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.


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!


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.)