Well, not to shame James here or anything, but I have to share my little victory with y’all.
I BEAT JAMES IN THE SALT LAKE GRAN FONDO TODAY!!! WOMP! WOMP!
It’s funny, because when I got out of bed ridiculously early this morning before the race, I walked into a door. More like SMACKED into it, face first. It was pitch black, and James had gotten up even earlier, so out of niceness he had shut our bedroom door. Problem is, we never shut our door. Once I got past the pain, and how ticked I was at James, I was sure it was a bad omen for the bike race. Oh come on, it was 5am. At that hour things like omens (and flying puppy dogs) seem real.
And let’s just do the math here. Since January, I’ve trained for about 192 minutes in the saddle. Total.
James? Well, let’s see. He averages 7 hours a week of cycling training…with all sorts of intervals, hill repeats, VO2Max training, following a strict schedule blah, blah, blah. So, he’s trained for about 7,560 minutes.
Perhaps I’m just born with it….you know that natural athletic ability like Lance (the guy, not our RV) or Floyd (the guy, not our RV’s ghost)…
But I really should explain the whole “Gran Fondo” thing. I think it means something like “big race” in Italian, I’m too lazy to go look it up. It’s not like the typical race James does. Those are more “serious”, and you need to be a masochistic Type A personality to be any good at those. But Gran Fondos are geared more for fun-loving laid back Type B personalities like me. You aren’t lumped into a category based on your ability level or gender! Everyone starts at once! There are feed zones every 15 miles or so, where you can stop and take selfies and load up on Honey Stinger waffles:
In James’ USA Cycling sanctioned races, selfie stops don’t happen and everyone’s grouchy. Plus no one’s handing out swag and freebies and offering to hold your bike for you while you hit the Honey Bucket. Are you starting to see why I don’t race bikes like James?
But don’t think these 65 miles were a piece of cake by any means. A storm was blowing in, so the winds were coming on strong from the south. I, along with a group of about 10 other Type B’s, desperately drafted behind James as he pulled our little peloton for miles and miles through those awful winds. No one else jumped up to offer to take a pull, because, well, no one had the strength to leave the pack and get up there….EXCEPT when we spotted the photographer in the road up ahead, then we spread out like this:
The minute we passed the photographer, we all huddled back behind James and let him do the work. In a US Cycling race, you’d be yelled at by the others in the peloton if you didn’t take a turn pulling. BUT! Being the nice B’s they all were in today’s fondo, at the next selfie stop, they all came over and thanked James for the draft!
I WISH you could see the back of my jersey in this pic. This was selfie stop #2, and it was HERE I woofed down 2 race waffles (oh how I love those things) and stuffed 5 more in my pockets. Sadly, that’s all I could fit. Still, you see how not serious this race is? We’re hanging out, eating snacks, taking breaks, chatting with others. This is my kind of racing.
Eventually, we neared the finish. By then, James and I were riding alone, just the way we like it. We overtook two ladies towards the end, not really trying to or anything, they just happened to be going slower. But apparently, they didn’t like that. They raced to get in front of us, and spread themselves so we had to slow ourselves down. No worries, I’m nice. I just rode in with them, but stayed behind. The whole thing freaked James out a bit, who isn’t used to “racing” with women. He had backed off and was behind me.
Which means… I crossed the finish line about 2 seconds ahead of James. Plus, I had rolled across the start about 2 seconds after James. And since the event was chip-timed (we all had tags on the backs of our race numbers), those seconds add up. So in the final analysis, I was ahead of James by FOUR SECONDS! For the history books – it’s 1989 Tour de France: 8 seconds. 2016 Grand Fondo Salt Lake: 4 seconds.
And that, my friends, is how I beat James.
In spite of his crushing defeat, James was a good loser. He bought me a fresh limeade, mowed the yard, washed my bike, and made me recovery shakes. Me, I laid on the couch wearing my electric compression leg massager all afternoon, drank said shakes, and now here I sit, playing on the computer.
It’s good to be a winner.