Monday, February 20, 2012

LOTOJA! Part: 1

LOTOJA is a bike race/ride that started back in 1983 with only 9 participants and has grown immensely.  In 2011 there were 1,500 participants, and those are the lucky ones that were able to get it.  I heard once that in 2009 there were over 4,000 people who applied and I am sure it has only grown since then.  So why is this event such a big deal?  It is the longest one day race in the United States.  It covers the 206 miles between Logan, Utah and Jackson, Wyoming.  Along those 206 miles participants climb about 10,000 feet, reaching 7,630 feet above sea level.  Needless to say it is long day in the saddle.

2011 was my second year doing LOTJA and it was even more fun than 2010.  The main reason last year was better than the one before is because my brother did it with me.  Neither one us felt ready for it at all.  My brother, Christian, had never ridden his bike more than 70 miles in one day prior to LOTOJA.  I hadn't ridden more that 50 miles for four months before the big day.  This is not to say that we didn't have plenty of time, LOTOJA is held the second Saturday of September.

My whole family came along for the fun to be our support vehicle, carrying extra water bottles and food.  We had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. because Logan is about 45 minutes away.  By the time we got up there there were quite a few people there already.  As we were getting all our gear put on both Christian and I were very nervous, we seriously didn't think either one of us would be able to make it all the way to Jackson.

The earliest we could take off was 5:45 and we were trying to leave then, giving us the most of amount of time to attempt to get to Jackson.  We got to the start line I realized I forgot my timing chip so I had to hurry back to the car to get it.  We finally were ready to go, and we were off!

Getting ready.  The look on Christian face is hilarious.  

That's my bike.

Putting my lights on.  We had to have lights because, as you can see, it is still very dark.

Christian doing who knows what.  My niece looks pretty creepy.

Here we go.

Check back for more on LOTOJA.

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