Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A whole lot of three

Last year as a cat 4 i finished up the Capital Reef Classic in 3rd place GC (that's 3 no. 1). I put in a hard effort on the TT and felt good on the climbs, hanging in the lead pack. This year i upgraded to cat 3 (that's 3 no. 2), for which the CRC would be my first race. The TT starts around 9 am on friay morning, so the plan was to get out of the valley and head out early thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, i had a whole list of things to get done before i could get out of dodge, so we didn't hit the road until around midnight. After a 3 hr. drive (3 no. 3) we pulled into Torrey around 3 am (3 no. 4). I only got about 3 hrs of sleep (3 no. 5) until a bunch of people in the rooms above us started to make a bunch of racket packing and leaving. Despite the lack of sleep, I fared pretty well in the TT, middle of the group, and was feeling ok about the race. That quickly changed after the circuit race and even more after the road race. The circuit race consisted of 3 laps (3 no. 6) of a beautiful loop with a 2 mile climb. I made it over the climb the first lap with the group, but on the 2nd lap, i got dropped about half way up. The artist had also dropped, so we rode together til we caught DC (who was also dropped, just not as early as us), and we rode the rest of the race with a couple of other guys we caught. My result was ok, but not great. My real demise came, however, with the road race, an 80 mile loop up to Fish Lake and then back through Loa. The ride tops out at just over 9000', and covers some really beautiful land. I know, cuz after i got dropped within the first click of the climb i had plenty of time to take in the view.
After i waved the artist on as we came through Bicknell (he had graciously ridden most of the race with me), i came in a not-so-comendable third to last (3 no. 7). From 3rd place last year to 3rd to last this year. what a drag. Regardless, it's a great race: well-organized, great course, beautiful red rock and high mountain landscapes. And now i know what i need to improve to be a little more competitive next year.

A crazy thing also happened to me on our ride back to the car after the TT: a bug flew into my ear! I know a certain anonymous friend of mine has taken a lot of flack from me for insisting on stuffing her ears with whatever she has on hand to keep the bugs out, but i want to publicly apologize for giving her a hard time (though i'm still not going to start stuffing my ears with cotton every time i ride).

(Thanks to Ty "the robot" for the CRC pics)

After the race we headed over to the Baker Ranch to spend some time with Trigger and his fam. the artist and his girls all came over too and killed lots of things with Trigger.

T-dub got to play cowgirl for a day on her birthday, and did a great job considering she had never ridden a horse before. Trigger's a baptize-by-fire kind of guy, and he did not disappoint. Even though it was her first time on a horse, T-dub put in a good 7 hrs. in the saddle, ate kipper snacks, and helped castrate a calf. Trigger and Regi also made her a great dutch oven pineapple upside down cake for her birthday.

Trigger believes a true cowboy lunch consists of kipper snacks. He packed enough tins for all of us, but T-dub "accidently" dropped most of hers out when she was trying to drain the oil. Imagine that, if you hold a tin of herring upside down and shake it they will all fall out on the ground.

But even Dally the dog wouldn't touch the Kipper snacks (notice the kipper snacks in the bottom left of the pic untouched by Dally) . . .

. . . until Trigger forced them in her mouth. Once she got a taste for them, however, she loved 'em. T-dub never loved them.

Leaving the Baker Ranch on the road to Emery we were treated to a cloudburst which left "chocolate milk" rivers streaming down all the canyons, and some incredible plays of light on the wet landscape.

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