Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ski to Sea

This past Sunday was th ehighly anticipated Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, WA. I had been invited (for some reason they must not have heard that I was the "calf-less wonder") to do the road riding portion of the race which was to be a 60 km time trial.

After trying out the aero-bars that Markezzy lent me on Friday evening and practicing my Levi face, I felt like I was ready for my debut in the race of truth!

Saturday evening Cam, Rosie and I drove down to Brian and Jess's place, where the team was gathering for a pre-race pasta dinner. Huge thanks to Brian and Jess for the amazing food and accomodations they provided us with so generously with! After meeting the team members and sorting out our equipment we all piled into bed and tried to fall asleep as 5:00am was going to come early the following morning.

After resting for about 30 min., we awoke to an odd and erractic thumping noise coming from beneath the bed. Cam got out of bed having a strong suspiscion of what was wrong here. Old Shaft was bang on when we peeked under the bed, and it turned out that Brian and Jess's golden lab Buddy has submarined under the bed and was having a little fun while were trying to sleep! Har har har...then came the funny part. Cam began his efforts to coerce Buddy out from under the bed but to his dismay, Buddy began to get increasingly excited by his new playmate and turned his tail thumpometer up to turbo! Wham-wham-wham-wham! Ha ha was pretty entertaining, but it all came to an end when Buddy was dragged out by his front legs by Jess to provide some respite for the racers.

The next morning after rifling some food down our throats, we piled into Brian's VW Vanagon, cranked some good tunes and drove up into the Mt. Baker national forest. My jaw dropped when I saw the roads I was to be riding on in a few hours. Unreal...twisting, turning, rising, dropping and all the while through some of the most lush, vibrant green flora I've ever seen!

I got dropped off and before I knew it I was lined up in the time chip exchange chute with Rosie bearing down on me like a screaming banshee. I took the chip, pocketed it and took off down the road with one goal: catch as many of these jerks that got out before me as possible, and if they tried to grab my wheel as I went by, make it impossible by attacking so violently that they would temporarily forget where they were...BAM!

I tucked into the bars, revved up the pedals and felt like a surface to air missile! Aero bars are super fun, especially when you're not exhausted yet and are on a slightly downhill fact they should be renamed Hero bars because that's what you feel like. I was having so much fun after catching my first three or four racers that I was hooting and hollering and announcing my own progress on the course, to noone but myself in Phil Liggett's voice! Har har know you're having fun when...

Anyways, I ended up finishing somehwere around 1 hr 30 min which I was pleased with as that meant my avg. speed was around 40 km/h which I've never come even close to before on other solo rides.

The day progressed and the timer chip gradually made it's way from the slopes of Baker to the waters of Bellingham Bay with our team, the Highcountry Hoodlums clocking around 34th out of over 400 teams this year! Not bad for a bunch of yahoos out to have some fun.

Thanks for the race guys and we'll (hopefully) see you again next year!

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