Wednesday, September 13, 2006

LOTOJA: Feed Zone

My biggest fear going into this ride--outside of just being able to finish--was the feed zone. I worried I wouldn't be able to handle the hand-off of the musette (feed bag). Mixed in with this fear was the fear that if I stopped each time, I wouldn't actually have enough time to finish.

As we enter Preston, ID I look up and see a sign: 1 KM to Feed Zone. There are 7 feed zones in this race, and the longest distance was the one I just covered: 34 miles. There are a few children out cheering for us.

Am I going to be able to grab the musette and move on? Will I fumble? Will I wreck?

"Jon! Over here!" And there is James amid the mass of support people lined up. He isn't holding up a musette at all. In fact, it is over his shoulder. I come to a stop and he starts asking me how I'm doing. What I've had to eat. How much I've been drinking. He has it all there, just like we talked about. I stuff the Fig Newtons into a pocket. Add some GUs to my stash. I eat the half peanut butter and honey sandwich. As I'm doing so, James stuffs a banana into my right pocket. He also gives me a plastic bag full of Cytomax powder. The next feed zone is neutral, so I can't count on restocking that there.

"Do you want your arm-warmers still?" I answer yes, but leave my full-fingered gloves with him. My vest comes off and into my middle pocket. There are climbs still to come and it's still early.

I suddenly realize why I'll be stopping at every feed zone. I need to pee and there are outhouses here. Why don't they have more here? I'm waiting in line at a race? While I'm waiting, James is looking at my computer and HRM--trying to figure out how I'm doing. He seems satisfied that I've been sensible.

The first two climbs come before I'll be able to see James again. I get on my bike and he gives me a shove. I'm off. Just like that, I'm past my first feed zone. Mileage-wise, I'm 1/6 of the way there. I feel fantastic as my legs spin me up to speed and I head out of town. Have I forgotten anything?

Sunscreen. Dang. No sunscreen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jon, I'm so excited to hear the rest of the details on your race!! Also, I'm REALLY glad that you had James there, too.

Post more! I want to read more!

-Sarah

jmt said...

I'm enjoying this account tremendously. "Waiting in line at a race?" Argh. Hasn't NASA developed something for this kind of occasion? (Of course, a space suit may offer more wind resistance while you're riding. Perhaps the line is the wiser choice.)