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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.
What a good read Stefany. I may try one of those races now.
I watched your composting toilet video and laughed through half of it. You two are fun to follow. 🙂 BTW, that video really helped. Thanks.
Those are the prettiest ‘bicycle costumes’ I’ve ever seen!
Only to be beat out by our bright yellow Winnebago ones!!!! xoxoxo
Found your site a little while ago as we are buying a Travato. Love this story. And thanks for turning me on to Gran Fondos. I had never heard of them, but I’ve been looking for group rides that aren’t competitive. This sounds like so much fun. I told my husband, we have to do this! We live in Seattle and have a lot of traveling and hiking that we want to do. And Utah is such a pretty state. It’s been awhile since we’ve been there, but we’ll go back. Thanks again.
Hi Vicki! There’s actually a 2-day Gran Fondo that goes from Seattle to Portland in mid-July…you should look into it! I’ve been wanting to do that one, but our summer travel schedules never seem to work out for it. You don’t even have to ride both days, but if you do it, let me know! I’ll cyber-cheer you on!
Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog! We have an RV we travel in on the weekends to races. I run and have recently got my husband involved. He’s usually my supporter and sponsor, lol.
Sounds like you had a great race! I love the picture of you when you saw the photographer!
Look forward to seeing what is next for you two!
Tricia that’s so cool! Sounds like you use your RV a lot like us. And, yeah, I’m pretty good at hamming it up when there’s a camera around. Maybe we’ll meet up out there on the road (or at a running event)!!!
Sounds like James did pretty good, all in all – riding in the wind in the lead and then afterwards mowing the lawn, washing a bike and making drinks…….just sayin’.
Not to take away from Stefany though – my bike is a stationary one. 🙂
Yep, the gnomes (James’ secret helpers) were hard at work as always!
Yeah, sure! Your waffles had PEDS…. HAHA! Good post!
Let me be clear, Colton, I didn’t inhale the waffles. 😉
James…James… James…What have you done laddie? A race is a race is a race but to have a girl beat you…OH MY!!! If the men show up and strip you of your 100% MaleCard do not fret. It’s like riding a horse my friend…if you fall off you get up and saddle up and off you go to VICTORY!
We the American Male are standing with you at your darkest hour sir! Lie a man that you are just shake it off and off you go at a steady pace in quest of regaining your rightful place and becoming once again the victor over a girl. I will close now knowing that you have some real hard training to deal with to bring us back from that DARK PLACE you put us in. We will still support you and we will stand by you 100% in the near future unless you fall yet again to another girl. Hang tight sir!
PS…Stef put me up to the above…ha!
HA! That’s right, James. The check’s in the mail, Mike! 😉
As the old saying goes: sometimes a knock is a boost. Yes, doors are meant to be knocked on, not knocked into but take your boosts where you can get them. Congratulations!
Brilliant, Leia! And so true!
next up, LOTOJA ????!!!
LOL, Bill!!! One of James’ best riding buddies named their boy Logan Jackson…yes, after Lotoja! The closest I’ll ever get to riding Lotoja is in Lance, if James ever decides to do it! So far I’ve been spared.
I’m still smiling thinking about the picture of James beside the porta potty. I’m betting Lance will be part of the next race…
It’s inspiring to see the balance of “couples” and “individual” activities in your lifestyle. There’s a place for type A and type B.
My first ever Gran Fondo will be in 4 weeks. I had a nice training ride with my wife two days ago in sunny 22 Celsius weather, and woke up this morning to 2 inches of snow. Eeeeeee….!!!
Good luck in the Fondo! Ride safe and have fun!
Well I’ll keep my fingers crossed for sunny weather and tailwinds all the way, Alain! Oh, and wear your jersey with the biggest pockets so you can stock up on all the freebies!!!
Seriously, nice work Stef!!!
Grazie, Al and Sherryl! (I’m still running with the Italian theme of this post, so you see, had to sneak in the only Italian word I know…well, besides “bancomat”)
Wowza!!! You kicked his sorry little [email protected]#$$! Go girl!
…but after the elation of the win by our favourite female FITRV member, we are feeling a bit sorry for James now, as we picture you laying there in that ‘sexy’ electronic compression leg massager all day… :-/ hehe…
LOL! Yeah, running into doors and wearing those ridiculous-looking orange puffy leg booties…I’ve got sexy covered! (if you replace the “exy” with “illy” that is…) 😉