Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fireweed Relay Fun

Sometime last month Brian agreed to be a part of a 4 person relay team in the Fireweed 200 Relay Road Bike Race that was held last weekend. Hmmm... Brian in a road bike race? Not something I expected to see ever, so I agreed to drive a support car to witness this ridiculousness. About two days before the race, Brian borrowed a friend's road bike and did his one and only training ride. This was his first time on a road bike ever.

Team Uranus Titans consisted of Heather, Ken, Tim and Brian, with me and Ken Sr. driving support vehicles. The race starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge near Caribou Creek and ends in Valdez. I had never witnessed a road race before so I had no idea what to expect. The relay was fast paced. The sequence went like this: Drop someone off with their bike, figure out the next stopping point, drive there, get the next person ready, wait, stuff down some food and drink, watch the transition, move on. Since the team was only riding about 5 miles at a time, I think the longest we ever waited was about 10 minutes.

Here are some things that I learned along the way. 1.) Road racers are serious athletes, especially teenage girls that wear tight shiny pants. 2.) Boys get distracted by girls that ride bikes wearing shiny pants. 3.) Brian is actually pretty fast on a road bike. 4.) Road bikers descend at speeds over 50 mph, yikes. (When I go over 25 on my mountain bike I start to freak out.) 5.) Brian does NOT enjoy descending at 50 mph when being passed by a semi truck and a rogue RV driver. (He was actually heard screaming "I WANT OUT!!" while descending). 6.) Valdez is awesome in the summer. 7.) Squirrels in Valdez must inbreed, because they have mutant heads. 8.) Grown men feel peer pressure too. 9.) I am not a road biker, riding a bike amongst cars on a highway actually terrifies me, but I will drive a support vehicle for the Fireweed again, because I had a blast.

The team finished 8th in the 4 person mixed relay. Nice work for a non-competitive team!