Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Rockwell Relay–2014 Part 2


Attempting to stay true to my quest of shorter posts this is a continuation of my Rockwell Relay report the first part it here.

I apologize for not having more pictures to entertain you, my friends and readers, but I was
  1. having a pity party
  2. secondly, I just wasn’t thinking “blog” like I have in the past, I think mainly because I was having a pity party
  3. third, we were in race mode, we were doing this to improve and NOT come in last place like we did last year
  4. fourth, at least for me, I didn’t want to be passed by the noon group, which meant my focus was somewhere else other than pictures.
  5. I KNEW Superman was going to be awesome and I wanted to be awesome too, but with this first leg it wasn’t happening. . . stupid wind! 


Yeah, I was having a pity party

So the photographer in me. . . well, wasn’t

Continuing with my obsession with pizza! 


Our pizza from Paradox Pizza was on its way to our hotel we determined that we should probably head that direction and fortunately we did just that. . . as we were crossing the street to our destination, up came the pizza delivery car!


paradox pizza logo

We ordered a tomato basil with white sauce concoction, but after eating my bratwurst I wasn’t much into the hungry thing any longer, which created a unique problem. . .

Superman just ordered ME a pizza, that I ASKED for and WANTED and now I felt the NEED to consume at least one piece. . .  I didn’t want to be rude or appear unappreciative or something like that. . .  so I ate a piece and. . .

it was some of the MOST DELICIOUS pizza I have ever had. . .

Period

and all of a sudden, I could have eaten another slice! 



It was so tasty that I could have eaten TWO more slices . . .

so now I had an entirely new problem. . .

I didn’t want to appear as a glutinous pig. . .



so I restrained myself to one piece saving the remainder for the ride that would last over the next two days.




it was a good decision. . . and pizza is now on the list of “we are going to get pizza next year too"!




Fast forward to Friday morning. . .

we were in bed by about 11:00 and slept very peacefully then the alarms went off at 5:00 am time to get up and moving. . . the race was about to begin, with Doug being our first rider he was feeling the stress of the day first.



picture from 2013 Rockwell files - taken by Rockwell photographer

As a group we decided not to all ride the first mile together like we did last year.  As we reflected on last year it was decided that starting as a group was more of a distraction to the first rider, we ended up falling behind and had to regroup anyway, so we skipped that part.

We went to Swanny Park, got Doug on his way then back to the hotel for a waffle for breakfast. . . YUM!  a happy thing for beginning my day. . . I got breakfast, even with the early start!

Isn't it great how sometimes life just works out.

2014-06-13 07.58.08

Now it was time to get down to business.  Doug was 35 minutes down the road and we needed to get to him and make sure he had what he needed to keep going. . . it was early, not to hot and he was the first rider so we weren't too concerned but the wind, as predicted was going to be a problem. . . that was obvious.

Doug appeared to be doing well, exceptionally well.

It was obvious the wind was blowing as the weatherman said it would be, both Rod and Linda made note of that fact and was glad we changed our time slot. . .


I still wasn’t sure. . .
I silently agreed basically remaining quiet on the subject

Rockwell File Photo from 2013

As we arrived at the first exchange,

I was ready,

                                                                 ready to ride

and began to warm up just a bit.  Around the block I went,


                                                                      around the block again

. . . and again

. . . from my perspective, the wind didn’t seem too bad and I was still questioning whether or not 6:00 was a good idea, as I finished my 4th lap around the block, Doug still hadn't arrived and now it was after 9:00. . . I was getting grumpy within my mind. . . mix that with the anxiousness that sets in as your leg is coming up is not always a good thing.  I couldn't find Superman or Linda and decided it was just as well and so I waited at the top of the street for Doug.

He arrived with a slower time than we were hoping for on this first leg, it was evident the wind was taking it's toll. . .  he handed off the bracelet thingy (the baton of sorts)


                                                       it was my turn.

and I was off. . .

DSC_3853


Happy to be on my way I began my first leg of 44 miles, this was one of my favorite legs last year, so I was excited.

As I crested my first intsty wincy hill the wind started to hit me but all was good, I was riding and it felt good.  starting out riding alone. . . I was passed by a couple of guys, but I was not strong enough to hang on so I remained solo for the majority of the first half, this appeared to be a good sign, if people aren't passing then you aren't going too slow. . . it all figures into the equation.

One of the guys who passed me was wearing a black jersey with a big pink stripe down the middle. . . very identifiable. . . as we began the next climb I started to gain on him and my confidence was boosted. . .

. . . he became my carrot

and I spent the next hour trying to close the gap between us.  I soon realized it would be on the climbs because that is where I made progress in my quest.

The wind had begun to pick-up and was RELENTLESS and I wondered in my mind if it would be this way the whole way, ultimately deciding that this was the way it would be. . .

ALL DAY. . . 

I continually wondered if it would be like this for the 9:00 starters, would it be
worse?
better?
there was no way to know . . . what I did know is that they were only about 45 minutes into their ride and then I wondered how long it would take for the faster riders to catch us.

This question would plague me for the rest of the day

The question I thought about and haunted me the most was. . . 


Would I have to battle these winds up Boulder Mountain???
the possibility scared me just a little.

As I came to one of my favorite sections of the ride the wind was blowing so hard that even though I was going downhill on a 5% grade was still only able to muster up 19-20 mph. . .

not good


I was also watching the clock. . . it was my goal was to do this leg in 2:30 and at this rate it WAS NOT going to happen and I began to be frustrated and doubt myself.

STUPID WIND!!!

DSC_3877 DSC_3873

As I arrived at this amazingly cool part of the road where the road is literally carved between two cliffs of red rock.  I looked ahead and saw superman standing at the mouth waving his arms.  The wind had subsided slightly and I was picking up speed which I was finding enjoyable.

Then I noticed the motion he was using to wave me down. . .

SEVERE CROSSWINDS HERE!!!

as I came out from behind the wall of rock.  I slowed down to nearly a stop and was about blown off the road!

How grateful I was that they were there to warn me.  The wind hit with such gusting force that it would have blown me off the road.

Shortly after this the road dipped down into a ravine, then up again to a long steep 8% uphill pull.  My “carrot” was about half way up talking to his team.  They got him going again and shortly after they drove off he got off his bike and was walking up the hill.  I smiled to myself and gloated with one of those internal conversations about how I was actually out climbing him which made me AWESOME. . . .

Shame on me. . .

I later found out that the guy that I had deemed as my carrot WAS blown off the road into an oncoming car, which had to swerve into the opposite lane to avoid hitting him because he was in their lane at the mercy of the wind blowing him into a rock on the opposite side of the road due to that viscous, nasty crosswind. . .

which is what alerted my team to stop and warn me of, saving me from the same fate! 

Now you see why I felt bad!  Shame on me!!!

at the summit of this last big hill, I was stocked up with water and fizz tab bottle and my team was on their way to approx 5 miles up the road, still uphill but not sporting nearly the grades of steepness of the previous one.

That was the arrangement.   We would go 2 1/2 – 5 miles find a place to pull over and wait to see what the rider needed, and it was working perfectly until now. . .

Which is where I will pick up on my next post. . .
As this is already getting kind of long. . .




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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rockwell Relay–2014 part 1


Holding to my promise that I would try to keep posts shorter this race report will come out in several installments. . .

This is the first part of . . . 

Well, I’m not quite sure,
but more than one for sure

2014-06-12 18.46.00

It was finally here, The Rockwell Relay. . . the event we have been talking about, planning, and training for, for the past 362 days!

Preparing the trailer for this event began over a two months ago when we went to Frog Hollow, but it wasn’t until the week of the event that it truly began to take shape specifically for the Rockwell Relay.

At last it was Wednesday evening when the loading and organizing took place that everything began to feel so real. . . Our new favorite event was finally here!

We finally left our home approx 1 hour behind schedule on Thursday morning headed for Moab, UT where we begin our journey of riding our bikes 527 miles across the barren, desolate, dessert of Southern Utah.

DSC_3871
Seriously, this is what the landscape consists of for 75% of the route

As we drove to Moab where the event begins, the topic of Rockwell dominated the conversation . . . we talked about our dreams, anticipation, and strategy,  we discussed our game plan, how we wanted to improve on our performance as a team, personally and at exchanges, and what we had been doing in our training to make that happen

. . .  we were full of high expectations for the outcome of this years race

One of the biggest debates we had was what time to start this crazy adventure.  We had three options
  • 6:00 AM
  • 9:00 AM
  • 12:00 Noon
When we registered we choose to go with the 6:00 AM time slot, but when looking at last years data, considering our improvements in performance and the penalty associated with getting to exchanges early we seriously reconsidered. . .


ultimately deciding on Wednesday, June 4, to switch to a 9:00 AM start time


Then on Thursday afternoon, we looked at the weather reports as we settled into our hotel

IMG 0040

As a group of cyclists, this report is NOT a good thing, causing deep concern about what would present itself in the miles and miles of road ahead.

As we contemplated the potential effects of this news that followed the same report across the desert for Panguitch, Cedar City, AND St. George


we again reconsidered our options


and as a team determined that a 6:00 am start time was best and we changed our status as we picked up our packet at check in.

I was bummed!  I was looking forward to waking up, taking my time, having a waffle for breakfast and taking a leisurely approach to beginning my weekend living in a car and riding a bicycle.

Oh, Yes, this was a difficult decision for me to accept and it affected my attitude as I began my first leg.  I was bummed that we were not sticking to our original plan.

2014-06-13 08.00.04_thumb[7]

New for this year was the Rockwell Stamp. . . kind of a cool addition and having it made us truly feel part of the crowd as we sported around for the next two days.
 
2014-06-12 18.34.35

UGH, I hate it when I forget to take off my glasses!

Thanks to Superman who met up with Fatty on the 6 hours in Frog Hollow race, struck up a simple conversation and we ended up with a photo shoot.. .  Cool Stuff!

Team Fatty is a class act team and are top notch riders. . . they are a tough competitive team, COMPLETELY out of our league, but to say we associate with them is an awesome thing!


The second disappointment came as for two weeks I had made up my mind that we wanted Pizza for dinner, saving the leftovers for the ride in the following hours as we finished each leg.  I LOVE pizza and it just sounded like it would hit that special yummy spot in my tummy. . . that little thing to look forward. . . it was going to be my reward, as I finished a hard ride.

But it became very apparent as we were wandering about at packet pick-up/check-in that Superman was not excited about driving ANYWHERE else that evening and the only pizza place I could find was several blocks away and none of us wanted to walk that far for pizza so I resigned my desire and want of pizza and was desperately trying to not let it affect my attitude.

As we wandered around and I decided to go ahead and get a free bratwurst from Team Fatty as my only option for food that night . . . then

Then, I spotted it!



a whole stack of PIZZA BOXES!!!


As you can see (in the yellow circle with the arrow pointing), even though it’s VERY out of focus, the pizza boxes are right there in fatty’s little tent where they were cooking up the brats!

my eyes became riveted on those precious little boxes full of assumingly delicious mouthwatering pizza. . . I almost asked if Fatty would SELL me a sliver of pizza instead of giving me a free brat!  The only problem was I had already eaten my hot dog. . . dang

secondly, it would be just a little awkward to ask for a piece of pizza that wasn’t being offered from well, basically, a total stranger . . . even though Fatty is in celebrity status for me . . . I just couldn’t bring myself to ask for such things as pizza, and my brain was in overdrive trying to figure out how to do such a thing . . ..

I choose instead to ask where they got pizza from. . . to discover that the pizza was delivered right there to the park!


. . . this news made my whole day better


. . . I mean there was hope in the air-
and suddenly this day was looking more positive with each passing moment!!!
 
Superman observed the phone number was on the box, in big bold colorful letters. . .

Superman, my hero, dialed the number and a few minutes later we had a pizza on its way!!!


I LOVE Superman. . . he takes such good care of me!

And that is enough for today. . .
There will be more about our race in the next couple of days

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