I promised to post some pictures from Lotoja, which I’ll get to. But first a couple of items further to yesterday’s post. As if it weren’t long enough already.
First, I was wrong about Nate P.’s sandbagging technique. I said he was getting his time by leapfrogging from group to group after the Strawberry climb. I wrote this, not having witnessed Nate race, because I thought it was the only possible way for someone to get a time that fast. I didn’t think it was possible to go that fast alone. I was wrong. Turns out Nate is bagging way more sand than I thought.
As Nate indicated in the comments, and Mark T. vouched for, Nate rides solo the whole way. In 9:10. The course record was set this year at 9:02. By a group of very fast guys. Working together. Nate, go get your upgrade and race with the 1-2-3 group next year. Sub 9 hours is absolutely doable.
Second, JZ mentioned in the comments that a couple Red Burro guys in the Masters 35+ snuck off the front in the darkness and worked with other groups to get the win. I noticed in the results that a couple Red Burro guys from Masters 35+ also got DQ’d. Glad to see officials cracking down on that a bit.
Finally, I left out what was perhaps the most superlative of superlatives: Worst finisher award ever. Thankfully, Eber did a nice writeup and said everything I wished I could have thought of and didn’t. Lovely job.
Tell me, what would you rather have, a hanger?
Or a belt buckle?
That’s what I thought.
Brent and the rest of the crew at Epic events do a great job channeling the chaos that is Lotoja. It’s remarkably well-organized considering what a colossal ordeal that many people, bikes, and cars becomes. But the hangers suck.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how about a few pictures.
If you’re ever looking for us, we’ll be in section 8 at the feed zones. We can’t afford anything else.
The crew waits and watches for their riders. They do a lot of this. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have people give up a Saturday to watch and wait and then panic for about 10 seconds until the musette is handed up. My Saturdays are precious, and I’m very stingy with them. Thanks, Josh.
Rolling in, just about to grab the handup. You can just see a Salted Nut Roll sticking out of my pocket. I didn’t touch it all day.
Sam and Holly make a quick exchange.
Rick pauses long enough to drink a diet coke. It may not have any nutritional value, but the placebo effect is unreal.
It wasn’t Tony’s day. He had a flat in the first few miles, chased back on, and then his Achilles flared up.
When not waiting for their racers at the feed zone, crew members wait in traffic trying to get to the next feed zone.
I grabbed my musette in Afton, stopped to ask Marco how far ahead Steve was, and then had to think for a minute about whether I was going to continue.
Pulling off the road in Star Valley for a cold drink and some familiar faces.
Adam C. on the pavement after crashing in the Alpine feed zone. I’ve learned since that he broke his collarbone and will be out three months.
Marco waits for Steve with everything he may need at the ready.
Steve grabs his musette.
The musette is all ready, but I think Sam spotted that box of cookies and is stopping for one. I would have.
Joel R. takes the win by two bike lengths with Steve right behind.
My dad at the finish area. I predict he’ll be back next year, leaner and fitter than he is already.
There’s no family resemblance whatsoever. I have no idea why Jon S. walked up to Steve and started talking to him, thinking it was me.
The Cat. 4 podium.
After the awards on Sunday, Taylor let me pedal the kids around the parking lot in one of the Madsen cargo bikes. If my neighborhood had more than a quarter mile of roads that were less than 8% grade, I would buy one of these to pedal the kids around in. They loved it. 70 pounds of bike, 125 pounds of kids. Look how distended that rear tire is. It’s a little slow to accelerate and doesn’t handle like my Giant, but still a fun ride.