I'm in my lavish Motel 6 room having my first wifi experience. It's not as liberating and different as I expected; it's just like home, but without those wires. The laptop keyboard is the odd aspect. And the drag-your-thumb cursor.
The Cheerwine girls are staying here with the team staff. One of the girls fell today, separated her shoulder and was ambulanced to the hospital. Falling off bicycles is the terrible part of this racing deal, I'm afraid. I have seen far too many crashes from the seat of some motorcycle; I can deal with guys' crashes but I just hate it when women fall down. Call me sexist; I can't stand it.
I spend most of my day behind three guys who managed to stay a minute ahead of the 70 guys chasing them, mile after mile. It wasn't enough of a gap when the finish neared. They got caught and swallowed by the charging pack. I know the winner's name but I couldn't pick him out in a lineup.
The Tecos boys were aggressive again today, always in a group at the front, and I feel sure that one of them is still in the leader's jersey. They are not all Mexicans, as I may have mentioned in a previous post. There are Columbians and a Chilean, and there's a Brazilian guy here on another team. He told me that in Brazil people are happy with a little money and lots of fun.
The downhills here are steep and very twisty. The road often bends right back on itself. The pro cyclists fly down those descents, amazingly fast. If we want to keep them sortof in sight, we have to fly down too, or as best we can. I worry about those descents in the days before I have to do them at racepace, but while I'm doing the descending, I'm okay.
Jim, whose laptop this is, is working the elite women's events. He's doing fine, learning all the lessons about the radios and the wind and the sheer descents. I feel sure he's having fun and will come back next year.
By the way, the race provided me a passenger/mechanic yesterday and a different one today. Both were super good motorcycle passengers, even in somewhat sketchy situations, and both were evidently having fun. I've had problems over the years finding willing bicycle mechanics to passenger with me on the support motorcycle, but when people do it, they enjoy it. It's "the best seat in the house" for sure. You can never watch a bike race so up-close-and-personal any other way.
I'll try tomorrow and Saturday, my days off, to ride to the library and send you longer posts. By the time I've worked a 90-mile road race, I'm tired and not excited about getting back on the bike in the late afternoon, but I work no more races until Sunday. I'll be in touch...