4 short reports about a white jersey
by: Jason Bailey
8 hrs of Cannonsburg- This race started a block of long tough races. I knew the heat would be bad and had a blast racing with Bruce in the past that we decided last minute to do this a team instead of going solo. We had some hic-ups.... like the three times someone wasn't ready for the tag, but all in all a good race. We sat in 4th all day (out of 12 teams). With the last few laps to go we started reeling in third. I sat at the start point, planning not to miss my tag, talking to one of the riders on the other team. Right when he asked how close we were, I looked up and saw Bruce..... "we may have just passed you." To which he said, "I will catch you and with your white jersey, you won't be hard to see." I put in a fast lap..... I was faster than Bruce thought I could ride and he wasn't ready this time. We had a 1 minute gap and 30 minutes to go. Realizing that a 30 minute lap was, maybe possible, I tried to hide the fact that my legs were starting to lock up. I spent the rest of my time hydrating, eating and stretching.... The opponent and I awaiting the outcome of the lap. 4 minutes to go and I hear someone in his camp say, " here comes our guy." Crap! Oh, wait, he was walking out of the trail with a broken front derailleur. 8hrs done and we finished in 3rd.
24 hr national challenge- The only "road" race that I do. I had a goal of 300 miles, but the weather didn't want to work with me. Temps hit 96 with high humidity. Nearly half of the 350 riders didn't make it past the 122 mile mark. 2 carted off in an ambulance due to heat related injuries, with many more.... losing their food/hydration. The temps started cooling down a little as we caught the side of a thunderstorm. We could see the lightning, but no rain. Then the wind kicked in. Consistently 15-25 mph for 3+ hours! I decided, since I started to fall asleep on the bike, that it was time to take a break and try to wait out the wind a little. No luck. About 14 miles in the wind started to die, but it started raining. I rode the rest of the night and morning in the rain (about 5 hrs). I finished with 260 miles and 4th. Even though I didn't feel like I was going fast, the white jersey earned me the nickname "white lightning".
Meijer state games- 1 week after the 24 hr race was not enough time. My legs actually felt ok, but my lungs were screaming from the pace I was trying to maintain. I sat in 3rd for about a 1/3 of the race, but started drifting back and ended 7th of 11. Did get a few compliments on the white jersey at it was a hot day.
Boyne- 88 with 80% humidity..... wow I can't catch a break. I knew before the start I wasn't going to have it..... Soooo.. I jumped off the line and took the hole shot. Lead for just about 1 mile... then I blew up and let almost everyone pass. I kept pushing and held a fairly steady pace. I had two short incidence where I caught my handlebars on a tree and the other... a little embarrassing.... I hit the bottom of the cart path up the fairly steep climb (geared riders were walking), looked up to see how far the person in front of me was, put my head down and started to hammer..... I swear it was only three strokes and BAMMM!!! I ran right into the back tire of the guy! Everyone was ok, but boy did I feel dumb. One comment while it was raining, "you are brave to wear white" another later "YOUR WEARING WHITE!" He didn't linger behind me too long.