Races like this start with a run to your bike so the field spreads out a little on the first lap. I can only imagine the chaos of a mass start.
Bikes lined up at the start. Luke's is the orange and white Kona in the middle of the photo.
Luke getting started on lap one...of many.
Heading out for lap one. Fresh as a daisy!
I did my best to give Luke accurate splits to the guys up front. Didn't know how much his pit crew knew, so I gave him the info I'd like if I was racing.
Once it started getting dark Holly got cold. We headed over to Lake Hemet where we had picked out a campsite and stashed the truck and most of our gear before the race start. Off season means we had our pick of the tent camping sites. While we were gone, a lage group set up in the next area next to us; they blasted Ranchero music for a few hours, but stopped at bed time. Small miracle!
Our view of the lake.Holly said this looks like a commercial for Jeep. The mountains are pretty in the sunset, a phenomenon called "alpenglow". The colors of the sunset really accentuate the features of the mountains; absolutely beautiful. Setting up the tent. Rainflys can help keep heat in even though it's not raining. Holly asked if we'd need it since the daytime temps were nice and bordering on warm. Good thing I threw it on; it got COLD!
I woke up in the early morning to pee and noticed Holly shivering in her sleeping bag; teeth chattering too! I tried crawling into her bag to warm her up; which worked; but we were too big for the bag. We swapped bags, which helped. I feel bad for her being so cold when we go camping; a huge fire at night, hot food and my thermals did little to help her stay warm throughout the night. She just needs a "real" sleeping bag: the Wal-Mart Coleman bags are good for summer camping, but not fall in the mountains.
Sunday morning we packed up early and headed back over to the race venue. It was still very cold and we heard LOTS of talk about how cold it was that night. We were enjoying our hot brakfast just as Luke came out of his pit. He'd done 13 laps before retreating to his car for some heat and sleep "did 13, got some sleep, gonna go get some more laps".
The mountains are so pretty. Early morning at the start/finish. Luke fought hard trying to make it onto the podium, but it was not to be this time around. He managed to grab a solid 4th place by turning 16 laps. Stud.
Finish! If you look closely, Luke is in the brown in the background. In the foreground is MTB Pro and race director Robert Herber. Herber's team "Team Heat" pulled 30 laps. SICK!
Once Luke finished, we congratulated him and then beat feet home. Holly and I were both tired from lousy sleep in the cold. We later found out the temps dropped into the low 30's/ high 20's!
Huge props to Luke for riding night laps in weather that cold, I don't think I would have been able to do so.
Props also go to Holly for taking ALL the pics and for dealing with the weather and the Ranchero music with a smile on her face.
All in all, an awesome weekend and a great mini-vacation since I scrapped the Tahoe plans.
Back to school Thursday...yuck.