Monday, September 13, 2010

206 miles, 3 states, 1 day = LOTOJA

This past weekend Matt, Nathan, and Caron participated in the LOTOJA bike race. It is a bike ride from Logan to Jackson for a total of 206 miles. They were in a relay team with one other guy, Wes, who is my dad's friend. My dad was supposed to be the 5th man on the team, but had to drop out because of his bike accident. So the 4 of them were left to conquer the 206 miles.

We headed up to Logan on Friday night, checked in, the racers carbo-loaded, and then we stayed at this guy in my parent's ward sister's house. Another team was also staying there. Here is everybody the night before the big race. (I was downstairs in the closet feeding Em.)
In order to ride in the race, everyone had to get this lovely tattoo on their leg. Matt also decided it was necessary to shave his legs.

We got up early Saturday morning and headed to the start line. Wes took the first leg, which was from Logan to Preston, ID (34 miles). Here they are taking off!

The cars drove on a separate route for the first half of the race and then on the same road as the riders for awhile and then on a different route again for the last 15 miles or so. We would get to the transition areas about 20-30 minutes before the riders.

Here is Matt getting ready for his leg, which was from Preston to Montpelier, ID (46 miles).

Here is Wes coming into the transition area in Preston.

And Matt is off! His leg went over a mountain and was about 60% uphill.

Here is Nathan getting ready for Leg 3, which was from Montpelier to Afton, WY (45 miles).

Nathan and Caron developed a secret team cheer at this point that they had to do when they passed off the timing chip, which acted as the baton. So they made sure to do the cheer when Matt came riding in to the transition area in Montpelier.

And they're passing off to Nathan.

And he's off for Leg 3. His leg was also a lot of climbing through canyons.

Matt was sick after his leg. His poor stomach was about ready to puke. :(

At each of the transition areas, we would get Emily out and feed her and change her and play with her. Then she would sleep for most of the time between transitions when we were in the car. She did pretty well and really only had a few small breakdowns.

About halfway through Leg 3 was where the cars went on the same road as the riders. We were really impressed when we caught up to Nathan...he was much farther along that we had anticipated. This part was more fun because we would pass him and then pull off to the side of the road a little ways up and get out and cheer for him.

We misplaced the camera at the next transition so we didn't get any pictures of Nathan finishing and passing the baton on to Caron. Caron did Leg 4, which was from Afton to Alpine, WY (34 miles). Again, when we caught up to her we were very impressed with how far along she was. She got to ride through lovely Star Valley.

My dad was supposed to do Leg 5, but since he was out, one of the other team members had to take it on. Matt was planning on doing it, but since he was so sick after his leg, Nathan was the freshest so he jumped in and did Leg 5, which was from Alpine into Jackson (47 miles). Here is Caron passing to Nathan for the final leg.

When we passed Nathan, he was cruising! He had passed several groups and he said, "I can't find a group I like!"

At Hoback Jct., which was about 20 miles from the finish, Wes joined up with Nathan to help him out and ride to the end with him.

The finish line parking lot was so crowded, we were afraid we weren't going to make it in time to watch them cross! But we did and here we are waiting for them at the finish line.

They did great! They finished the whole thing in just under 12 hours. Each team member really did an awesome job and did great on their legs. The rule was that they had to finish by 8:15 or they would get kicked off the course. They finished with about 45 minutes to spare. Way to go!

Here is Nathan after finishing. Since he did 2 legs, he ended up riding a total of 92 miles. Well done!

And here is the whole team at the finish line.

It was so fun! I would really like to participate in the future. It was just fun being in the support car and cheering everyone on. I almost didn't go because I was worried Emily wouldn't do well, but I'm so glad I went. She did pretty well and we all had a great time.

We stayed in Jackson that night with Caron's aunt, who cooked us an amazing dinner. We were all so dead tired though that we pretty much just crashed. And on the way home on Sunday, we stopped at a gas station in Montpelier, ID and saw this...

It was a bunch of old guys in flannel shirts and cowboy hats sitting around shooting the breeze in the gas station. It was hilarious!


Kari Skinner said...

Awesome! Just came across your blog while blog surfing. I have been talking about training up to ride across the U.S. not this summer but next. Just something I want to do before I have kids!

Heather said...

I live around the corner from Aaron and Britni:) My husband did the LOTOJA too! You were brave to do it with a baby!! We left our two kids at Grandma's:) That was my husbands first year and I hope to do it next year with him:) Does your husband do other races? Maybe we will see you at another one:) I know Caron too (I worked with her mom for 4 yrs), it's such a small world!!:)

Christy said...

Heather, Hi! Nice to "meet" you! This was Matt's first LOTOJA as well and I want to do it next year with him too! I would have this year had I not just had a baby. We both like to do other races...running ones and triathlons besides bike races.

Piccolina Designs said...

Way to go Matt. And you look great Christy!