill finish and posted 4th (which got bumped to 8th after they moved the lead group up).
I had a less than memorable race. Started out feeling not too well, i think from not eating much dinner the night before. Pushed down half a luna bar (and swallowed a lot of briney road runoff from everyone's wheels when i went to the back of the group to eat), and felt a little better, but didn't have much in the legs. On the second lap we were lapping a cat 4 woman racer and one of the guys ahead of me wasn't paying attention and, as the artist put it, rode "right up . . ." (well you get it), and caused a few riders to go down. I managed to avoid the pile up, but had to swerve off road into the sagebrush to avoid the mayhem. By the time i got back on the road, got on my bike, and got the gravel out of my cleats, i was off the back of the main group. I chased hard for a lap, but couldn't get back on, so i rode the out and back with a couple other guys who had flatted just trying to reel in whatever stragglers we could.

T-dub with her game face on.

T-dub on the other hand, did bridge back up to her group after she flatted. What she didn't realize was that after she had flatted two other women attacked and got off the front. She was feeling exhausted, but good she got back up to the group, until she realized there were two off the front. They didn't catch the two leaders, but she put in a good effort and placed 4th.

Cat 1-2-3 women chasing the lead group. Off course T-dub didn't realize their was a lead group till i told them they were a minute behind.

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