Jul 19, 2006
Click on the title to go the the full race report at the IF grassroots website.
It's extra long so I thought It would be best to write here about some of the other great things about the trip to CO. I got to stay with my friend Rob in Denver. He threatens to move East but I can't encourage that. There is just too much to do in CO.
Tim Dougherty and his significant other Katina grabbed Trish Stevenson at the airport then came and got me on Thursday. Trish is the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of girl. She calls me Thur. morning from the airport with no real idea how she is going to get to Breck. So I give her the low-down on the fact that Tim and katina should be in at any moment so just wait and we'll try to hook it up. She calls me about 2hrs later and has Tim next to her. They come and get me,and we head for a shop to look for supplies and Endurolytes. I feel weird asking for endurolytes at the shops we go to, as if it's some sort of rediculous question, because all the CO. riders are so superior and don't need things like that.
Oh well, can't think about those things, but I do take Tim to see Rodney Clarks custom frame shop, which like I said before puts any operating room to shame in terms cleanliness. We kick it, have some laughs and head out of town towards Breck. Katina drives like its a rental and ultimatly is disappointed that the rented mini-van is a chump on the climbs.
We get to Breck and hit a little bikeshop looking for more performance enhancing pills. Empty handed we decide to hit the coffee shop across the street and proceed to get jacked on iced coffee drinks. I'm not sure if it's the elevation or the second cup of coffee, but I start to get that punch drunk stumble. THe kind where it's fun to drag your feet and act like your about to fall over every ten feet. We close down the coffee shop then head out looking for Trish's sleeping quarters. She's staying with Karen Masson, Harvey Minton, and Ian The roaming Brit.
Tim, K and I head to their room and check in, into the jacuzi-tub. Not really but I regret not getting into it at least once. The elevation was doing weird things to me and I found myself trying to yawn every few breaths but never being rewarded with a satisfactory lung-full.
We all met at Rasta Pasta later and for a caribian experience, Italian style.
We slept, woke up Friday morning, ate and started to prep our gear. Tim's Lefty started bleeding at the boot so he started looking for a Cannondale dealer who would have the right tools. Yeah C-dale and their proprietary tools. Him and Katina took off for Vail.
I slowly got my stuff in order, waited for my dad to get to town, went and bought a race-face big ring for my XT cranks. All my shift pins had been worn off and shifting was a bear.
After grabbing a middle ring and cassette Lloyd had sent with Skippany, I had a pretty new drivetrain. Cool! I greeted my dad, then went for about an hour ride. I rode out of town and got on the Upper Flume trail, came down Mikes trail and finished on the Lower Flume. It was a lot of fun and a good indication of what the next day would be like.
After Cleanning up, I went to the racers banquet and meeting. Food was good, promoters disappointing. Read about it in the race report if your interested.
We got up at 4:30am Sat. morn and got ready for the suffer fest. It was chilly, so I wore my arm-warmers and vest,
and dropped my glasses at the start. Other than that it was a great, long day.
I got second to last years winner.
After finishing I sat around watched the promoters hand everyone a beer at the finish, watched riders struggle in, talked to a bunch of people and lay in the grass.
Awards were disappointing, due to the cheap and sexist promoters (read the report). But Trish and a few of us agreed to meet later and have some drinks. Brad Cole and his support Joel came by and took showers in our rooms since they were camping out. We went to eat some tacos and after they left I met the peloton at the ice-cream shop/ bar. After a little puppy dog eye begging we got the bartender to open the bar back up for one drink. John Cagliano was there and Tim Faia came by from off the mountain. After getting shooed out the door we went to Eric's underground bar, had another drink and watched some Tour action on tv.
Departing we said our goodbyes. The next morning My dad and I ate a big breakfast at Tim and Katina's room, then we headed towards Lake City CO to visit my old highschool friend Lydia, her husband Gabe and their 11month old Jaden. Tucked away in the mountains about an hour below Gunnison they have this little idealic town that is almost too good to be true, unless you like big city culture. The town of 350 has a coffee shop, organic grocery, and fine dinning. Where Lydia and I grew up, the town of 6,000 didn't know what cappacino was till 7-11 got a machine. They're kid Jaden was intense. He'll probably grow up doing first runs down the rivers of Mars.
Monday morning Gabe loaded Jaden up in the buggy and we went out to spin our legs for about an hour. We were bouncing along dirt roads and Jaden just slept through it all. LIke I said, kid is on it! My dad went for a hike while we did this, afterwards we met back up said goodbye to Lydia, and headed for Denver.
I slept the first hour of the drive, partially due to the fact that Lydia's dogs snore like my dad. It was incredible. So we made it to Denver around 5pm and went to eat dinner with a long lost cousin, Rene. That was our second meeting and it is so neat to see a stranger that looks like other people in my family. Hopefully she will be less of a stranger as the years roll on.
After dinner we went back to Rob's apartment, and pretty much went to sleep. I packed up early the next morn, and took off for the airport with my dad. We had similar flight times and got to eat breakfast together in the airport while watching tour action.
So after a 6hr delay in Chicago, I got back to Philly after midnight, took a $40 taxi home since the trains were stopped and slept till 10 the next morning.
Good race, bad promoters, good times, bad weather. Great trip.