We were awoken at 4am by the continuance of thundershowers moving through the area. It poured so hard that it woke up my girl. Buckets, cats, dogs, the works. Uggg, was the only thing going through my head. My stomach hurt I was so at odds. I had busted my ass training for this race and now everything was jacked. Since my girl was awake she calmed me down and reminded me I didn't bust my ass to let a little rain slow me down. Damn right!!!
So we packed up and headed to the start line. The weather broke right before the 5 mile trip to the start. We found a great parking place for me to get ready and it was close to the bathroom!
Now I'm not sure where everyone came from be there were over 700 riders that started the day. It certainly didn't seem like there were that many cars around.
Here I am getting ready, having no idea what lie ahead.
Warming up, getting the blood flowing.
Here is everyone at the start.
I'm in the middle pedaling my little heart out.
Thus we were off, the first few miles are along roads until you are out of town. There roads go straight up BTW. Then we hit the mud. It was every where and deep! It was just a plain mess. I was moving along okay but slow for the first 20 miles or so and then I started to notice a problem. My chain was not shifting into the upper 3 rings on the cassette, then the top 4. WTF!!! There was so much mud every where that I couldn't see what was what down there. At the first aid station I was able to splash a cup of water on but it didn't help much. The peeps at the station said station two had power washers so I pressed on. It was tough though, I only really had three speeds that I could bounce around in the front chain rings. My bike slowly becoming useless against the mud, I needed the upper chain rings. I finally made it to the second aid station about 36 miles in and cleaned off the bike. Nothing doing. It was still jacked.
After some thinking and cursing I decided to pull out. It wasn't worth destroying my entire drivetrain. I tucked my tail between my legs and headed back to the finish line to meet up with my girl. She helped me scrape up my ego and pack everything up. She had mentioned she was worried about me and I asked why, she proceeded to tell me the tornado sirens were blaring and a tornado touched down about 8 mile north of where we were at.
Wow, news to me!!! Shortly after I arrived back it began to absolutely pour again. :( Covered in mud I was able to find a shower to stand in with all of my gear on and slowly strip down and try to clean everything off.
Next time, there will always be a next time. I'm in the best riding shape of my life and I don't intend to waste it!!!
Here's a picture of me in action.
We packed up and headed to Columbus for my good friends wedding.
Bottom line, my chain seized up on me. I had to take it off and throw it away before we even made it home. You know what that means??? Yes, time to upgrade! I know have a 9-speed KMC chain that is titanium and nickel plated. Hopefully problem solved!
As for the poison ivy, I had it everywhere. Apparently I didn't do a great job washing my hands after handling my bike. It was all over my face. I toughed it out and it has all cleared up now.
Additional pictures and videos courtesy of people other than me!
http://teambikesour ce.myphotoalbum. com/view_ album.php? set_albumName= album102