|At the start, Jerome in the background|
Rider's head south to a traffic cone sitting in the middle of a desolate road roughly 3.6 miles from the start, round the turn, and scream back to the finish. The course is level with a total of 50 feet of gain. The pavement is nice, and traffic volume is very low, as the race course is open to traffic. If the winds are brutal, which they usually are, each rider secretly wishes for the tractor to pull out and lead the way home. Of course drafting is illegal, and any outside help is also frowned upon.
Well the April race has come and gone. Though this was a special event for our family. This was the first time that all four of our family members raced. My wife Kerrie (who has won the women's class in prior years), my oldest Connor, and now my youngest Cooper has become an official time trialist. I entered the event knowing I had to hurry my finish to get to ride with Cooper at his start. It is accepted that experienced riders ride alongside or near new junior riders to ensure their safety and the safety of others.
The weather for the night was a bit unusual in that it was warm! It was mid 70's with a steady 20mph wind from the south, which was slowly shifting to SE. This was absolutely my dream conditions. I love to hammer a hard headwind and reap the benefit of a tailwind home. Overall time record for this race is under 15 minutes, that is an average of 30 mph. For myself I have a PR of 16:01 a bit over 27 mph. My first race of the series has generally been the slowest so this left me at the start line wondering how I would fare.
|We have liftoff|
I had no real time to recover as I had to get back to the line for Cooper. He was nervous but steady. His main concern was whether Jerome could hold him ok for the start. Which we all found quite humorous. His count down came and went, Jerome released him, and off he went. He wasn't much for chatting and he was holding a steady 12 mph in what was now a SE headwind blowing still at 20. For any normal 8 year old they may have stopped and said forget it. But Cooper assured me he was fine and continued to push his pace. About a half mile from the turn you crest a hill and see the mirage that is the turn. This was Cooper's defining moment, he said he was hurting a bit but, pressed to the turn never dipping below 11mph. After the turn he had a huge smile. He quickly accelerated and was near or at 20 mph for the trip back.
He pushed and pedaled to the line calling out his number at the finish like he has watched all of us do for years. He had done it. He earned the finish in a time of 31:58, averaging 14 mph. He was satisfied and happy, but once he got in the Jeep he was quick to fall asleep. As for Kerrie she won the night for women overall, an Connor won the junior night. After seeing the results, I found that I won the night overall as well.
|All smiles, first race in the bag|
Data File: Loop 1 is my race (note I always start it a bit before the timer says go, and don't stop it immediately after the line) Loop 4 is Cooper's ride