Sunday started off pretty tough with us facing that fierce southerly wind as we rode west from Burlington – it pushed and blew at us from our left side, making those first 20 miles really tough. There were a lot of bikes on the SAG cars this morning! But once we made the right turn and began to head north — OH HEAVEN that wind was at our backs and we HAULED along easily at 25mph + loving the tailwind every minute. Mid-way through today’s ride we encountered our two Future Farmers of America mentees — Jayce and Kendall. We’ve been coaching them for this event giving them pointers, and it was great to have the chance to ride with them today. We all hung out at the half-way stop and ate plenty of trail mix and drank plenty of Gatorade and then rolled off — continuing to enjoy the tailwind. We did eventually have to turn back west for a bit where we again battled the wind from the south, but after that it was north-bound again all the way to Yuma.
Katie and I took turns taking pulls, but towards the end she pulled most of the way as my legs began waving the white flag from yesterday’s race-pace effort! I was so glad to have her wheel to follow to the finish line! We somehow managed to survive the entire weekend without a single flat tire! We were truly blessed. Everything went smoothly, safely, and was entirely too much fun. We arrived home this evening absolutely exhausted but with huge smiles.
We had a wonderful weekend and thoroughly enjoyed this event. We LOVED how well-organized it was. As a rider you appreciate the little things — like lots of SAG support on the roads, mechanical assistance, frequent pit stops with food, drink and port-a-potties. You appreciate the laminated route cards to keep in your jersey pocket so you can orient yourself out on the course. You appreciate the world-class finishers medals and the planning and preparation that went into coordinating all of the volunteers and police/sheriff assistance. Last night’s award ceremony and band were incredible.
The overall support of the three communities we visited was outstanding. Nothing like small-town hospitality! The expos, vendors, schwag, event jerseys, everything — down to the minute details — was obviously well thought-out and well planned. From a participant’s perspective, it all went off without a hitch!!
I can’t recommend this event enough to folks when they plan their rides for 2013. Please consider this one! The riding, while relatively flat compared to the front range, is NOT easy! The wind presents an obvious challenge, and it wasn’t nearly as flat as I’d imagined it would be.
Thanks for reading all of my blog posts leading up to — and during — the event! I’ve enjoyed sharing my story with our readers!!!