While we'd be the last to sign in and roll, another group had delayed their start and was right behind us at the first traffic light. Nicholas dropped the hammer as the light turned green and he headed for the first climb. With dad trying to keep up (also doubling as the team photographer) we were making great time and Nick keep telling me that we had to make sure that the group that we had dropped didn't catch us.
As we rolled toward mile 4 we were looking forward to rest stop 1 (and the only one on the course) but as we got closer, we found out that the course had been changed and that there would be no rest stop today. About mile 5.5 I suggested that we make a quick stop for Nick to have some water since there would be no stops until the finish at about 8 miles.
As we rolled I noticed that Nick's front tire was completely flat. With the team car nowhere to be found (Lance, we rode for free and you couldn't even send the team car?) it looked like dad was also going to be filling in as the team mechanic. After a quick inspection of the tire I noticed that it was one of those notorious Goat Head thorns that was the culprit. Ready to remove the wheel the next thing I realized was that I had forgotten a wrench as Nick's bike didn't have quick releases. OK I thought, not a problem as I know where the hole is I'll leave the wheel on and just pop the bead on one side. Next, I applied the patch and "thought" we'd air it up with C02 and be on our way. Oops, next I realized that the C02 head only had a Presta Valve fitting.
With another couple of miles left on the course it looked like it was going to be a DNF on Nick's first ride. Disappointed but appreciating the great time that we had shared so far we started the walk back. In less than 60 seconds we'd find another group coming up and they had a pump...awesome, we are back in the race. After pumping the tire we were back on the course and heading for the finish.
As we crossed into the finish, we had covered just under 7 miles and Nicholas did a great job. This was a great day and I was so proud of Nicholas wanting to do his best right from the start with the same spirit he showed all the way back into the finish.
After putting the bikes back in the car and a quick change, we enjoyed a pizza for lunch and then closed out the day with a trip back over to Starbucks for a hot chocolate and a coffee for dad. What a perfect end to a great day and we're already planning to do at least one more event before the end of the season together.
Enjoy the ride...
GPS and ride stats
Additional ride photos
Video of Nicholas from the course!