What a morning! After giving Stray Cat(Zack) a wake up call, my family and I hopped into the van under overcast skies. Temps were good and not a drop of rain. By the time we got to Uptown Cycles, their was a steady drizzle. We found Zack, got into our new jerseys and wandered around a bit waiting for everything to get rolling.
There was some confusion about the starting line. We were told to stand in one spot so we did, but we couldn't figure out why the rest of the starting group was about 25 feet closer to the bikes. Out of nowhere the horn sounded and we were off. We got onto the road about a block and a half behind the leaders. Everyone stopped at the first two red lights, but after that it was elbows and a$$holes all the way.
Between the first and fifth checkpoints, the drizzle continued, (I love riding in the rain so I was really enjoying this). There were a couple of times I thought about shifting into an easier gear, but Zack was still hammering pretty hard so we pressed on. When we left the Premier Health Club, the skies had darkened considerably and the wind started to pick up. That's when the bottom dropped out. We did the obstacle at the sixth checkpoint in pouring rain.
We were churning through 4-6 inch water in the right lane (over the curb, in some spots). The rain was coming in pretty hard. I was really glad I had decided to leave the visor on my helmet, since it was too rainy for glasses. Due to lightning, they canceled the paddling obstacle at the White Rock Boat House. They told us to grab a bead, (proof of getting to each checkpoint), and continue the race.
At our last published checkpoint, we were told the race was being canceled due to the weather.
My wife pulled into the parking lot and I gave her the disappointing news. Zack and I talked about throwing the bikes onto the back of the van and driving back to Uptown. I had even started to put my bike up on the rack when the beads "called" to me. I said, "Hey, let's just finish this thing." Zack's response was a more enthusiastic than I expected, so we saddled back up and took off.
During this last leg, we kept hammering. We were told by numerous other teams, "Didn't you hear that they canceled the race?" We thanked them and kept going.
Just before we headed up McKinney Ave, we heard another team say they had all of the required beads. Zack pulled up along beside me and whispered, "We need to beat these guys." We stood on the pedals and took off. That's when my front tire hung up on the trolley tracks. I didn't have time to even let go of the handlebars before hitting the pavement. My hip, shoulder and helmet took the impact.
I jumped up and said, "Where are the beads?" I still had them so I started to get back on my bike.
Zack said, "Easy. Are you sure you're okay? Just take a minute."
"Got the wind knocked out of me, but I'm good." I walked my bike about 25 feet before mounting up again.
We knew we had to make up some time, so we laid into it. Luckily, we made all the lights and pulled in just ahead of the other team.
The woman asked at the check-in table, "How many beads did you get?"
I said "All of them." Her eyes got really big, her mouth fell open and she took the beads to count them.
"How did you get ALL of them?"
Zack and I replied almost in unison, "We rode real fast!"
We indulged in some post-ride Chipotle burritos and re-lived some of the more precarious parts of the race.
More than two hours after we got off our bikes, they finally announced that the two rookies of team "On Your Left" was the first of only three teams to come in with a full set of beads.
To quote Zack's father, "This was the best Father's Day EVER!"
(I'll let Zack post our total time and distance, since my cyclometer cut out on me after taking on too much water.)
Here's us and our first-place loot: