Saturday, March 31, 2012

Race Day Photos

Crossing the finish line.

I volunteered to help out on Jayhawk Classic this weekend. I worked with a few of the young fellows that are on the KU Cycling Team, and a few of the lads work at the local bike shop as well. All the police had to be on duty for Lawrence--KU Basketball team was playing a final-four game (which they miraculously won) on a Saturday night, and all the downtown bars and pubs would be full of revelers.

So I went out to Perry Lake, where I had ridden just a few weeks before, and offered to do whatever was needed. I had a pretty good time and got a few photos for you. Also, I threw out my back, mes amis. Not good with the 300 coming up April 7th--I was pretty worried and had to resort to some powerful pain killers to shake the agony. Now all I can do is test ride in the evenings with my Dynamo Hub for the brevet. I wanted to help out the KU Cycling Team, and also wanted to get out and move around to get the back loosened up.

Teams start showing up about 8:30 in the morning.

Getting registered for the races.

I was pretty surprised at how young everyone looked--and how many young women there were too. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and there was a friendly-party type atmosphere. The day was also beautiful--and no wind! That was good because the wind beat me to a pulp when I rode out here only a few weeks before.

Lead car and the pack on the Perry Lake Dam.

My job was to be on a corner on wave a flag in the direction the riders needed to go. Seems simple enough, but unfortunately Gentle Readers of This Blog, I was posted on the busy corner where people pulling boats and bringing ATVs were entering the lake area. So what I had to do was stop cars, trucks, and motorcylce riders so the racers could zip around and through the corner.

For the most part, it was easy and people didn't mind stopping. The pack would ride over the bridge, and then within about three minutes be flying around a blind corner. I really had to time stopping the cars just right so they wouldn't be suddenly merging with about 60 riders going about 30 mph.

Everyone was pretty chill. There was one woman who did not want to stop and was going to try to go around me just as the group went through. Luckily I kept her from going ahead as she would have collided with the pack. She said she's had enough of this bike stuff and turned did an awkward tire squealing U-turn. I wanted to say something but kept my mouth shut. As I said, everyone else was understanding and polite--it was the weekend and nice weather, and no one seemed bothered waiting less than a minute while the riders went past.

Iowa State Cycling Team at the Start/Finish Line.

At that corner, I was not really in a good position to take any photographs, but I got a few when I drove back up to the start for the lunch break.

Kansas State fielded a pretty good group.

University of Kansas Team was the host team--like I said, this was more like a beach party than a bike race.

The Minnesota Team was the power-house today.

After lunch, many of the volunteers abandoned the event, but I said I would stick around and help out--hey, these guys work on my bike and help me out all the time! Why would I leave them when they need me the most?

I was on a different corner this time, Gentle Reader of This Blog, and so was able to get some photos for you of the team time trails!

Click on the pictures to seem them bigger...

A team comes down the hill from the start and now races over the Perry Lake Dam.

Coming up on my corner where I waved them to the right.

K State.

University of North Dakota had a good team and strong riders!

University of Iowa.

Iowa riders setting up for the turn.

KU Team looking good today.

I'm glad I went out to help on the course. It got my head cleared after a few days of having to take strong pain killers. I was outside, the air was fresh and clean, and I found my self really admiring these young men and women as they did their best for their schools.

At the lunch break I was talking to one of the racing officials--as she noticed that I was one of the few "Grown-ups" about the young racers. I told her I was a brevet rider, and you know, Gentler Reader, she smiled and said, "Oh yeah--you guys! Now that's some real riding!" so hey its nice that someone recognized and appreciates randonneuring.

Allure Libre! Bruce

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