There is but one USCF district representative for all of Idaho and Utah. His name is Del Brown. This year, although Idaho was allowed to have its own separate district road race and crit, Del brought the district TT under his control. In fact, he brought it to Ogden, co-locating the Idaho and Utah district time trials in the same place on the same day. Apparently he has this power.
So there I was in Ogden. Well before the first rider started at 9am, even. That's what happens when you get up at 4:30. As it turns out, I wasn't really that early, a little after eight and several people were already in attendance at the City of Ogden Fire Training Center and Time Trial Parking Lot. Including Gary Bywater, USCF official at-rather-large and good friend of Nelson Vails, wearing his Atlanta 1996 hat. Again, I am without mine. It would have come in handy later, too.
The day begins partly cloudy, even a few sprinkles felt as I warm up. The Trialist is working nicely, sounding cool as always. It's cool enough that I debate whether my iced-Camelbak is necessary. The darn thing sure isn't cooling my back off at all, must have the insulated-back version. I foolishly dump most of the accumulated meltwater before my start. Why? I don't know, to see it piddle out of the bite-me valve.
My start is at 9:22, after all the Utah senior men 19-29 ending with the 2s. So I won't be catching any of them. In fact, I am hoping for a good ride of anything under an hour. I'm still in a poorly-trained-in-Atlanta-feel-sorry-for-me mode, despite having won a lackluster sprint on the uncharacteristically slow Tuesday night ride (Todd and Allan were not present). And there seem to be a fair number of no-shows before and after my start, too. Oh well, I joke with Del, does that mean I medal just for showing up? Read on.
It's still pretty cool when I start, and there must be a tailwind because I am blasting along at 29-30 mph even after the short downhill at the start. Not so many flattened skunks this year, nobody to try to catch either, pretty boring. After about five miles the Utah 2 who missed his start as my minute man cruises past, and briefly provides me with inspiration before receding into the distance.
A right, a few miles, a left, a mile, a right, a mile, the turnaround. I hit the turnaround at 27 minutes. Ooh, yes, a headwind. Just like last year. Grind back into the headwind. Fun, fun, fun. Sometimes above 25, sometimes not. It warms up a little, but I have very little water melting from my ice. What a moron.
I see the 1-mile-to-go sign, and try to pick up a little. The average speed still says 25.5, but my computer has been a little flaky. I'm not going to look at the time until after. Finally the finish line comes, and I look at my clock. 57'30"? Go figure. Must be the flatness, because my climbing is in pretty poor form.
Back to the parking lot, take off the toys, tool around a bit, start waiting for results. Having brought only a Powerbar with me, I crack, and drive to a convenience store for a box of pop-tarts. Results are posted: I do indeed have an official 57'32". I'm not sure how all the categories will work out, but I should get something. Fastest time of the day was just under 54', fastest woman just under 58', a couple tandems pushing 54's.
Here's how the prizes shake out: I am third fastest senior man from Idaho, second fastest cat 4/5 from Idaho or Utah, and most first fastest senior man 19-29 from Idaho. Three medals, one of each color. And a free lunch at the restaurant down the street, too. Which I immediately take advantage of.
On the way home, I check on entry forms for Lo-to-Ja in Logan (no dice) and drop by the drag strip in Pocatello to see my bud from work trip the lights. He broke his shifter cable on the first elimination run (ninth run of the day for him), put his car on the trailer, and sat with me in the bleachers. We were aurally and olfactorily assaulted by the burnouts and lung-cancer cases in close proximity. Something one should do once. No fatalities, but hose guys doing 120 on motorcycles in the 1/8th mile need their heads examined.