Happy Birthday, Jamie!
It was sunny and almost hot when we left Maupin this afternoon--and cool and rainy when we got home. Back to reality.
Here are some observations that struck me today:
A stoker is really shortchanged in an uphill TT. The captain gets to watch the drama of the race unfold before him. Mine occasionally mumbled things about guys making moves or passing people back. Me, well, the words CO.MOTION CYCLES on the boom tube are only exciting for so long (sorry, Dwan). Mostly I got to watch the snot dry on my arm warmers.
Today's course was 47 miles, slightly longer on the way out than the way back. Last year it was brutal. This year was not so painful, although we were slightly slower (a lot less wind). The first 4 miles are pretty steep, then gradual big ring climbing, then 4 steeper miles again before the turn. We FLEW down the first part of the hill on the way back. I distinctly heard the words "yee" and "haw" come from the guy in front of me. We did not pedal for at least 3 nonstop miles--we were waaaay spun out in the 56x12. We passed riders on single bikes like they were walking. For the 23.x miles of the return, we averaged 30 mph. And there are a couple of short climbs on the way back and really gnarly twisty, grab-the-brakes turns in the last few miles to the finish line. We were 6th overall in the final GC. It's kinda funny how many people don't like getting beat by a tandem in a hilly race. :)
We took only one water bottle (between us) on this trip. Observation when we got home: "hey, there's only one bottle to wash this time" (instead of the usual 8).
I am pretty self-satisfied that I set a goal for myself in this race and I managed to accomplish it. The goal was not to backseat drive, as in, "eeeeek, you're going too fast for this turn." I heeded Kenny's words in stage one and just watched the middle of my bars on the two descents. I totally missed the bends and was surprised to look up and see that we were already in the run-out at the bottom. Stage two wasn't a problem because it was all uphill, but we had to go back down those 8 miles. Fortunately, with a couple of tight exceptions at the bottom, it was wide open. I had been dreading the last 3 miles of stage 3 for a long time because it's steep and the corners are really tight. And you can't look at the bars when you need to know which way to lean on the bike. But I did not verbalize my panic and did not freeze up, even when we PASSED riders while diving into a couple of the hairpins.
There are spectacular views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Washington from Bakeoven Road. I highly recommend you race out of Maupin sometime just for the privilege of picking out all the peaks.
And my but they have big moths in Maupin. This one was about as big as my fist!