Not sure where to start. I had planned to do this months ago. My first away vacation in several years and my first solo vacation ever. The furthest northwest I'd been before was Tahoe. I posted up to see if anyone else going needed hotel room, no one responded and I thought I posted too early. I borrowed a bike box and went to the LBS and had B2 tell me how to take the bike apart as I did it. I figured I would need to know how to do this and put back together once I got to Bend.
Wow, how quickly things change. The Cincy kids team, Lionhearts, posted up they had room for bikes in their trailer. I emailed back and forth and made the arrangements. I would put my bike on their trailer at Brookside (Indy). They left right after the races and tag team drove (3 of them) around the clock until they arrived at Bend. They were able to get team parking (at a nice discount), which made a huge difference in logistics for the week. Then I get an email from C.A.O. She had applied for her upgrade to Cat3 and wanted to go to Natz. Asked about sharing room and rental $$. Man, I'm so glad she did.
Our flights landed in Portland on Tuesday within 15 minutes of each other. I upgraded the Ford Taurus I had reserved to a Jeep, another great move. We grabbed lunch before we got too far out of the city, then drove over the mtn pass towards our destination. It was beautiful as everything was covered in fresh snow, but the roads were in great shape with plenty of salt/cinder/sand for traction. We got a text saying the bikes had arrived and were in team parking. We met up, got the bikes loaded and checked out the venue. I'd hoped to be able to pre-ride the TT course, but daylight was gone by 4:30 and it was pitch by 5. We headed to the hotel and checked in. I got on the trainer, while CAO went into logistics mode, she is an equestrian. Tarp was purchased and installed in the back of Jeep for bikes. Great idea! She also picked up some groceries, so we were set.
Wednesday was my TT and being at 11 had plenty of time. We arrived at the course early enough to walk part of it. I went back to the jeep to warm up and she walked the rest to give me some insight. We had gotten word early that they changed the course, taking out 2 sections deemed unsafe as well as leaving out barriers. The course was covered in snow and slush 3 inches deep. There were very few places where you could see the gravel bleed through. I was glad I had ridden snow on Sunday in Indy, but once was not enough experience. I was tentative on the downhills, but knew enough to stay off the brakes. The large runup was a long steep sheet of ice and snow. It There was one place, a 180 and a runup (if I remember right) where I got off the bike. I went to get back on fell on my right side. I just wanted to get up, back on the bike and finish. I heard someone telling me to get in the small chain ring, then I could get going. I found out later that 2 of the guys from home were standing there watching and telling me this. I had no idea at the time. I just wanted to get the bike moving and finish. I finished next to last, but not all who were racing did the TT. This was a great experience. So glad to have CAO there. I wish the other two had said my name so I would've been more aware of their presence. She got me back to the hotel as I was soaked down my right side and freezing. Got a warm bath and ate some lunch. We then got fresh kits together and went to the CX course to pre-ride.
to be continued...
p.s. failed to mention how scared I was on that TT course, it was sketchy