Monday, October 01, 2012

LoToJa 2012

Never mind Christmas, a baptism and birthdays of 2012, or my most magnanimous fridge purchase…did you know I rode the bike a lot this summer? 

A lot.

And as much as I loved every bit of the sun, sweat, and hills, the finish line of this race was passion defined.  Dramatic, no?   I’ve had babies and visited Hawaii and those experiences were passion defined as well…this was an enjoyable & challenging eleven hours and forty five minutes!

At the start… 

LotoJa Start photo 

The LaToJa Classic is a bike race from Logan Utah to Jackson Wyoming .  The longest one day bike race in the country that covers 206 miles, and Idaho!   It’s a tough race to get into—we tried last year and didn’t.  This year we signed up for a race category—even though we’re not racers—we got in!

The race was divided into 5 legs.  I did the 1st (34 miles) and 3rd (47 miles) legs and we rode the 5th(47 miles) together—because we were so unexpectedly fast and amazing


This is me zooming into Preston, Idaho, catching everyone off guard—Robyn still had to shoe up and de-fleece.  I was de-fleecing too…because I was HOT after going FAST!   Drafting is the ganache frosting on the cake of biking!  Don’t believe me?  I had just ridden 34 miles in 1:15 min!     430431

Here is Robyn’s Dave fixing my tire.  While waiting for Robyn in Montpelier, my tire blew.  It sounded like a gunshot—but I had an extra tube and I borrowed a pump, and with Dave’s great mechanic hands, I was ready to go when Robyn rolled in.   Robyn killed her first leg, riding 47 miles in a little over 2 and a half hours—a huge mountain pass with a gazillion in elevation.


We started at 7:04 in the morning and by4 in the afternoon we had the home stretch of 47 miles to go.  Being so ahead of the 8:00pm (sunset) deadline we decided to ride the last leg together.   We headed out of Alpine together into Snake River Canyon, which I’ve driven through a bunch but Oh, Oh, Oh, on a bike, with a friend, a tailwind, and some shade it was heaven.  Beautiful.  Glorious.  Icing on the Bundt!     

We finished just as my mileage read 125!  Robyn knew to show some enthusiasm; lotoja finishI was too busy catching bugs in my mouth. 

Capture lotoja finish1Capture lotoja finish2

I think I was a little dehydrated too—I kept seeing these static light flashes above my right eye.  My middle left toes were on fire too. 

lotoja medal439

With Robyn’s camera I’m chewing a granola bar…        With my camera.  I have evil eyebrows of elation!

We posed with Robyn’s dad’s medal—us relayers got a key chain—the girl checking off my name retorted, “well, you only did half….”  Speaking of Robyn’s dad…We awarded David Lee his medal at 11:30 that night when he got to the finish line!  He started at 5:30 that morning and with more than 18 hours in the saddle, he smiled!  I had passed him just outside of Logan—he’d had 3 flats through Amalga—arugh!  But he finished!   

lotoja dark 

Top Ten Extras:

10.  We headed to dinner in Jackson at the Merry Piglets cafĂ©.   I craved rice and beans and drank 6 glasses of water—the poor waitress.

9.  For nutrition I ate Nutella, flat bread, cold watermelon, chocolate gu , Accelerade (lots!),  sweet and salty granola bars, Pepsi, chomps, nut rolls, black jelly beans, Swedish fish and a hamburger in Afton (yummo).  Food tastes great at 50 miles and some sounds gross at 125.  Like Chinese….blech.

8.  Huge thanks to Robyn’s parents for being the best bed and breakfast ever!  And sister Mindy for hair and makeup—well hair.

7.  I didn’t know a t-shirt, water bottle and sticker came with the registration.  I have two of each now. 

6.  DzNuts— is an incredible numbing chamois cream.

5.  At the top of my last climb (Salt Creek) I had only warm water left.  In my daze of climbing I could not figure out how to put my own water bottle back on my bike and take the FREE, COLD water bottle that the sponsors were passing out.  The experience haunted me all the way into Afton and I ate Swedish fish to pass the time.

4.  I named my bike Carma earlier this summer, we were together so much… After getting new tires, chain, cassette, and a rebuilt lower bracket, she felt so good that she returned my energy with speed, and without sounding like a junk yard. 

3.  A  huge thank you to James Mair and Dave, our husbands and support crew.  James drove and Dave bought pebbled ice and they were continually impressed with our speed and the wee little bit of biking riding profanity.  Kicking a*s : )

2.  An even bigger thanks to James for handling the home front and our 5 dependents so well while I rode this whole summer.  Carma came on several vacations and James hated getting her strapped on after loading kids and gear, but he did it anyway.  Thank you, thank you!

1.  I really want to do the whole 206 miles next year…shhh… don’t tell James.