Monday, February 18, 2008

24 hours in the Old Pueblo

I am thinking about changing the name of my blog after this past weekend. Something like Cold, Snow, and Tears... not really but it was a very interesting (and fun) weekend).


I headed out Thursday morning after and epic valentines day breakkie with beth. The normally trustworthy San Diego weather men (ok, never, they suck) predicted sunny skies and mild temps. When I hit the to road it was raining and pretty chilly. Needless to say when there is rain in SD people forget how to drive. Once I finally made it to I-8 I was roll'n unitl I hit the Laguna Mountains. The rain had now turned into snow. This slowed me down a bit but I made it through. I found out Friday that they ended up closing a 27 mile strech of the I-8 due to the snow later that day. Luckily I got on the road and made it through. I made it to Tom's, ate some killer grub, waited for Trevor to arrive, and then we all crashed.

the start of my drive.


We were up early to hit the pool. Tom has an amazing aquatic facilitly two minutes from his house. We were in the water by 6:15 and Trevor lead us through a solid workout. The water was pretty warm (83) which made the 3000 yards a little tougher but I just tried to hold on and keep up with these guys. After the swim we head back to Tom's for some breakfast and then the originial plan was to head out on the bikes for a bit, but the rain followed me to AZ. It was raining so we just chilled, finished packing, and hit the road. We picked up Brian and after a couple of pit stops we headed for Old Pueblo.

Just getting to the race site was adventure. Just prior to reaching the "24 hour Town" you have to drive a 9.3 mile stretch of dirt road. From all the rain the road was already a mud pit and torn up. Trevor and Brian were in a Prius and Tom and I were charging in the Xterra. Somehow Trevor's Prius dealt with gnarly conditions way better than Tom's Xterra. We were slipping and sliding all over the road but it made for good times.

Trevor's amazing Prius.

We finally made it to "Town" and found the boys from Focus Cyclery. Brian rides for them so they had some spots reserved for us. It was cold (upper 30's) so we decided to start setting up camp immediately. As soon as we busted out the gear it began to drizzle, then rain, and then snow. We were all laughing at this point but were also freezing. We got all of our tents set up and bikes under the EZ-UP and headed for the EXPO to check-in. Standing in line, drinking coffee, getting sleeted on, we decided we were going to make a break for it and crash in a hotel for the night.... ok... so were are not tough men... we are wimps.. there I said it.

Lucky for us Brian was prepared (that made one of us). He brought a list of phone numbers of the closet hotels. Our first call was a success and we had two rooms lines up at the San Manuel Hotel and Lodge. We packed some of our shit and hit the gnarly dirt road again. We were stoked that the guys from Focus agreed to keep an eye on our gear so we were able to leave our camp set up. Once we made it to the highway the snow really started to come down and we all pretty sure we made the right choice.

We made it to the hotel which looked like a converted insane asylum but were stoked to find clean rooms, working heaters, and hot showers. We all got cleaned up bought some necessities and headed out for some grub. After dinner it was back to the the hotel for some more "carbo loading" and then we all crashed. I got a great night sleep (thank's PBR) and woke up warm, and positive we made the right choice.

Pre-race dinner.

washing it down.


We woke up to this.

I headed down first thing to grab some coffee and then we were on the road. We got back to the race site and it was still really cold. Our tents had all collapsed from all the snow and we listened to horror stories of how cold the night was. Most people without RV's ended up sleeping in their cars. Not fun.

Heading out Saturday morning.

Since the point of this whole weekend was to get in a heavy dose of training we all headed out for a run prior to the start of the race which definitely got us some strange looks, but it felt good and it was the first time I actually felt warm up there. Shorty after we got back Tom got ready to start. Our lineup: Tom, Brian, Me, Trevor.

The sun finally came out for a bit just prior to the start.

Tom got out quick and we were off to a good start... That lasted about 10 Minutes. Tom got a front flat which caused him to crash on a pretty fast descent. After getting himself together and getting some loaner gear (took the wrong tube) to fix the flat Tom was finally back and Brian bolted out on the trail. We got Tom back to the campsite and he was covered in dirt and blood (knee). The cut on knee was pretty bad but he was down playing it.

Tom... bummed.

I got ready to roll and in no time I was in transition trying to stay warm and itching to finally get out on the trail. Brian put in a fast lap and I was on my way. Brian's advice as we made the tag, "Go for it, just put it in the big ring and hammer!" That's just what I did and had a really good lap and made my way though loads of riders which was tricky at time because the the majority of the course is single track. I felt great and by the time I got back to transition I was amping out and laughing about how much fun I just had.

running out of transition to my bike.

When I got to the the tent Trevor wasn't there to head out. Tom was waiting for me to tell me that we were hitting the road. While I was out on my lap he visited the med tent and he was told that he needed stitches ASAP and a tetnace shot. The closet hospital was far away and the boys decided while I was out riding that we were all just going to pack it in and take Tom to Urgent Care. All for one and one for all.

I was disappointing but there is nothing you can do. Getting his knee taken care of was the most important thing and considering the fact that it was still very cold and only getting colder I wasn't too upset with packing it in knowing I had a hot shower and bed waiting for me back in Scottsdale.

So that's it... that's the race report. We made up for pulling out by putting in a mega training day on Sunday but I will get to that in my next post.


GZ said...

Sweet weekend. Nice work. But PBR? May I suggest some finer octane fuel like Avery IPA? Maybe I am just spoiled in this brewer's heaven in Colorado.

Zippy said...

Bummer about pulling out of the race, the REAL fun starts after the sun goes down at those things. If Brian and Tom are the two I'm thinking of, you guys had a good shot at the overall. Next time...

emkruse said...

Bummer about the knee, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. Sounds like you made the right team decision. Knee infection = bad news.

Benson said...

Yikes. Crappy weather and a gnarly gash. I hope Tom heals quickly and you guys can get back to kicking some ars.

Steve Stenzel said...

Great photos, and that's too bad to hear about your friend, but I LOVE your "all for one" attitude! Well done! I hope Tom is OK!!

Paul said...

Tough call. but it sounds like the right decision. At least he's OK and you still got in some good training.

TRI-ROB said...

You guys definitely made the right choice with the hotel!

I really like the fact that you run into your transitions smiling and laughing and appreciating the good time you just had... people forget that sometimes! NICE!

TRI Vortex said...

No pain no gain. Living in San Diego and having the word "Snow" in your that's funny. The closest thing I get is hail that pelts you in the head and that is only every so often.

Jeff Kerkove said...

Cool to finally meet up with you. You guys must of been hauling ass, cause i think I only one of you out on course.

skinfit said...

That's right, Prius power buddy!!!!
Prius v.s. Xterra anytime, any condition!
It's time to get back out here to AZ for some huge training...bag the work stuff. We miss having you out here to share in the mega miles.

Rachel said...

Wow. That doesn't sound like fun. But you stuck with it. Poor Tom! That sucks! It will make the warm weather this spring all that much sweeter.