Salt Lake Century 2008

My 3rd Salt Lake Century in a row. It's become a tradition. The first one was with the guys from work (the now defunct Linux Networx) who got me into road biking.

This year Jason Schildt came down from Seattle, and several others from years past joined us this year. The party started on Friday as we met at the Gallivan Center downtown to pick up our packets then went out to eat at The Bayou. Many of these people I hadn't seen in quite a while, so it was fun to hear what everyone's been doing.

Saturday I got up at 5:30 AM and drove up to the Utah State Fair Park. I was there early so I took a little spin on the bike and met Jason Schildt and Jason Lowry parked on the street. When they were ready we went over to the start and met the others in our group.

Bruce, Jason Lowry, me, Jason Schildt, Anne, Robert, Kevin.

The ride started at 7:25 and this year the pack seemed to thin out more quickly than in the past, but you still had to be on your guard to avoid a crash.

I was feeling mellow and rolled easy (18 mph) with Bruce to the first rest stop while the others rode up ahead. It was just such a beautiful day. Clear blue skies, no wind, cool but not cold, and lots of green. It seemed a shame to waste a nice day like this with head down staring at the pavement so I was up looking around, soaking it in. I'm sure the long, cold Winter we had this year had something to do with my delight with the day.

I rode mellow to the 2nd rest stop too, but Jason requested we stick together from here on out - a good plan. We cranked along the Hooper loop at 20 mph rolling a good pace line.

The ride out to Antelope Island and back is the highlight of the ride for me. There is almost always wind, but this year it was dead calm and few bugs - amazing! As we rode across I tried my hand at taking some pictures while riding - most turned out.

I got a flat about half way across. I got it fixed pretty quickly with a new tube. A 3/4" length of thick steel wire had gone right through the tire. I met up with the group at the marina and off we went around the island. Here's the group at the top of the loop:

I keep hoping to see some buffalo out on the island, but this is as close I got:

Back at the 2nd rest stop we ate lunch. From all the fixins, the turkey sandwich I made hit the spot.

We rode together to rest stop #1, with the occasional sprint for climber points at the top of even the smallest hill. Jason Lowry asked me if I was just taking it easy on the ride, and I said I was. Then came an overpass and Jason Schildt took off the front and Jason Lowry took off after him so I joined the chase. Schildt was gone, but I was able to pass Lowry half way up. Later, with a quarter mile to rest stop #1, I sprinted away from the group - Schildt wanted to chase, but he was boxed in when I took off.

At rest stop #1 I was still feeling pretty good. I was wearing 2 pairs of bike shorts to see if it reduce the literal pain in the butt I feel after 80 miles, and it seemed to be working. I'll go double shorts for the Seattle To Portland (STP) ride in July.

And I couldn't help play on the mini skate park.

A few miles into the home stretch, Robert disappeared. Schildt was sure he was up ahead. We stuck together for a while, but with no Robert in sight we wanted to catch him before the finish so we kept cranking up the speed. The other riders dropped until it was Jason Schildt, Anne and myself cranking along at 23-25 mph. We passed group after group, but no Robert. I asked Jason if he was sure Robert was out front - were we chasing a ghost? He seemed pretty sure so we continued the pursuit. As we ended the long run south to turn east, we saw him. Jason signaled us to be quiet so we could fly past him in surprise. We took the inside line of the turn and flew past, Robert spotted us and yelled at us. The pack he was towing encouraged him to give chase. We pulled back and chatted with him as he caught us. But after a few blocks I said to Jason, let's finish this thing in style, and we sprinted away. Robert tried to give chase, but he had spent a lot of energy pulling the last several miles. Another guy tried to stay with us, but eventually dropped. We had one scare at a stop sign where we had to wait for traffic, but we sprinted off and rolled to the finish. I felt a bit bad robbing Robert of the finish after he'd worked so hard, but it was pretty thrilling for Jason, Anne and I to catch him. A good chase.

We ate some juice popsicles at the finish and waited for everyone in our group to roll in. Kevin got a flat which put him last coming in. Jason asked if I could do another 100 miles right now - I felt like I could so that's a good sign for STP.

As per tradition, we met at Squatters for lunch where we met up with Cameron, another LNXI guy. It was a good lunch with good conversation.

Few things are better than riding with friends. The Salt Lake century this year proved that to still be true.


UtRider said...

You are a machine. Think how much faster you'd be if you shaved your legs! We really need to come up with some kind of a wager I'm sure to win that will give you the "excuse" you are looking for (why else would you not have tried it by now?) to get the job done. :)

KanyonKris said...

Would someone fix that broken record? :-)

Andy H. said...

Enough of the road biking. You're going to be a good hairy legged husband and race your MTB with your wife this weekend!

KanyonKris said...

Fear not, we're doing the Draper race Monday.

Kevin said...

Well, now I'm bummed I missed all the fun at the end. Though in truth, I think my vagina hurt too much to really compete anyway.

Though if I hear Anne say, "oh, I'm so slow!" while kicking my butt one more time, I will not be held responsible for my actions [1].

Thanks for the writeup, Kris.

[1] crying, most likely.

nike anne said...

Kevin, please don't cry. I had no idea that having you pull me all that distance would make me so fast... :)