really hate climbing and that climb is pretty tough. I began leg two with my teammate, Andrea, by my side. Not too far into the climb she left me behind. Some of the teams that were "touring" verses "racing" were exchanging riders along the way up Trappers. Where was my team? Waiting at the top of course. I was left to ask myself the question, "Who needs help going down?" Actually, I think I had my best time ever climbing Trappers so I am not really complaining. Andrea definitely descends faster than I can without a draft (she is also much braver about her speed) so I never saw her again. The last 15 miles were fairly uneventful except I thought the exchange was at a park 4 miles closer than it was. That really doesn't make you happy.
The next leg (3) was ridden by Sherry and Joan. It starts fairly mild then climbs a mountain not quite as steep as Trappers. The killer part is a very steep but short climb that follows. I must admit being somewhat happy not to have gotten that leg!
Leg 4 was pretty expected except for the horrible heat. Fortunately, this leg was one of the shortest and didn't have any significant climbs I can remember. I must admit though that most of this leg escapes my memory. Just before our riders came in things got switched up and I ended up riding leg 5 instead of the planned leg 8. Thank goodness for Jessica. I love young, kind legs that stay with you so you can draft. The decision to send me was last minute and rushed so it was so great to have her with me. After 16.5 miles of climbing we passed the baton to Andrea and Kaylynn (Andrea's ride was also a last minute change as she and I were to ride 8 together).
It was still hot when they set out but the clouds were moving in and they were not fluffy and white. The two of them made it up their climb (it was an out and back) in a terrible headwind. Luckily, the scenery was amazing. The way down they had about 10 sweet minutes of descent before they were surrounded by thunder, lightning and torrential rain. We headed up to pick them up but they were having none of that. They finished the ride soaked through and freezing cold. The temperature had changed so abruptly that the tire on my own bike burst while locked on the bike rack. We didn't change it since we figured my legs were over.
The rain was pretty much over when leg 6 came in so there was little delay in sending out 7 into the wind and drizzle. The wind was terrible and there was one not so great climb near the end of the leg. Our rider almost made it to the top before getting off. I finished the climb for her on her bike since mine had a flat. This I do not recommend. The seat was a bit too high and our clips are different but luckily my legs were fresh and the wind was at my back so it really wasn't that bad. We switched again at the top so she could have the sweet downhill she deserved after her long leg in the wind and rain.
By the start of leg 8 the weather was much better and the riders had a great final leg. The worst part was the final climb up to the finish. Really? After 160+ miles a climb for the last mile? I watched others struggle up that hill and was glad my rides were over.
We all waited at the top (even though they had told us we could ride the last mile with our team none of us wanted that climb) and rode in together. That was pretty cool.
Dinner, prizes, a nice ring, limited massages, and a slip-and-slide were waiting for us. Too bad it was too cold to slip-and-slide :-). Got home at 11:30 and gladly went to bed. All-in-all, it was a pretty fun day to spend with friends.
Stephanie and Debbie, stay-at-home moms who don't stay home.