Transylvania – Stage 1 Prologue

The quick and skinny as we sit here for tonight’s award ceremony.  Rebecca and I flew out of Hailey yesterday and arrived in Harrisburg last night only to discover that the luggage and the bike were not with us.  We improvised and had a leisure dinner in downtown Harrisburg while we waited for the next arrival from Atlanta which, we hoped, would have our luggage & bikes aboard.  The reality was that the last information that the airline had was that our bags were last scanned in Salt Lake City.  For all we knew, they were still there.  The Delta employee also explained that the baggage handlers in Atlanta hardly ever scan luggage as they’re supposed to.  Here’s an idea for the Atlanta baggage handlers – Do your job or find another one!

Anyway, our stuff did show up on the last flight in and we were on the road by 11 p.m. (only 3.5 hours later than planned).  We had decided that we would just get a hotel, get a good night of sleep, and drive to State College, PA this morning with plenty of time to assemble bikes, etc. before the 3 p.m. start for today’s stage.  Well, little did we know that everyone on the east coast must be getting married somewhere in PA this weekend.  We stopped at no less than 12 hotels from Harrisburg to State College and every single one was booked and all of them also confirmed for us that every other one with in an hours drive was also booked.

By this time, it’s 1:30 a.m., and the only option we had left was to find the Boy Scout camp where the race is being staged and wake up everyone in our bunkhouse with our 2 a.m. arrival.  We went around in a few circles, but finally found the camp and tried to come in and claim a bed as quietly as possible.  I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

This morning, we woke up at 8 a.m. and went into State College for breakfast and some supplies.  After that we came back and assembled bikes, got somewhat lost while pre-riding the course, missed the racers meeting, and then lined up for the start.

Thankfully, things got better after the riding started.  Today’s stage was an individual time trial (prologue) with a distance of somewhere @ 10 miles.  The course was hilly and the single track was technical and fun.  In the end, I came across the line in 44:05, just 24 seconds ahead of 2nd place and less than a minute ahead of 3rd.

My bike was flawless.  I changed to a steeper (harder) gear and was happy with the choice.  I also raced in Club Ride Apparel “Cargo Away” baggie shorts and a “Go West” jersey today.  I was a little tentative not racing in a traditional “kit”, but was amazed at how well the stuff performed.  Today’s temps were in the 80’s with all of that glorious east coast humidity.  Not only did my threads look better than everyone else, they were also incredibly “flowy” and “airy”.  The ventilation system worked better than I anticipated and the baggies fit, well, like they’re not baggies.  I didn’t snag them on the saddle at all and never felt them bunching up during my harder efforts.  Yes, Club Ride Apparel (CRA) is my sponsor, but I also don’t use or wear anything that I don’t believe in and that doesn’t perform exactly how I need it to.  The CRA stuff originally grabbed my eye because of it’s style but, after racing in it, I’m almost more impressed by just how well it functions.

Tomorrow’s stage is described to have “significant climbing” in the Race Bible, so we’ll see how happy I am with that harder gear after that.  Tomorrow is @ 40 miles and is rumored to be one of the harder stages of the race.

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~ by ketchumgreg on May 30, 2010.

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