IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. – When traveling with athletes, 6 o’clock comes twice in a day, but only once with drinks involved.
By 7:30 a.m., Saturday before last, I was in a shimmering sea of spandex shorts at Clear Creek Middle School in Idaho Springs, Colo. I was there waiting to cheer on several of our Telluride riders entered in the 42nd Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hillclimb.
I had previously secured a pass allowing me to drive the closed highway 28 miles to the summit at 14,264 feet. I was excited, as this is the equivalent of a backstage pass, until I saw approximately 1,000 cyclists getting ready to get on the same road. I did not want to be responsible for taking any of “the fittest” out of the gene pool, so I chose to stay behind, where the races began, to check out the scene at the bottom. Here in the staging area, cyclists were preparing for their start by hydrating, sucking on PowerShots, spinning to get the heart rate up, stretching the “hammies,” etc…
Speaking of the scene at the bottom, get your significant other on a bike. I even caught myself noticing the goods in the 60-plus division. This is how I bonded with a new friend, who was there to support her 65-year-old husband.
She had done this race-wife thing before and found a great spot for us to beat the heat in the time between the Junior category start and when the racers came down from the top. We were perched at one of the school’s miniature lunch tables located directly in front of where the results would be posted. It was a perfect place to knit and ponder where race officials had categorized the unicyclist and the couple participating on a tandem bike. We laughed about how SIDI cleats clicking around on the floor sounded a lot like prom- night heels, and spotted a handsome pro rider we nicknamed “Scottish Crotch” based on his strategic tartan placement.
It was all fun and games, until the room started to fill with guys complaining of tight “hammies” in those spandex shorts – now shimmering with sweat. The mini lunch table had me seated at the same level as the Scottish guy’s tartan, and I began to fear the smell of the ride home.
I decided I would take in some fresh air, and visit the race website to find out how our Telluride men fared. So can you at www.bicyclerace.com.