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No, the bike race. So sorry this week's YAFR is so late, though not so late as last week's, but there was a grass fire a couple miles from the lab yesterday and we got evacuated at 1:30. Just as I was about to start on the frucking reprot, too.

I would like to officially welcome Peter-from-the-pool to the official alt.henry.shut.the.hell.up newsgroup/mailing list. You asked for it.

On to the reprot. Saturday morning I drove over with Super Dave and Kim. All Kim's friends that she thought were going bailed, so I let her bum a ride. Boy, she twisted my arm really hard. Her announced intention was not to race, but to "just ride" the course faster than her time last year (that would be 3 hours). My announced intention, or perhaps sub-vocalized intention, was to beat my previous time (that would be 1:30'05") and incidentally win the Clydesdale class. Super Dave did not announce any intentions, but he probably wanted not to crash and lose his computer again.

Race day was sunny, not as hot as last year (be on the lookout for just a few comparisons), with the start still almost but not quite on the dot of noon. Ron announced a new Idaho record for Most People Paying $28 to Hurt for 70-180 Minutes: 562, woo hoo. There were eight starts: Sr Expert; Vet/Master Expert; Women Expert; Sr Sport; Vet/Master/Women Sport; Sr Beginner; Vet/Master/Women Beginner + Clydesdale. I just love being one of the privileged elite who start last. But then again, my other choice is riding against 145-lb Sports. Sucks to be me.

So finally it's my turn to start, and I for once snag a spot in the front row. True, it's over by the curb so I'll have to sprint in order to not get ridden into the gutter, but I'm not too worried about having to outsprint old-men and women (all ages) Beginners. I'm just better than they are. Away we go, and some goonyer takes off. I grab his wheel, then go on past when he explodes at the end of the pavement. The climb begins. I am way in front of everyone I started with, and soon begin to pass stragglers from the Sr Beginners start, a minute before mine. One guy comes by me. He has no identifying tag, but looks suspiciously like a Clydesdale-sized person. I grab his wheel, and up we go passing slow beginners like crazy. This merriment continues until the turn onto the old railroad bed, where he slows for some reason. I go on by, passing more people Woo hoo. I pass some Expert Women - they started 7 minutes in front of me. I pass Cara, even. She is wearing a nose band-aid, the kind that magnetically polarize the incoming air or whatever.

Hey, I'm at the top. It's all (almost) downhill from here. And since I looked at my time device at the top neither this year or last year, I have no comparison to share. Felt a little better, maybe. Definitely a little more confident on the downhill this year with my SPuDs, but I was still pretty cautious through the "petrified watermelon" sections. And then I kind of coasted - again - on the just-kind-of-really-bumpy sections. Whereas Tom and Alan said they were "spinning out, dude!"

I finish, and I'm not really hurting as bad as last year. Super Dave is there. He crashed and lost his computer again, but still finished ahead of me (he started with the Sr Sports). And one cleat twisted on his shoe, so he couldn't get clipped in. Still, he feels pretty good apart from the lost computer and bruises. According to my timing device I have indeed beaten my previous time. By a whopping 20 seconds. Maybe more, I don't know where the time line was. I am definitely the first marked Clydesdale to finish.

We go back to the car, change shorts, get out our lawn chairs, read/drowse for an hour, and then Kim arrives so we can go to the BBQ. We are kind of late, and don't have to wait in line but suffer slightly in a food-variety-selection sort of way. Still, we eat all we can.

Kill only another hour, and it's time for awards. It appears that Cannondale has given about 20 tacky-looking backpacks as sponsorship fulfillment - this is a Cannondale Cup event. I begin to hope I didn't win as category winner after category winner receives "a lovely Cannondale backpack!" But I had the fastest un-handicapped time by three minutes, and those guys don't weigh any 250 pounds. Yet, surprise, Ron announces that some guy was mistakenly put in the Sr Beginner class, and his adjusted time is about a minute faster than mine. So for second, I win a Smith t-shirt, another pair of Smith Moab sunglasses, and another Bud Light collapsing cooler. Ooh, plus a medal. But first place did in fact win a lovely Cannondale backpack. Mixed emotions here; I did beat everyone that I knew I was racing against, anyway. And I didn't want a tacky backpack.

Drove home, dropped everybody off. It was better than driving by myself, even if my car gets lousy mileage at fast+3 bikes on top+A/C.

Sunday it was _much_ cooler, as I went for a ride with Super Dave in the morning. With arm-warmers I was a bit chilly until I warmed up, but he went for the full jacket-tights-thermal-headband kit. No water skiing that day. Then it was 90's for three days, and today only upper 70's. I hope it gets a little warmer than this before the weekend, for there are Big Plans.

The plans: ride from Swan Valley over Pine Creek Pass to Victor, over Teton Pass to Jackson, south through Hoback Junction and Alpine to Palisades and back to Swan Valley. Last year I started from IF and got as far as Alpine; we should be able to make it "around the block" if we start in Swan Valley. Then Sunday I might go do a century race from Logan to Preston - the first half of Logan-to-Jackson, good practice eh?

And Alan wants to sell me his Tri-Spoke for $100 with tire. I can try it for the District 40k TT; I'll just be whittling away at the 10% total drag caused by the bike. Simply an aero dude. He's looking to unload his TT bike too, but since he is Dixon-sized I don't really think it would fit me.

later, hah