Posts tagged ‘travel’
Quick update: We made it into Aurora late last night after 14 HOURS in the car yesterday. After a good night’s sleep, Kristine took the kids with our friends to play at a children’s garden/playground nearby, and I am getting caught up on a few things. Later this afternoon I’ll be driving part of the way to Elk Grove and then biking the rest of the way to get a good ride in today and then watch the Pro prologue time trial. The elite amateur race doesn’t start until tomorrow so I’ve got an additional day to recover from the drive up yesterday.
Well, it’s the night before our last major racing trip of the year. Don’t worry – I’ve still got lots more racing to come after this weekend, but this is the last LONG (i.e., >10 hours) trip that we are making. We’ll be pulling out mid-morning tomorrow to drive all the way to Aurora, Illinois to stay with friends of our that have kids the same age as ours. We’re going to try to time our arrival for a little bit after their kids go to sleep – otherwise our kids would be so wound up with excitement they’d probably never go to sleep! Here’s our route:
The race I am heading up to do is the Tour of Elk Grove, which has a huge prize purse of $35,000 for the 2-day amateur stage race ($35,000). That purse is just for the Cat 1-2 field! There is lots of prize money for the other fields, too — including the separate Pro-only race which has $170,000 for that field. The courses are pretty much table-top flat with some good corners on excellent smooth pavement (in 2007 – but Chicago winters are hard, who knows what the road will be like this year!). With so much prize money on offer, it will be hard for a break to get away unless it has the perfect representation from the major teams at the race. Since it is a timed stage race, the sprint time bonuses at the midpoint and end of each race will play a huge part in determing the overall placings. Look for updates, photos, and race reports over the next few days.
We’re leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to head up to Hartselle, Alabama for the state road race. 72 miles, 4 laps of an 18 mile course. After the race we’re heading over to Guntersville, Alabama to stay with the McCrory’s whom we haven’t seen in a while so we’re looking forward to catching up with them and maybe getting to go to church with them Sunday morning … before Josiah’s first bicycle race, ever! Analise is racing, too, and then I’ll get to race at 2:00 (although my race will be a bit longer than theirs!)
1300 miles of driving through 9 states and we have finally made it to Fitchburg, MA. We swung up through Nashville to pick up a U-Haul trailer and load it up with not one, not two, but about 30 bikes for all the juniors, pros, masters, etc. riding for Tri-Star. Check out our travel map:
After we pulled into the dorms at Fitchburg State College, we unloaded the bikes and took off up the road to find the TT course. We found it and had a chance to take a look at the course with some nasty potholes and cracks. The course is mostly uphill for the first 5 miles and then mostly downhill for the last mile. My start time tomorrow is 5:38 PM. Plenty of time to hit up a coffee shop in the morning to check email and get caught up on some work. There’s so much I could write about our trip up, from the beautiful mountains to how crazy it is to drive a GMC suburban pulling a very large and heavy U-Haul trailer for 1300 miles – but instead I’ll just describe one experience which was a highlight for me so far. We had just crossed a large river (the Hudson, maybe?) shortly after entering New York state from Pennsylvania and we needed to stop for something to eat for lunch. I was driving and I saw an exit with a couple of options and pulled over. We ended up at the Hometown Deli and it definitely had the atmosphere of a very authentic New York deli — lots of options with Boar’s Head meat and a buffet spread that had things on it that I feel like the locals would have recognized, but I had no idea what they were. The people there were actually nice, but we must have sounded funny with our Southern accents. I settled on “stuffed shells”, and they were very good. Ok, that’s it for tonight. I am off to bed! No wireless here in my room so I’ll have to post this in the morning from a coffee shop.
We’re settled into the Hampton Inn here just outside of Memphis in Colliersville, TN. It was a nice drive up even with a major nose bleed from Analise which started with “Daddy, my nose is running”. We turn around to see Analise covered in blood from her nose down to her chin (she had wiped blood all over her cheeks and into her hair). Kristine valiantly cleaned her up, calmed her down, and got the bleeding to stop. She was fine in a matter of minutes as if nothing had happened.
After that, we met Lennie and Kim and their kids for a fun Greek/Italian dinner in Tupelo, MS. A short drive later and we made it up here to Colliersville. I just got back from a spin around a cool park called “Eagle Lake” which had a really nice lighted bike path around a lake. There were tons of geese and even a big heron that took off when I rode by it. It was cool to see it swooping out of the water and past one of the lights on the path.
The racing starts bright and early tomorrow morning with a 72 mile road race, followed by a 4 mile mostly flat TT tomorrow afternoon, and an hour-long criterium Sunday morning. Wish me luck!
Quick update – we just drove up to Nashville and our spending the night with family before I head up to the road race and tt tomorrow at Avery Trace. Then possibly the Cookeville crit on Sunday. Stay tuned for more details tomorrow after the races.