22 September 2008

T's First Bike Race

One of our friends here, D, has really gotten into road biking and he convinced T (brown shirt) to sign up with him for a 20 mile bike race just north of here. So, J (Ds wife) and I went to go watch and take pictures. Just after we got there, there was a giant crash about 2 feet from us. It is one thing to see them on t.v. and another to be there with the sounds of screeching, scraping and debris right there in front of you. I helped pull one of the wheels of one of the bikes off the road, and picked up a badly scratched cell phone and some power bars off the road. Then, I looked to see if maybe there was a rock or something that had caused the accident and cleared the road of them as best as I could. (I didn't want T or D to hit one.) I think J and I were a little shaken from watching it all. One guy fell in the middle of the peloton, and the guy behind him ran over him and flipped. Then, about 5 minutes after, we found out about a 15-20 person crash in the oldest master's group. By then, the guys had joined us and were able to help some of the 60-70 year olds who had fallen out of the truck that came to pick them up.

Both guys did really well. T ended up finishing in the middle of his age group with a 55 minute 8 second finish, and D accomplished his goal of not coming in last. T was able to stay with the peloton (that is the big group that stays together and basically is this giant aerodynamic group) for a lap and a quarter. At one point, D was behind the peloton of the 40-50 year olds and saw one guy break off of the group and end up wrapped around a telephone pole in a ditch, and another guy out of the peloton saw it and ended up in the ditch with his bike on top of him. So, D got off, told the one guy to stay down, and waved down one of the help vehicles so the guys in the ditch would not get run over. It seems to be a little bit of a dangerous sport, but I think only one guy went to the hospital and most of the rest who fell just had a lot of road rash and holes in clothes. It was an interesting experience.


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