Monday, July 20, 2009

Sundance Hillclimb

I wasn't planning to do the Sundance Hillclimb. I was planning to do a three hour ride going up the American Fork side of the Alpine Loop. But, Friday night I realized that the hillclimb was in the morning, so I decided to include it as part of my ride.

I drove up to Sundance early the next morning to register. I got my number, verified my start time, went back home, kitted up, and hoped on my bike. I figured riding to the start line from my house would make for a good warm up.

The headwind going up the canyon was brutal. I really pushed hard because I didn't want to be late to the start. I arrived just as the official, Gary, was getting ready to send off a small group of men. I asked what time it was. Whew! I had made it there ten minutes before my start time. Or so I thought. I asked Gary which groups were up next. His answer was that "all the women's groups had already started." Then he told me to start with the group of men and said, "Go!" Without having time to take off my armwarmers or even take a recovery breath, I was off. I hung with the guys for maybe a whole half a mile before they dropped me.

I rode angry. Angry that I had chosen not to go to Capitol Reef because they pulled this same stunt of starting my group earlier than they were supposed to last year. I missed that start too and ended up coming in dead last in the GC because of it.

I also rode with the slight hope that maybe Gary was wrong and the rest of the Cat 4 women were still behind me somewhere.

I ended up beating my time (from two years ago - the last time I did this race) by 10 minutes!

Coming to the finish line.

After talking to the officials.

I also ended up coming in second place. I was happy with second...even if it was by default that nobody else showed up to race. I didn't want to have to protest too loudly that I wasn't warned of the earlier start time. They wouldn't even let me adjust my time according to when I actually started.

USAC rule 1O1: "Starting Time. No heat or race may be started before the time stated in the official race announcement except with the consent of all registered riders in the heat or race."

Picking up my award.

After the race, BDE, Slingshot and I continued riding. We ended up in southwest Provo down by Utah Lake before heading back toward the mouth of the canyon. By the time I got back into Orem, it was mid-afternoon and it was hot! I was out of water and hadn't eaten much all day, so I headed back home while the boys continued up the canyon for more climbing action. Not bad for it being less than two months since my crash.

I've got a rest week this week. And then I race Chalk Creek this of my favorite races!