Okay, so before I get into Bob's ride I must go into more about Bob. Why? Because Bob is blunt. Because Bob knows what he wants. Because Bob knows what he doesn't want. Because Bob was more ready in some ways for this than any of us (even though he only joined the team less than ). And because Bob wasn't as ready for Rockwell Relay as the rest of us (for the same reason).
I may have mentioned this before, but Bob was sure to point out that he was the oldest person there. That this was a young person's race, and he wasn't so young. (Now, I am sure that there were people there Bob's age - or close to it, but Bob was focusing on the masses.) Bob was also sure to point out during Andrew's ride what he wanted as he rode. It was this: Gatorade. He didn't want water, he really didn't want any other liquid. (The rest of us were drinking Scratch Labs mixes. He didn't seem excited about that.) He didn't want any of the gels or chews I brought, or the homemade rice cakes Andrew made, in case people needed something on the bike that was easy. He'd done 24 races before, so he knew what he needed. Gatorade!
And then there was someone that Bob didn't need. In fact, he insisted that you not tell him, or talk about it where he could hear you. See Bob had not looked AT ALL into what his legs were like. He had no idea about how far the legs were, how much climbing he would have to do, when or how the climbing would come, he didn't even know where he'd be riding. In fact, he didn't even know where the race ended!
After looking at a simple overview of the entire course during Andrew's ride (though it may have actually been later in the race) he said, "Oh, we finish in St. George?"
"Yeah Bob, where did you think we finished?"
"Oh, I just figured we did a big loop...Good thing I didn't book a flight home from Moab."
We all smiled, Bob was ready for anything.
"Bob," I asked, "what do you do when you are running? You don't want to know how far you've gone? What about mile markers along the road?"
"No, I don't want to know. I just want to tell my body to keep going. I try to ignore things like mile markers or posted race signs."
Pretty much, just let Bob ride and get out of his way. And with Andrew finished with Leg 1, Bob was off and riding Leg 2.
Bob left right at 10:00 am and was doing well as the day started to heat up. His ride would have some rolling hills (into the wind) with an overall descent until the final few miles of his ride. After Andrew got changed and relaxed a bit we caught up and drove past Bob to allow for us to get out, get a new cold bottle Gatorade ("Just keep giving me Gatorade!"), and be ready for an exchange if he needed.
"Bob! How ya doing!?" I asked.
"ONLY WATER! JUST GIVE ME WATER! NO GATORADE!"
|(Bob, waiving off his Gatorade)|
Apparently the Gatorade was too much sugar considering how much liquid he needed on this hot day. While we were not surprised by this, we did die laughing about how his demands changed so quickly once he was on the bike, considering how sure he was before his ride. And again, this was Bob we're talking about.
And here is was the other thing that we laughed about Bob's riding (though I am pretty sure he still has no idea this was going on in the van). Early in the ride Bob was riding 'around' a couple of women riders. Also, let me remind the reader (all one of me) that Bob is very serious. Filling time in the heat of the day with not much to do, I made up the conversation between Bob and the first rider he caught up to (who just happened to be a woman - and I am sure is very nice, and was doing a great job on the ride - so no offense to her here).
The woman: "Hey how's it going? Getting pretty warm out here." (All said in a friendly, but not overly friendly, voice.)
Bob: "Careful, I have 11 kids. Don't get too close, you might get pregnant." (Said in Bob's normal, very serious tone. He does in fact have 11 btw.)
Being a bunch of guys...a bunch of bored buys...we thought this was hilarious. In fact, as another woman rider passed him shortly thereafter (she was killing it), the joke became from then on whenever we were bored and Bob was riding with, passing, or getting passed, male of female. "Boom! Pregnant."
Quite a high level sense of humor we have, I know.
Anyways, before long Bob and the team decided that watering down the Gatorade ending up being the best solution for Bob. He was making good time, and we were just happy to have him.
|(The last part of Leg 2)|
|(Bob riding through the cut in the mountain, almost blown over by a strong, sudden gust of wind)|
Bob's last 5+ miles would start with a good 4 miles or riding at or around a 5% grade, then a small let off, and then more climbing to the end. He'd finish around 1:30, middle of the day, hot, exhausted, and happy for a rest.
|(Me giving Bob some expert advise, probably something like "uh, go that way!")|
|(Good summary of Bob after Leg 2)|
TO BE CONTINUED...