Monday, June 30, 2014

Rockwell Relay, Part II


It's 4:00 am, we're up and getting ready to go. Not knowing what we were up against weather wise (wind, heat, cold, you name it) we elected the 6:00 am start time. Andrew rides over to the park to help warm up, and the rest of us load up and make it over. 

Now, as read about in previous years' rides, both of our teams suit up to ride the first mile or so with the starters, but it felt like the only team to do it. Needless to say, it still felt good to have eight guys all suited up with our Cyclng Nation team kits on, looking like we were going to take care of business. (If you can't be the part, at least look the part.) Speaking of not being the part. Let me do a quick introduction to the team...

Rider 1 - Andrew: 30ish, he is our strongest rider. Longest ride just over 80 miles. While he's never done a century ride before, he actually did compete in a road race held by a local cycling club, Cat 5 category. From what one guy said, it was a pretty grueling race to have your first time out.

Rider 2 - Bob: 58ish, he is our wisest, most experienced rider. Really though, the guy has run farther than any of us had ridden before. He even rode the 113 miles that is the Tour de Tucson, so he even had that under his belt. "When?" you might ask. 1994. As discussed in the last entry, he was our last minute fill-in.

Rider 3 - Mike: 30ish, he was probably the least experienced rider. Having spent the least time riding, his longest ride being about 60 miles. Of course we would have him riding the farthest distance (150 miles), it just made sense. Actually Mike is pretty athletic and was much more prepared than at least our last rider.

Rider 4 - Me: 34, ridden in a couple small local events, but yet to even complete a century. I actually wanted to take the Rider 2 position, but thought I would take one for the team and ride when we anticipated would be the hottest/windiest parts of the day and what could be the coldest parts of the night.

'Nuff of that, let's talk ridin!

(Puttin' out the vibe, staring down anyone that would dare look our way!)

Andrew, Duncan (from our Team 2), and the rest of us were off with the group. The air was cool, and our legs were fresh. The pace was quick, but not fast, as to be expected at the start of the race and our escort out of town. After what seemed longer than a mile it didn't feel like anyone had peeled off so I took the lead for our team, grabbing Mike and Bob and headed back to the van. Jared, Mark, and Tyler followed suit shortly thereafter. Things were underway, and everyone's spirits were high. And they stayed high, even though Bob took a wrong turn and we all followed giving us an extended tour of the outskirts of Moab. A few minutes later we made our way back to the van, grabbed some breakfast in town, and were off to find our guy.
(Amazing arch along the route)
And there he was...

(Flying out the gates!)
According to Andrew the group stayed together pretty well coming out of Moab, but after hitting the towns limits things started to break apart. Realizing that he would likely blow up if he kept at the packs pace Andrew (and the rest of those not wanting to try and ride with the lead group) began to peal off and form smaller groups of riders. When we caught up to Andrew the dispersion was in effect. He and another rider from the team 848 or Bust were working together to fight the wind, the constant traffic, and rolling hills as they climbs from Moab to Monticello.

Andrew was making good time, and from what we saw through the middle of the leg was this he and this new companion would ride together taking turns pulling. On the hills Andrew would seem to create a little distance (many times, climbs have to be done at your own speed - slowing down or trying to take it easy doesn't always work the same as when descending or even on the flats), and then Andrew would easy up as the other guy linked back up so they could work together.

I must point out, because it became hilarious almost to the point of absurdity, that Bob (who usually drinks very little when he does his big runs) had apparently way too much liquid in preparing for his upcoming leg. At every stop we would make supporting Andrew he would have to pee. Every stop. And we made several stops. I am sure one or two of those (or probably more) were the result of the anxiety he must have been feeling now that we were actually into the race and he would be up next. It was, I believe, at the stop pictured below where Bob would in fact use the restroom not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES while we waited for Andrew to ride past and change out bottles.

(Great scenery - site of the triple pee)
After a few stops and check-ins with Andrew we headed up the hill (a good sized hill mind you) into Monticello and got Bob ready for the exchange.

Not too long after getting to Monticello Duncan came riding in with a couple guys for our Team 2. He was able to stay in a bigger group and rode strong on Leg 1.
(Caleb on the left coming in, half of Jared on the right putting on the band before heading out)
After a few minutes the guy Andrew had been riding with came in and said Andrew was just a couple minutes behind him. This extra time also gave Bob a couple more opportunities to use the restroom and be ready for when Andrew came in.

(Andrew coming into the Leg 1-2 transition) 
(Just after the hand-off, Bob taking off)
Andrew had ridden hard and was exhausted. The wind (and probably elevation change) had taken its toll. I forget whether he said that he was mad at me for getting him to come do this, or if he was almost mad at me. Either way, he was happy to be off the bike and was ready to relax.

For Bob, the fun was just starting...TO BE CONTINUED

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rockwell Relay, Part I


Alright, I am starting this with the intent of covering our team's race report for the 5th Annual Rockwell Relay race from Moab to St. George in Utah, all the while realizing that my teammates (hopefully) will have their own input into what they were thinking, and how the race went for them. I will also admit that, like my other write-ups, this will be a multi-parter. And, unless they say otherwise my insights will be an attempt to tell you what they were thinking at times even though they may not have actually said it themselves. But when you are the writer, you get to write whatever you want. So here goes...


So, it's Tuesday before the race. I have left work and gone home to get ready to leave the next morning for Utah. Mike calls and informs me that something has come up with Caleb and his ability to make the race appears gloomy. 

"Think we can get a fill-in?"

"Let me make a call," I replied. Hang up, call Bob. "Bob, this is Evan. We need a last minute fill-in for Caleb, can you make it?"


"Bob, here's the thing, you can ride out with myself, Mike, or Andrew, but we are all leaving in the morning. Will that work?"

"Can you take my bike?"


"Then I will fly out and meet you there on Thursday."

"Awesome. You can ride back with any of us. Should I come get the bike tonight?"

"Can I bring it to you tomorrow? I want to get another ride in tomorrow morning."

"Sure Bob, but the race is Friday, so you might want to rest." (Me knowing he had just ridden 25 miles and over 2600 ft of climbing that Tuesday morning already, and wanted to do the same thing the next morning. Also knowing that Bob has been riding some recently, but not really that much. Oh, and in case I didn't mention, Bob is 58 years old.)

"I don't operate that way."

And with Bob, you just smile and nod. Bob knows Bob, and Bob does what Bob wants. I have on good authority (my own opinion which is as good as gold) this is pretty much how Bob operates in life - how he wants.

That said, in a matter of two minutes our team was almost out and then back in full swing.

Side note: My write up will make some sort of attempt to describe each of the other riders (I'm not sure how much I will do of this, so we shall see how lazy I get), but let me just say Bob will be the funniest character of the trip. Hands down.


Wednesday the rest of the team drive to St. George, drop off the family that came, and Thursday we drive out to Moab. Joining our team in the van was Andrew's dad, James. James was there to help drive and be our picture guy. (For this very reason we have some good pics, and our other team became somewhat jealous - as they should have.) The drive out was good. Andrew hadn't seen that part of the country before and was enjoying it. I mainly watched the clock to see when we would be there so we could get checked in at the motel, grab Bob and set him signed up.

As we are arriving in Moab, I get the text from Bob.

"Here. Hot."

A couple more details about Bob to better paint the picture of who he is, and why this is so funny. Bob is very smart. He has done very well professionally, and for fun he runs ultra marathons. That alone should help you to know Bob is a little crazy. Bob is also sort of a quite person, and when he speaks is very direct and concise. "Why use two words when one will do" sort of a guy. So when I get a text that says "Here. Hot." Us guys driving out all start laughing. And I am sure we all think, "Does he know what he is getting himself into?" As we later find out, kind of, but not really.

After getting Bob, and making him get new tires (his old tires looked like they came with his bike that he bought back in 2003 or 2004), we check in for the race, get some food, and head back to the rooms for the night.

(I will also point out here, that I was excited to meet Elden Nelson (aka the the Fat Cyclist) but got a little camera shy when I made my way over to his tent. I did briefly say hi, but that was it. In my defense, he did look very busy and I didn't mean to hold him up. So I was being nice without him noticing. That said, Fatty, if you ever roll across this write-up, thanks for your blog. Your previous years' postings really got me pumped and prepared (besides my lazy not riding enough) for the event. And with my enthusiasm got not one, but TWO Cyclng Nation teams to enter the race. One day we'll catch up. Alright, enough brown nosing.)

(Cyclng Nation Team 2 - Tyler, Mark, Duncan & Tyler
Cyclng Nation Team 1 - myself, Bob, Mike & Andrew)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

7 Days to Rockwell


So we are a week away from Rockwell, and more team gear is coming together, so I needed to add it to the blog. (Sadly, I have not been able to ride/train much so this is also an opportunity to post about SOMETHING!)

We've had the bottles done for some time, but I knew a pic is what makes things real, so...

Polar did a great job on the bottles, I don't think I could be happier. Also, they came in at a price that was barely above retail. Anytime you can get custom stuff made at or that close to retail I am a BIG fan.

Also pretty dang sweet!
The shirts were, or I should say are, a last minute thing. Jared says they should be ready by Rockwell so we will see. ONE WEEK!!!!