Medic!

What a first day.  I’ll have to make this one short because we have to be loaded soon to head to our next transition area.  Got to sleep at 1:30 AM and had to roll out of the bed at 7 AM.  Now, it is time to get day two underway.

We left shortly before 3 PM on Sunday.  The entire crew rode out together for about three miles.  I thought that the Green Team would then continue for another three hours.  However, I was going off an old rotation sheet (the one I used for yesterday’s blog).  Turns out we were going to drive ahead to Seneca and wait for the Polka Dot Team.  We would be doing our first leg from 6 PM to 9 PM.

However, before we could even get the first three miles done, Jerry Page had a front flat.  The mechanics got it switched out pretty fast and it was a good practice.  Before long we were all back together and then at the final launching area.

We had an awesome transition.  It all went perfectly.  Well, all except that Jerry unfortunately had his hand on the door jam of the van when Betsy, our support member, closed it.  Hmmmmmm, it is going to be black and blue!

The ride itself was hard!  They had us going from Seneca, SC to Hiawassee, GA.  Don’t know if you have ever been on that route before, but it is a load of climbing!  We were supposed to cover it all in three hours!

The first thirty minutes we were averaging 16 mph.  Then we hit the hard stuff.  Our average started to drop and we struggled up the climbs.  I’m sure there were some times of downhill, but I don’t remember many of them.  It just seemed like it was up, uP, UP!

At 10 miles in we had to pull over to clear the road for traffic that had backed up behind us.  I pulled into a parking lot that looked to be a cheap asphalt.  As I came in I realized it was gravel.  I instinctively adjusted the weight on the bike, but did not instinctively call out that I was transitioning to the new surface.

The next thing that I heard was a commotion behind me.  Nikki had come off the road and slipped on the gravel going down very hard on her left shoulder.  Megan turned quickly to avoid her and went down as well.  I felt awful.  I’m sure had I warned them she could have been better prepared.

It was bad enough that Nikki had to get in the bus and finish the ride there.  We pressed on with our average continually dropping.  To add insult to injury, the temperature was in the low to mid 30s.  It was only three hours, but it was worse than any ride I did during the Austin trip last year.

Ultimately, we had to let the bus go about three miles from our finish.  They had to go meet up with the next team.  Still, considering all that we dealt with, I was very pleased with the effort of the team.

Today, we’ll be meeting our transition at noon.  We’ve got to get things packed up, get some breakfast, and then get going.  Supposed to be 54 degrees and sunny when we start.  It should be a good six hours for us as the high is to reach 64 degrees.

Well, I have to stop.  I’m running up against the deadline to get my bags down to the van.  Hopefully, we’ll have some more down time after this next shift.  If I can remember anything more about the first segment, I’ll report it then.