Friday, September 12, 2008

LOTOJA 2008

Behold a photo documentary of our LOTOJA experience:

1 DAY

3 STATES

206 MILES

1000 CYCLISTS

Okay, that was a bit cheesy but you get the idea. Stephanie, Lauren, Angela, and I relayed a road race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY. It was tons of fun but very challenging.

We managed to SHOVE 2 bikes, a cooler, and four people into Annie's blazer! It was quite the squeeze...check out Steph and Brett in the back seat on the way upto Logan. Being advised Logan would be packed with people we thought it might be a better idea to catch dinner in Brigham City. Have you ever been to Brigham City?? Yeah, not the best idea. They have approximately two places to eat...Donna's Family Diner or Maddox. We choose Maddox and although it was around 7:30pm I felt like we were catching the Early Bird Special! I'm pretty sure the average age in Maddox was 65 yrs old.

After using half the salt shaker on my vege pasta we paid our bill and set out for Logan. My friend Annie's brother and sister in law were so gracious to let us crash at their place for the evening.



We woke up bright and early at 6:30am to meet Angela at the first exchange point. Brett decided to wake up with a little Rage Against the Machine...you'll also notice a box of wheat thins in the car. Some how those didn't last past 8am??? Weird.




I was the second rider, don't be fooled by the calm and collected look I'm pulling off in this photo. You will not be disappointed or surprised that I spent a good half hour whimppering about how nervous I was.




From left to right...Steph, Annie, Me



So that's what my butt looks like from behind...

...and here comes Angela handing off the first leg.




We were excited to run into our dear friend Jackie and her baby Jefferson supporting husband and father Jason. Jackie was such a trooper carting around Jefferson for 11 hours in the car and running to meet her husband with food and drink...wow!





Speaking of support crews we had quite the awesome support team ourselves! This is Annie (dear friend and fellow grad student) and Brett (dear friend and Steph's Boyfriend)...our support crew.





After 21 miles uphill and an additional 24 miles working downhill and flat I was definitely ready to hand off to Stephanie. Her and Semaj,(her bike) look rearing to go in this photo...



...and now the nerves have clearly set in.







Stephanie had a really tough leg of the race as well, riding the two steepest climbs in the race. I was not shocked to hear rummor of Steph pulling a pack of 15-20 guys for quite some time. For those unfamiliar with cycling the first person in a group of riders cuts wind for everyone else drafting. Normally a line of riders will rotate through pulling the pack because the first person does significantly more work. Stephanie on the other hand has some type of superhuman mutant gene which allows her legs to never get tired. Additionally she's not about to be out done by very many people...especially guys...and even more ESPECIALLY other girls!! Ha, ha...

The other riders clearly thought she was as crazy as I know her to be! Finally someone shouted, "Hey Red, you don't have to do all the work we can pull too!" After some convincing she finally let one other guy trade off in pulling the pack?? You're a POWERHOUSE Steph!! Stubborn too :)


Oh here's a great shot...it's an Asian tourist flashing the peace sign.



Annie was a little upset her and Brett weren't providing more "support"...although we were thrilled to have the company as well as the drivers. Anyhow, here is Brett supposedly helping me "fix" my bike. Nothing was actually wrong with it. Ironically just after this exchange I sent out the SOS text message...HELP, don't leave, we're at the start!! Lauren actually did run into a little problem with her tire and it's a good thing we had our support crew or we'd have been high and dry and just plain out of luck.






I decided I wan't to be as "hard core" as Stephanie who rode two legs of the race. One on her own and a second one with Angela. So I decided to ride the last 47 miles with Lauren.




Here's the hand off..that's Stephanie and Angela rolling in.





And that's Lauren and I taking off. Literally 1 minute later is when we realized something was funny with Lauren's tire. However it proved to be only a minor set back (15 minutes). Infact, I was a much bigger set back at this point in the game. I felt good about the first hour into the ride but then my legs decided to remind me I'm not Stephanie and they had already riden a hard 45 miles earlier in the day! We finally tagged onto the back of a pack of about 7 riders and it took all my energy just to hang on the back of the draft! The whole time my back was aching and my legs were so tired. I didn't think I'd be able to hang on much longer and kept thinking in my head, just tell Lauren to keep going...you can't hang on any longer!! And yet I did hang on and on and on...for about a whole hour!! (I was proud)

I think what really gave me the drive to keep up with the pack was the fact I'd be riding in misery twice as long if I let myself fall off on my own! Those drafts really make SUCH a difference in speed and time, it's amazing!

I actually did lose the pack eventually because I wasn't paying attention when we made a sharp hair pin turn up a little hill. I didn't gear down and totally had to unclip on the hill...it's a good thing no one was behind me or it would have been a pile up. Thankfully a rider from the pack who had stopped to relieve himself caught back up and told Lauren I'd dropped off the back.

Lauren was a doll face! She waited up and then pulled me in the last 7 miles or so.




Here's a lovely shot in Jackson when I was hating my life!





There's a glimps of the finish line. I actually didn't believe any of the signs that said 5km left!! because I couldn't see any signs of civilization on the horizon! Ha, ha...




Brett finally had enough of driving...so he decided to run a little 4k! That's right, I said 4km!




12.5 hours after we started...we FINISHED!!! Do I look dead?? Good, because I felt like it. 93 miles is currently the longest ride I've done in one day! Our finisher medals were pretty cool...they are miniature chain rings if you can't tell.




And last but not least is Lauren's naked blanket photo! Probably slap happy with exhaustion but I couldn't stop laughing when Lauren wrapped that blanket around her shoulders because it looked like she was commando underneith!








The end of another adventure!

9 comments:

Katie A. said...

i'm so jealous crystelle! it looks awesome! felts 4 life!

sojay said...

ok, how come I can post a test but not when I wax eloquent?

sojay said...

Alright, my last attempt. Your LOTOJA ride looked totally fun, the donut one looked even better--invite me to that one.

I obviously haven't looked at your blog for awhile and I've been totally missing out!

You are hilarious, perhaps you should pursue this as a source of income--find some advertisers, spread the word...

Having said all that, I can restrain myself no longer--your spelling, please, it pains me! It's fourth, not forth, unless you're going forth to serve. Aagh!

Alright, I will refrain from pointing out anything else though my face is creased with pain from the effort.

Um, one last thing, 10 cm is a really long way to be snaking things for non-therapeutic purposes. I say the one who declined was the rational one. Sick!

The Jacksons said...

crystelle you look toadally hot in your biking kit

Sassy Rachel said...

you are unbelievably amazing...wow.

nice butt:)

liz said...

you animal you.

Steph said...

I was so proud and impressed with your riding that last leg! Go you for being so hardcore!!!!
Um...next year? Whole thing?? hahah!

Steve said...

SO AWESOME!!! The Heber Valley Century is Sept. 27, you know.

P.S. - Tell Lauren I'm disappointed she didn't do the naked blanket thing on the Wasatch Back....

Ocean Dreamer said...

Wow! Amazing bike ride! You never cease to amaze me! Though it was back in September, it's never too late to say "Way to go"!