Sometimes that guy Murphy just won’t give you a break.
Yesterday, on the flight home from Florida, we had a lay-over in Philadelphia. The rainstorms in the North East caused our flight to be late, so we dangled on the tarmac for awhile in 18th position to take off. It took too long. It seems there’s a regulation that prevents pilots from flying if they’ve been up for a certain amount of time. Our pilots had to turn back.
They kept us on the plane for another two hours until they could locate two more pilots to fly us to Los Angeles. Let’s see them try and race a bike twice in one day on only six hours of sleep after being in a plane for nine hours and a van for six!
I arrived in LA four hour later than planned. I had lent my van to my buddy Mike who was flying to Germany that night but had missed him. He had given my van to my other good friend John Iriye who works at LAX , but he had parked it in parking lot C. When I landed I called John, but he was busy fixing a system that had gone down in the International Terminal, so I had to wait until he finished. By the time I arrived home it was almost midnight. That four hour delay cost me four hours the next day on my drive to Las Vegas for the Nevada Senior Olympics. Instead of leaving at noon or 1pm, I left at 4pm; anyone who’s tried to get out of LA on Friday knows what I’m about to type. IT SUCKED!
Six hours later, I arrived. Walked Mufasa and went to bed for my six hours of sleep.
5k Time Trial
Since I’m the youngest rider, I went first. Didn’t feel great. My legs hadn’t pedaled since Tuesday and today was Saturday. I only got a 32 minute warm-up. “The shorter the distance the longer the warm-up” my good buddy Mike Lukich says. I usually listen to my elders. Did the best I could, which earned me the fastest time of the day and my 14th gold medal to date.
40k Road Race
We rested for about 30 minutes and then started our road race. It was 92degrees. My throat was burning and I was coughing. I guess the dry air was a contrast to the 15 days in Cuba and Florida.
I strung the race out right away. Within four miles there was a break of six racers.
We must have lost one racer somewhere because it came to five of us for the last lap. I could tell two of the guys were pretty strong and I think there was something wrong with my handlebars. I had just built my bike the day before from the plane trip and I was tired so I probably didn’t tighten things down enough. I was afraid that if I left it to a sprint I might pull on the handlebars too tight and go down; maybe even take someone else down with me. My plan was to get the two strongest guys in the front so I could use the two other guys to slingshot me pass them. Once I got a gap, all I had to do was hold it, to win alone.
I couldn’t seem to get them where I wanted until about two miles to go. One mile to go and I was getting twitchy. It was a straight shot to the finish so you could see it coming. They were getting twitchy too. With ¾ of a mile, I let a little gap open off the back and then I went for it. As hard as I could go. I didn’t even look back until about 500 meters. I could see them trying to catch me about 50 meters back. I concentrated and increased my resolve. With about 200 meters to go I could see they had given up and were now thinking of second. I cruised over the finish with my 15th Gold medal!
F#*k that guy Murphy!
10k Time Trial
Got a pretty good night sleep and again I was first to go. It was windier than yesterday but I still posted the fasted time of the day and won the gold.
20k Road Race
Had a 30 minute rest and once again we took off. I strung it out again at 31 mphr for about a mile which left it to the same 5-man break-a-way from yesterday. This time I was a marked man. Approaching the finish they kept me in the front, but my sprint isn’t so bad, so I made them sweat. I just wouldn’t lead it out and the finish got closer and closer….. and closer…
With only about 100 meters to go, a guy jumped hard and actually got a gap on me. He screwed up though. We were going into a wicked head wind and his gear was too small. He started to spin out. That slight hesitation allowed me to get on his wheel. After that, it was all over.
I won my 18th gold medal and swept all four races!