first day of la ruta saw a super early, pre-dawn start. dicky and i rolled into the check in area super early, with tim and doug not far behind. we cruised up front and chatted with some people for a while. looked around and noticed everyone was in the big ring and decided to join tim and doug a bit further back. the temperature was perfect and i was a little excited to see what the race would bring. i found dan in the start area and got a shot of him, he offered to take one of me, and i tried to give a pose that showed off the nathan waist pack water bottle holder i got hooked up with for the race. it ended up just looking like a cheesey ass-shot... the area slowly filled up. at one point a local pointed to timmy's bike and then shook his head dissapprovingly and pointed to the back of the starting area. he was reconciled by timmy's friend jorge who explained that timmy was indeed not only stupidly fast but with him, so it's ok. i wonder what kind of reaction dicky and i would have gotten had we stayed up in the very front...
the race finally went off and we were left spinning out balls off to keep a good pace coming into the big intitial climb. i was spinning along fairly comfortably with timmy, dicky, doug, and andy sanidas untill the climb started getting really steep and my legs decided that they had enough of trying to keep the pace of guys who are clearly much faster than i am. so the walking began. and continued. and kept on going, and going and going. i didn't know it at the time, but the picture i took on the hill shows pineapple bob walking past me with his ss santa cruz on his shoulder. finally it ended and we got to go downhill. a right turn into the rutted, swoopy, somewhat technical mud and the fun began, and then promptly ended when it started going back uphill. repeat for a while. at one point i was sitting on a rock, half in a waterfall, eating a cookie. some guy rides up and decides resting is a good idea, so he joins me. he knew my name. i asked him how. he swore we had met the day before, multiple times.i tried as hard as i could to remember ANYTHING about the day before, but for the life of me i couldn't. in fact i probably couldn't have told you much about anything at that point. i was delirious. bonk #1.
i started cramping around mile eleven. walked most of the big road climb, getting caught by tom brown about halfway up. apparently we had met that morning before the race and i still had no idea who he was. so i got re-introduced to him. then he stopped to take a leak and i continued on. he caught back up and again, i had no friggen clue who he was. he stopped for a soda at a roadside restaurant and i managed to repass him because of it. he found me a mile or two later up the hill, taking a nap on the side of the road. he gave me some endurolites. at least i recognized him this time around. bonk #2.
my wishful, and slightly stupid brain had only noticed the big downhill after the big climb on the elevation chart, and completely failed to register the rolling hills to couple mile climb finish on it. so needless to say i was sorely dissappointed when the long downhill got flat, then started rolling up and down. i had foolishly been very quick about the last checkpoint, thinking it was all downhill from there. i would ride down, then stumble up, then repeat. i started getting reeeaally hungry. i was out of food. i was running low on liquids. i begged a local's support crew for some extra food. i must've looked desperate, because they hooked me up big time. as i was finishing up the peach in a baggie, barely able to stand, kevin rolls up on me. he gives me more endurolites and walks/rides with me to the finish. bonk #3.
made it back to san jose with enough time to catch the tail end of happy hour. the room i was supposed to share with lenny had one big bed and a cot. kevins rommmate was a no-show, and he had two beds of decent size, so i crashed at his place. i felt bad about 'ditching' lenny, but it just made more sense.
day one hurt, really bad. longest time in the saddle in over a year.
84th place in Open category