There is a lot that goes on in a race/ride that lasts for 30+ hours! In case you are interested in reading or reviewing different parts of this epic tale; I have made it easy for you by creating the links right here. . .
Part 1= packet pick up
Part 2= Moab to Mule Canyon (Legs 1 & 2)
Part 3 = mule canyon (leg 2 cont.)
Part 4 = Devils Gate Bridge (legs 3-5)
Part 5 = Boulder Mtn (leg 6)
Part 6 = Escalante to Cedar City (legs 7-12)
. . . Hey, it’s a LONG ride~~~
It turned out that as Superman went over some railroad tracks on the road out of town and did something to his rear wheel throwing it out of true, and needed a swap.
We pulled ahead a several yards up to the closest, safest place that could be found, pulled over quickly removing the rear wheel from my bike ready for a switch as he pedaled up. We swapped it out for his damaged one, and had him rolling down the road again.
This was a true definition of a pit stop . . .
We didn’t time it, and we don’t have any data to back it up,
but believe we had him up and on his way in less than 2 minutes
. . . we were lightning fast!
I’m grateful we didn’t wait any longer than we did leaving Cedar but I still silently chastised myself for delaying our departure as long as we did.
The day progressively warmed as we pedaled further into the desert toward our destination of St. George.
Superman was doing great and riding strong.
. . . it was all good, Very good indeed.
We arrived in Enterprise, a desert village in the middle of nowhere with a gas station.
The exchange was sponsored and were giving food out (it’s been long enough that I CANNOT remember what the food was) . . . but it was there, scouts honor!
Some dude was gulping down said food down and then
puked it all up. . .
it was . . .
well. . .
but, when was puked up food anything less?
. . . the visual is still stuck in my mind even now, six months later.
Superman rolled in in 8 minutes faster than last year!
And that is with riding with a wheel that was out of true for almost 10 miles and the time it took to change said wheel out. . .
in short he was amazing!
. . . What a relief!
Linda was off; being cautious not to take the wrong route as she did at this point last year. We concluded that her little detour easily cost us over an hour last year.
Just when life is great and you feel on top of a mountain some events can take it all away
. . . without warning and instantly!
It was one of those moments that the pin pops the balloon
. . . “do you want to save data” asked the GPS
. . . it always asks this question so no big deal there
then the pin poked its pointy little head out ~ ~ ~
. . . the next message was “there is no data to save”
Superman’s Garmin lost the entire Rockwell history
the data is somewhere in a web of technology and is lost
. . . forever
So within a couple of hours he managed to fracture the rim of his back wheel, which would turn out to have a price tag of $650.00 to replace
. . . OUCH
. . . just in case you are wondering
. . . it’s IMPOSSIBLE to ride without BOTH wheels!
Wheels are a BIG deal!
Then his Garmin decided to randomly self-destruct
. . . adding another $300.00 to the sting.
Fortunately we had been vigilant in keeping our own records and times on a spread sheet so we had all the general information which helped soothe the sting just a tiny bit:
but just a little.
Linda was riding strong, and while it was warm, plenty warm, it wasn’t as hot as it was last year either. . . another bonus!
Initially we were all planning to ride in across the finish line together, but with Superman’s wheel in a total and complete state of unusable status that plan became a voided point.
We were about 10 miles from St. George when Doug decided to get dressed back into spandex and ride the remainder of Linda's last leg with her.
WE DID IT!!!
Finishing 3 hours faster than last year . . . now that was a great feeling!
However, we found our arrival at the finish line a little anticlimactic.
I missed having family and friends there.
We had also been looking forward to fresh grilled hamburgers
that we missed out on last year, because we did not get in until dark.
They had turkey and veggie wraps instead
Lame. . .
In fact it was a HUGE Disappointment!
In the end, the Rockwell Relay is still one our favorite rides and we are already planning for next year, but if a big finish with lots of anticipation from the crowds there to wish you congratulations is the reason you are riding, this finish will undoubtedly be a deflating moment in time.
combining these two factors: ie: finishing before Dark AND 3 hours faster than last year made for an epic finish.
AND we had a room waiting for us in St. George so we didn’t have to drive to Cedar City for sleep this year like we did last year. That drive is one that none have forgotten!
While we fully realize that our accomplishments are nothing close to historical importance, simply completing the Rockwell Relay is big and does hold historical importance to me
. . . We did something AMAZING!
Which is why I ride my bike in the first place.
. . . at least it is for me
Thanks for joining in our journey across the desert. . .
I would love to hear about your adventures, so please share
Have a great week
. . . and find the joy in your journey!
oh. . . and if you like to ride your bicycle. . . come join us next year.
It’s a great ride, honestly it is!