Observations from LOTOJA
1. 206 miles is still a long, long ride.
3. When every breath must be taken through your mouth, you can taste every dairy farm and road kill along the way.
4. Completing LOTOJA without a support crew is not impossible. But loading your pockets with enough emergency gel and drink mix to get you through 206 miles — plus two spare tubes and extra emergency bike repair items — is not a good way to pedal up a 20-mile hill. That’s a lot of extra weight to be lugging around.
5. That little climb up Salt River Pass really isn’t so bad … unless you already have 110 miles in your legs.
6. Tailwinds in Star Valley are God’s way of saying ‘I love you’ to cyclists. Going 30 miles per hour wasn’t too hard for those 50 miles.
7. There is no such thing as ‘enough’ chamois cream.
8. I actually liked the coat hanger last year, but the 2010 LOTOJA finisher’s medal is really cool.
9. It’s Emigration Canyon — not Strawberry. No one who lives in either Bear Lake or Franklin counties calls it Strawberry.
10. Having friends at the officials table is a good thing. The wind blew off my bike number going up Emigration Canyon and somehow I lost my timing chip while pulling off the leg warmers. Since I didn’t care what my actual finish time was, I just reported myself to the finish line and got a result.
11. I did not finish last in my field. But I did finish.
12. The Merry Piglets in downtown Jackson is a pretty cool place to eat a gigantic Carne Asada Burrito and watch some college football after the race — even if I was still in my cycling kit.
13. Waking up to a view of the Grand Tetons makes sleeping on a bed made of couch cushions well worth it.
14. Bubba’s BBQ serves up some pretty good ribs.
15. I really want one of those LOTOJA 1,000 awards. Those things are cool. Two more to go.