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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rockwell Relay 2014 (Part 4)


if you are needing or wanting a refresher of this exciting tale you can read part 1 here,
part 2 here and then  part 3 here.

This is part 4 of what will probably be a 6 part report.

As we compared conditions from 2013 the wind definitely seemed more prevalent this year, but the temps while plenty warm were actually about 5° -10° cooler than last year and when the temps are somewhere between 95°f-105°f that 5°f-8°f seems to make a difference. but I was also becoming concerned about Boulder Mountain. . . that section had the potential of getting flat out cold. I brushed the thoughts aside knowing that. . .

first: there wasn’t much I could do about it anyway. . . what if it was windy or raining, or worse. . . snowing???


. . . so what if it was?


the ride would go on, and that was what I signed up for. . . to ride. Knowing that regardless of what the weather was going to be I would ride my bike. . . period.

second: if the weather was sour and awful, I had gear. I had leggings, gloves, headbands, booties, toe-warmers, weatherproof helmet cover, arm warmers . . . and an awesome team that would pull me through.  So in reality it wasn’t worth the energy to worry about what was to come. I was reminded of Elder Wirthlin’s conference talk (Oct 2011) . . . “Come What May, and Love it” . . .

Life is a journey, a wonderful adventure and this ride. . . without challenges, such as inclement weather, was just that; a journey, an adventure, an experience that will leave it’s participants with lasting impressions and memories that will be ours forever.

By focusing on what MIGHT happen in the future, I was missing out on the journey and adventure of what was happening in the present.

okay, that’s probably enough mushy sentimental thought processes for today, 
 I will get back to what was happening in the moment. . .


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With Superman on his first leg, it was time to get moving again.  
This leg, at least in my mind, is the most difficult leg. . .  it is a


   hot


                       dry


                                               long


                                                                        barren


                                                                                                  windy


                                                                                                            stretch of road.

and so it was important that we didn’t leave Superman and the bumblebee to get too far ahead. . .  Superman drinks LOTS of water and needs frequent replenishment with electrolytes so he can keep pedaling.

the set up we had in the car was great.

It allowed the “resting” person to actually lay down and stretch out a bit so tall peeps could actually fully stretch out. . .

last year, no one really fit in to lay flat. . . This was Superman attempting to rest.

this was a HUGE improvement over last year when we had the Jeep even the shorties couldn't do that!  Also new this year we were all taking turns driving, where last year Superman and Doug literally did ALL the driving for the entire two days. so this arrangement was MUCH, MUCH better.

However, even though it was better it still had it’s quirks. 


first off every time we pulled over it was necessary to get COMPLETELY off the road, which is fine, there was no shortage of being able to meet this guideline, but for a sleeping body meant that they were now slanted, making it difficult to sleep, as a body naturally tends to roll downhill.  Keep in mind we were stopping every 2 ½ to 5 miles so this was a consistent challenge for the “resting” rider . . .

Jokingly Doug requested that we level out the car just a tad

yeah, that might be one of those you just had to be there to fully understand :)


secondly we are in the desert in the middle of the day so it is plenty bright and warm . . . this presented the next problem . . . which was, when we turned the car off it became hot and stuffy back there almost instantly . . . which is an understatement, it was sweltering!  to off-set this condition we opened the windows and the back hatch which helped, but still, it wasn’t the greatest conditions for sleeping and resting, being that about every 15-20 minutes we were repeating this scenario. . .

it’s fair to say that there wasn’t a whole lot of resting going on.

but it was what we had, We signed up for this, paid for this, and yup, we were excited for this!   It was part of the adventure, part of the story, part of the memories we will cherish for a very long time!

Superman was doing well even with the hot wind. He truly is a perfect fit for this section he is so stinkin strong that he just plows right through these conditions and he was doing absolutely amazing.


Dirty Devil Bridge - 2013 Rockwell file photo

This is Devils Gate Bridge, and where Superman almost died of heat stroke last year.  This year he was doing amazing and shot up this section of road as though he was riding on a beautiful, cool spring morning and we didn’t need to worry about him much as he rolled into the exchange.

As he arrived in Capitol Reef the results were in . . . He managed to trim 42 minutes off his time on this same section from last year!

The training was paying off BIG TIME for Superman! 

DSC_3871

It was now 4:02 pm and we were 1 hour and 45 minutes ahead of the clock from last year. This was motivating and encouraging to us and the group was grateful that we bumped our start time to 6:00 am.

Linda took off and we loaded up Superman, gave him food and were off to check on Linda.

The arrangement and rotation was brilliant


While Superman Drove, Doug supported Linda, Linda supported Doug while I drove and Superman rested. Then Doug would be driver while Superman Supported me and Linda Took over Driver while I supported Superman. . .


This was great as we discovered that when our spouse was the one pedaling down the road, there wasn’t much R&R taking place, we found ourselves antsy and anxious of how they were doing. . . so the arrangement was brilliant in the end.

DSC_3896

Linda had a good solid leg shortening her time by 44 minutes, and I began to wonder if we did make the right decision to bump our start time. I know it sounds crazy but I was still being bugged by that detail and there was no real reason or rationalization for this obsession.

We were there, we were riding, we were having a great time. . . 

 
so what did it matter???
  It didn’t . . . 

 
but I was making it matter in my head, I had this vain quest to be competitive, which in the end, it was me who was the weak link in the team


. . . in short: I was not the one being competitive
so this silly notion I had going on in my head was making no sense at all.

DSC_3907

Doug was on the road again at 7:03 pm. . . roughly 2 ½ hours ahead of last year as the clock ticks. he was riding strong and I knew my turn was coming up.
 
I’m glad I was driving because I was getting pretty anxious about my ride coming up. . .

The leg I had been fretting about all spring, the section that owned me in 2012, the climb that provided motivation to train harder since November --

. . . Boulder Mountain

DSC_2843
 
The problem about this leg is that as night settled in with the darkness and a chill in the air I began to question whether I wanted to ride.
 
Seriously, it was a bit nippy out there AND I should be snuggling into my bed . . . at least that’s what normal peeps do, or should I say, that’s what I do!  For me, on any given day it’s lights out by 10:30.

We arrived in Torrey; and while Superman prepared my bike, I braved the dark chilly night and got myself ready.
 
7181947751_3316028824_z (1)
(Photo, compliments of Rockwell Relay archives)
 
Part of the challenge of this leg in particular is that I needed to be ready to go, but I didn’t want to stand around and get chilled, there isn’t much of a place to warm-up. 
 
. . . I know, I'm a wimp! 
I accept that fact about myself

Therefore, not knowing how long I had until Doug was to arrive, complicated this whole business of getting ready. It’s dark, as in 10:30 at night

. . . remember, it’s bedtime on any regular day 

but as the obvious would point out. . . 
 this certainly is not an ordinary night!
 
We had clear skies and a full moon, which meant it would likely be cold, but no rain or other moisture forms falling from the sky. . . I was relieved for that!


Once I wrap my mind around and accept the fact that I am riding at night, I like it. 
Especially in the dead quiet of the night, it’s a super awesome, cool experience. . one that I recommend trying out. . . In fact night rides are actually some of my favorite rides.  There is something surreal about riding at night, in the dark.  I find them relaxing and peaceful. . .
 
Unless you have a well intending volunteer that won’t put a cork in the pipe as she prattles on and on about how cyclists need to be cautious about deer and wild animals in the forest because you might hit them like a cyclist did two years earlier. . . I found her annoying and I desperately tried to not listen to her go on and on as I waited with a few other cyclists at the exchange with few options of relocation while the volunteer wouldn’t put a clamp on it, I intently watched the headlights as they approached the exchange station.

 
Finally it’s my turn. . . Doug had arrived 



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1 comment:

  1. Well done and really loved the build up to your ride! Anxiously awaiting the documentation of your bone-chilling descent into Boulder where I would be going up...and up....and up until my descent into Henryville...where I froze, too!

    ReplyDelete