The clouds thickened overhead as Al and I got off our trainers and started making last minute preparations before riding the mile or so over to the start area for the Friday afternoon 8 mile time trial. I told Al to Kill’em before I ducked into my van to get my Giro TT helmet and other speed paraphanalia. When I came out big drops were falling. I pulled on my arm warmers. I gave my bike another check and looked at my watch. time to ride off and get in a few digs to warm up before I go to the line. As I wheeled away from the van the rain began to fall in buckets. I was immediately soaked. Great. The temperature plummetted. Thunder and lightning crashed. It was really cold now. An official told me I could wait in a trailer parked on the side of the road. I did not hesitate. Inside I learned that the race had been temporarily stopped. Al was under the canopy, it was his turn next and he had to wait until the officials decided that the lightning appeared less threatening. Out the back of the trailer I saw torrents of rain pounding the road. After about 20 minutes off sitting in my wet lycra I began to shiver. Thunder and lightening persisted and seemed very close. Still no word on when we would start.
It was now unimaginable that I would go and ride a TT. I was nearly hypothermic. My only goal now was to get in my van and turn on the heat. As soon as the rain let up slighthly I climbed out of the trailer. I looked toward the start and saw that Al was not there. I climbed aboard my Jamis T2 and coasted back to were we parked. It was still raining hard and the wind on my chest made me shiver so hard I could barely control the bike.
Later I learned that Al did his ride after standing outside on the line for 7 minutes in the storm. He faced dumping rain, thunder and lighting. His competition included winners of this year’s 35+ Koppenberg, Morgul Bismark, Rocky Mtn Omnium, Mount Evans, Boulder Roubaix, and a former 35+ national road champion. Al killed’em all.
He came out on top by a convincing 39 seconds with an average speed of about 29 mph.
His catagory was the last to ride – as it turned out. My group was excused! The crit on Saturday and the road race on Sunday were fun but no success to boast about. We were just glad that they were run in dry weather! For some video of the races go to:
You’ll notice the cameraman did not work in the rain.