Monday, April 07, 2008

TBi Race weekend

Lots of fun this last weekend. Our cycling team, Team Bicycles Inc., had their annual race. It's to raise money for the team's expenses (mainly in the form of rider/racer support) and also to raise money for a fund to honor a former Jr. rider who passed away last September. So the Juniors were all racing and all the other club members were volunteering. I worked as an official both days.
We drove out to Lake Mineral Wells State Park on Friday night to camp out. OK, we took the back two seats out of the minivan and threw in an air mattress and some sleeping bags. No tents, so maybe it wasn't quite camping. When we got there, we discovered that our new air mattress only inflated with the help of an electrical outlet, AC. Not the DC cigarette lighter that we had on the minivan. So we ended up on a airless air mattress the first night. It was way cold. Low 30's by morning. We had to get up around 5 to get out to the race.
Saturday was a 24-mile loop out by Possum Kingdom Lake with big hills on mile 12 and 16. It was a really cold morning but a really nice day. Riding in the follow car is fun, you get to watch the race, to encourage the racers, to call them on fouls. We had plenty of volunteers and a good group of racers (a little over 300). In my son's race, Joseph held on up the last big hill and then took a breather. That's when the guy in front of him took off. He finished 4th out of seven starters, but he raced well and finished strong. Of course, five of those seven were TBi Jr's. One of them, Alex, had his rear derailleur buckle on him in the middle of the race. He ended up getting a ride back in. Fortunately we had a spare and his dad got them swapped out for the next day's race.
Sunday we got up earlier, we were going to have a short prayer service at 6 AM to remember Ivan. Joseph read some scripture (1 Cor 9:24-27, Heb 12:1-6 as I recall) and I prayed. I still miss Ivan. And I still feel guilty when I don't miss Ivan. That's grief for you, I guess. The only folks there were the guy who originally suggested having the service (the promoter of the race and the team president), myself, Joseph (who raced with Ivan), and someone else who was to lead us in singing. I there more for the fact that I'm the closest thing the group has to an minister, even though I will probably never be ordained.
Sunday's races were fun. The weather was beautiful, the course included a locally famous climb, the mile-long Cherry Pie Hill, and the racers were all in good form. Joseph ended up touching wheels with one of his teammates about 5-8 miles into the race. Usually that ends up with someone sliding out and nursing road rash for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, everyone stayed upright, but Joseph broke two spokes on his rear wheel.
The only wheel in the follow truck didn't match his, 10-speed vs. 9-speed. Bummer for him, his race was over. He was in good spirits when I saw him at the end. Like Saturday, his team finished 1-2-3, so he was pleased. Having his wheel busted was just one of those things. Memo to self: after you get Joseph's wheel fixed, get him a set of backup wheels, 9-speed.
A wonderful weekend. I'm glad it's over so I can get back to the office and rest!

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