Saturday, February 28, 2009

Callville Bay Classic Bike Race - RR (Day 1)

There was a stretch of time from the TT until the next stage in the Callville Bay Classic Bike Race and since John didn't sleep well the night before, we drove a short distance home to take a nap. First, a quick stop by his team tent primarily sponsored byAllegiant Airlines and to say hello to his fellow riders.
Not everyone had the convenience of a home in close proximity to retreat to. Those who hailed from California, Mexico and as far as Australia stayed at the marina. Renting a house boat would be one of the best ways to go or, if you are like me who can sleep just about anywhere, simply take snooze in the car's passenger seat.

By 1pm, all 50 riders in the Men's Cat 5 gathered at the start line of the 44-mile road race from Callville Bay. This is is their course: from Callville Bay up the same route as the TT, then NE on Northshore Rd. to Redstone, turnaround (1 of 2) heading SW to Lakeshore Drive, turnaround (2 of 2) to Callville Bay entrance and it's a 1k sprint to the finish line!
My heart pounded in excitement as buzzer went off, signaling the start of the road race. I took a video of the peloton passing by (I'm still trying to get the hang of my new camera, shooting my first live event in the wrong setting--aack! ).

Then I hopped in the car and followed the support vehicle eventually passing the group to get ahead of them. Since the roads are not closed for this event, the peloton has to ride on the right of the center line.

Down the road I watched them pass by. So far it has been close to 4-miles and they still have a long ways to go.
I jumped in the car and followed again. Adrenaline pumped through my veins, partly out of excitement for John and mostly because there was more oncoming traffic on the two-way road I had to dodge to finally catch up.

I must have been in or near the Bowl of Fire because of all the red rocks. This seems like a good place to stop and enjoy the scenery while I wait for the Cat 5s to turn around and come back. Meanwhile the other groups rode past me.
After quite a while, I realized I must have underestimated the time it would take John's group to come around again so I got back on the road. I drove and drove, passing vehicle after vehicle thinking, "Man, they're moving!". Finally I got behind them when the peloton suddenly whipped around; I wasn't sure if the blur in the corner of my eye was really John. They had reached the turnaround point and I was caught by surprise, only feeling breeze from their slipstream as they sped off in the opposite direction.

"Crap, crap!" I thought seeing that it was John's group indeed. I had to get ahead of them so that I did not miss the finish. The narrow, twisting road didn't make it easy to pass safely. Add rolling hills to that and it was hard to see oncoming cars. My heart beating heart raced as we got closer and closer to the entrance of Callville Bay.

I needed to get far enough ahead to park where allowed and run all the way up to the finish line so I can set up the video camera (my little Casio) on a tripod and capture the final moments! Of course, I had forgotten that they still needed to ride past the Callville Bay entrance to Lakeshore Dr. so they were only at the half-way point.

At least I was able to find a parking spot and get into position at the finish line as I anxiously waited. One of the reasons I followed the race in the first place was to take photos. The other reason was that John didn't put a spare wheel in the support vehicle that followed the peloton in case he got a flat tire. I was nervous for John after seeing a couple riders changing out their wheels.

Just when my pulse settled I heard clapping in the distance. The Junior Men and Women categories have already crossed the finish line so I knew this had to be the Men's Cat 5. There was John...with other riders sprinting to the finish line! I also shot a video of the finish.

I too would be exhausted if I rode for 2 hours 1 minute and 45 seconds going 30mph and then having to sprint to the finish! Heck, I would not have made it halfway up the Callville Bay Road, LOL.

The results of the road race: John came in 6th place with three other riders and tied with two other riders for 4th place overall, after stage 2. I think he did pretty well!

After that, the Men's 45+, 55+, 65+ finished all the way up to the Pro 1 & 2 (who rode an 80-mile course).

Callville_Bay_Classic_Bicycle_Race_Day 1 (279).jpg
All in all, it was a good day. Time to go home and rest for the last stage to take place tomorrow.

Photos from the Flickr album set: SNSR Callville Bay Classic Bicycle Race 2009


Annejelynn said...

Hi Daly! Belated Happy Birthday QT! I meant to call you and sing yesterday, but I was a lil' out of it! I hope you had a fantabulous day and that you were properly spoiled! Hugs galore - Ang oxo

Daly said...

Awe...thank you Annejelynn. I saved the birthday song from last year for as long as I could. It always made me smile when I hear it. I'm sorry to know baby girl isn't here yet. I secretly hoped today would be the day! Hugs to you. All my best wishes and I can't wait to hear the news!!! XOXO