Huge Thanks to my Crew
After finishing with my crew last year Cris Matthews was still enthusiastic about coming back to help crew again this year. Lee Mitchell and
Another huge thanks goes to
Why RAO AGA
This type of race comes in many forms, more
When was the toughest time?
Have you ever been in a pinch in time? Last year at RAO when
The time is
What drove me beyond this moment to finish this race! Many of you know that
As you are aware, this year was a good year of training for me. Joining the Randonneurs was a huge benefit that got me mega mileage on the weekends. This year’s training was much much greater than last year ever was.
As you can see from the results only 10 solo riders (including upright, recupright and recumbent) finished officially, and 2 unofficially (one of them was me), and out of all of us, 10 dnf's. This makes a 54% finish rate, consistent with previous year’s results,. However, the course still proved to be extremely tough, in my opinion and in the estimation of others with much greater experience...
There was over 40,000 ft of elevation gain and major climbs after riding 400 miles.
Anyways, feeling great and with all that training under my belt,
Us solo riders were fortunate to start at 5:00am, which allowed the first climb up Hwy 35 on the north flank of Mt Hood to be cooler ,.
We all started off in the usual parade for the first 9 miles. They even let us take a quick pee break before we broke off onto Hwy 35. As the leaders broke away up Hwy 35,
Rooky, Mike Maughan and
Moro to Condon (121-164 miles)
Moving slowly out of Moro on
Once you crest the summit Devils Butte, if you look west over your shoulder, you can see Mt Rainier and most of the Oregon Cascades, but
Condon to Heppner (164-207 miles)
My memory is not good in this stretch, since
Heppner to Dale (207-285 miles)
The new course was supposed to travel the FS 53 road/Willow Creek Road, but due to major road damage, we were routed south on Hwy 395.
Arriving in Dale time station,
Dale to Spray (285-358 miles)
Linda and Cris were in the second car and they drove ahead to Spray to get some ice and other supplies. Just a mile before Spray
Spray to Maupin (358-457 miles)
The headwinds were back as
Descending to Fossil, Dave played some music on the PA system. One song
Climbing from Fossil
As we crested the climb out of Antelope the winds really picked up.
Maupin to the Finish! (457-516 miles)
y 97 that
The road towards Hood eventually steepens a great deal, slowing me to an 8-10 mph pace.
ystem came in handy with Crystal Method and some Michael Jackson Heidi through in, for the fun of it.
And despite missing the cutoff by 6 minutes, had
w for certain that all the training
I was later awarded, all for the fun of it, at he awards banquet 1.) a box of tissues, 2.) a calculator for my crew chief 3.) and a kids baseball playset that said "first base" on it, since I was caught kissing Heidi and they presented jokingly that even though I didn't make the cutoff, at least I made it to first base with Heidi. This is definitely the funnest awards banquet I've ever been to!!
Thank you again, crew, and thanks to everyone else who has helped me realize that finishing is so much more!