Last week, I wrote about preparing for the road biking leg of Ski to Sea. Here's a post-race update of my team's progress. It was a bit of a disaster because our mountain biker hit a dog and the kayaker capsized, but we still had a great time.
To recap, my haphazard team Natural Stochasticity entered the recreational division. Some teams take Ski to Sea very seriously by finding corporate sponsors or paying professional caliber athletes to participate. My team, however, had a much more modest goal: complete the race.
The team came together in a few pieces. We made it through the mountain legs, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and running down Mount Baker with no disasters. Next up was my leg, road biking.
I was one of the last cyclists to leave, and rode the 36 miles to Everson in a little over two hours. I was making pretty good time on the first twenty miles. Picture me in spandex shorts hunched over my drop bars and flying down the Mount Baker highway in the rain at 40 miles per hour, keeping up with the cars. People rolled down their windows and cheered me on.
Big cycling newb that I am, I got a cramp in my left leg from not drinking enough water, so I peddled the last 15 or so miles almost entirely on my right leg. Still, I passed way more people than those who were passing me, so that kept my morale up. I finally rolled into Everson to pass the digital timer off to our team's canoeists.
Our canoeists Keri and Justin made it down the 18 mile stretch of Nooksack and passed off to our mountain biker. I still haven't met the guy, but I hear he hit a dog and busted up his leg and still completed his 9-mile leg in 40 minutes. He made it to our kayaker Danny five minutes before 5 p.m., which is the time race officials release the kayakers if their teammates don't make it, so the kayakers can still participate in the race and ring the bell at the finish line in Marine Park. Our kayaker hauled butt until he capsized, and alas his Outdoor Center kayak was without bilge pump, so the rescue boat brought him in.
Even though we didn't finish, my team had a loads of fun. We made each other paper medals for our efforts.
Ski to Sea was my first time in any sort of athletic competition. Something I learned about myself: I love bike racing. Being in a race is an extra motivation to push myself and my bike. I can't wait to compete next year, and I may even enter a few bike races until then.