CHRIS AND CARSON AT THE START OF THE 12 HOURS OF TEMECULA
This weekend Chris, KC, Carson and I headed down to Temecula, CA. We took the truck and camper and blew into town friday morning for a pre-ride of the course. It was really nice to be able to camp right at the race site. The race actually went right by our site.
The next day the start went well. Chris and Carson were lined up front. The race started with a 1 mile all out "parade" lap to spread out the 250 or so riders. Chris took the parade lap and was first (until he spun out on the grass- long story) and Carson was nearby. But perhaps this was a bit too fast. Keep reading. START AND FINISH OF THE RACE. THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER IS WHERE FINISHERS COME IN. THEY LOOP AROUND A TREE AND COME OUT THROUGH THE SAND BOG. I THINK CHRIS IS THE THIRD BLUE GUY ON THE ROAD (ON THE LEFT).
The two both came in for their first lap in the top 15 riders and things were looking good. I got on the course and passed one guy and managed not to be passed. The course was pretty nice and the weather was warm but not yet too hot. The first part of the course there is the "Dam" (just above the Vail Lake dam) climb. It is a steady but long climb up for about a mile. The nice thing is that the rest of the course is a combination of downhill, ridge riding and several short rolling uphills with a few scary sandy downhills. It was quite fun. I came in with a respectable time of about 49 minutes. KC went after Chris and she pulled off a 51 minute lap which was good for the $50 fastest girls lap! Way to go KC! Chris was Chris and was pulling down 45-47 minute laps. I can tell you right now they took first AND had the most laps OVER ALL the teams! Check out thier story.
Carson and I did about the same times on the 2nd laps and things looked REALLY good for a podium. Then came Carson's third lap it took him almost 9 minutes longer to come in and when he did he cramped up so bad in his quads as he dismounted that it seemed like an eternity before he could finish the last 10 feet of the lap. I knew that was trouble. The thing about racing a 2 person is that you really don't see the other guy to talk and see what's up. I had a bad feeling as I left for my lap. What he told me later was that his stomach seized up and was not absorbing fluids, he threw up and felt like passing out during that lap.
I got back in 55 minutes to him waiting to talk to me. He couldn't do another lap. So I took his water bottle and went for a consecutive lap. I was feeling good until then and wasn't too worried about an extra one here. But I sure was praying I wouln't need to do the rest of the race solo. Well Carson came through and headed out the next lap. He finished but he definitely was not feeling strong. He usually is the one who I struggle to keep up with. It was hard to tell where we were at against our competition but I had a feeling our edge was slipping. So on my fifth lap I pushed it hard but ended up hitting a new rock on the course and flatted! I lost 8-10 minutes at that point and was getting quite frustrated. Carson went for another one but he looked like Heck (as they say in UTah). At that point I figured we had two night laps to go before the end of the race. In our rotation Carson would have had to do the last lap. So I offered to do the next two. Knowing Carson, he must have felt REALLY ill to agree to let me finish off the race.
We ended up in 4 th place. Only 6 minutes off of 3rd!! If only I wouldn't have had the flat! I am also curious to see how far out second was since we would have had time for another lap without that flat. The official times have not yet been posted. Despite the frustrations it was a fun race and I'm hoping I can talk Chris, KC and Carson to sign up for the next one- Jan 24th, 2009.Carson and I the next day near the end of the course.
ME FINISHING ON "BLUE VELVET" TRAIL NEAR LAS VEGAS.
That night we camped at the St George ICUP race course and headed for another ride up the Zen trail. That was a spectacular but technical trail that wiped me out.
I want to thank KC, Chris and Carson for a great trip and being the greatest traveling companions! I hope we have many more such trips!Well that's it for the season (I think) and what a season it's been!