Monday, April 23, 2007

The Stars at Night

Yes, the song "Deep In The Heart of Texas" is true. At over 5000 ft and with no artificial light to interfere, the night sky was amazing in Ft. Davis. So that was the amazing part. Well, besides the scenery, the hotel, the food, the prices, and the sheer epicness (is that a word?) of the race. More amazing is that I finished.

Let's just say that I'm happy to have finished, especially after the hillclimb Saturday. I rode a mediocre time trail in the morning, but with the winds and some other things, didn't do too badly. That afternoon we rode the 16 miles from Ft Davis to Mt Locke, the UT observatory. Which is at an altitude of 6790 ft. Thin air, yes. 40 mph gusts, yes. Me struggling due to the extra weight I'm still carrying. Oh, yeah.

Somehow I got up the road, which is crazy steep. I finished 53rd out of 57, I think. All I could do was rest up and hope the road race Sunday would be better. It wasn't. A little over 70 miles, and we gained over 6000 ft of elevation. I'm no climber on my best day, so this was a tough day.

I hung on for the first 40 miles, then got popped off the back. The next 30 miles were spent riding a race of survival. I finished second to last on the stage, and ended up last in overall position for final results at 49th. However, the other guys quit or didn't even start the race. So I'm happy I toughed it out, even if it was the worst I ever felt on a bike and after the race was over.

The rest of the weekend was great, and I'd love to go back. It's really pretty out there, really isolated, and unique. This weekend we saw everything. Wild hogs, skunks, impalas, javalinas, hawks, roadrunners, mountain goats, wild turkeys, the list goes on. Also, staying at the Indian Lodge was quite the find. Check it out:

It's immaculate, friendly, unique, beautiful, and has a neat history. I really want to go back. My friend Trav and his dad who went with me were really impressed. Trav got 25th overall, I think. Maybe 20th. So, next year, I'll go back. I'll also go back in much better shape, because I never want to suffer like that again.


blackcrag said...

Wait. You mean there really are roadrunners? Like in the cartoon? I never knew that.

I think if you do that ride a couple ore times you will quickly lose the weight you are kvetching about so much.

When I ran cross-country, we used to run time-trials up the steepest hill we could reach. Up, and down. Those who completed it the fastest rested the longest beofre the next stage. It was a great way to build wind and leg strength.

KatieBelle said...

It really is pretty out there isn't it?! W. Texas is actually one of my favorite places to go camping, when it's not too windy, etc.