Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Angelo, TX
Bikes: Volae Team, '76 Motobecane Grand Jubile, Priority Eight
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
good luck. Saturday is supposed to be ok, I think
We started with 90 miles of headwind, 50ish degrees, and steady rain. At about 25 miles, a white dove started flying just in front of us, sometimes within reach. It stayed with us over two miles, including through a 90 degree turn. Very cool. One team member DNF'd at the first control, 50 miles in, unprepared for the conditions. That control, by the way, was an old school service station with two repair bays and a tiny waiting room and a small snack selection. The next 100 miles were on trails - largely the Big Miami River Trail and Creekside Trail. The first few miles of the Big Miami River Trail was a game of goose-poop dodge-em. Our Dayton control turned out to be an upscale white table cloth affair, so we took our dripping goose-poop covered selves to the diner next door. Our first flat happened in the rain, just before dark. Fortunately, we came across a trail-side parking lot complete with gazebo and porta-potties just in time for the repair. Our second flat, a different piece of glass on the same wheel on the same bike, happened during a brief respite in the rain. We were able to nurse it to a lit trail intersection. Rain continued, but the temperature never dropped overnight. In fact, I think the low occurred within the first few hours of the event. Traffic on the lead-in to Hamilton Ohio was a little stressful, but the Penn Station was wonderful. Dayton and Xenia were fairly uneventful. We arrived at our midnight control, a Taco Bell that closed at 2 AM, to find it was drive-thru only. Fortunately, the employees took pity and allowed us in. No such luck at our 22 hour control, a 24-hour Tim Horton's that was also drive-thru only. We found an open Kroger, and used the seating area from their closed Starbucks for a brief snooze. We soft pedaled the last 20 miles, arriving 5 minutes early to find two teams already at the finished. The finishing teams were us (Columbus, Indiana), Indianapolis and Ontario.
Lessons learned for me: Call all controls ahead to verify hours. Better prepare less experienced team members for conditions. Strava Global Heatmaps traffic doesn't mean the roads are pleasant - check out streetview as well.
Overall, despite 19 hours of rain and temps in the 50's, it was a memorable experience!