Well - let's see where to start...
The trip started with the traveling from Orlando to Burlington VT. When I arrived on Saturday, I waited for my bike and luggage nothing came out. I knew something must have been up since when I sat on that full to capacity cramped small plane, I wondered "how are they going to fit by big bike bag and all the luggage on here??" Guess my instincts were right...once again...
So I went to Jay's Peak Lodge were I was staying and on the way there I had great company from a local man that lived next to the ski resort all his life who give me the history of all the town. We drove up the mountain and it took 1 hr 30 min drive from the airport...I started to worry when I didn't get my bike & bags, but there was still two US Airways flights arriving after mine so I waited in my room relaxing but worrying. I called after the first flight arrived but still no bike & bag. The next flight was 9:15, meaning, I still had to wait and call when the plane was empty so I call around 10 PM.
"NO BIKE." Argh....
So the Race Director Dan Des Rosiers tried very hard earlier Sat afternoon looking for a Cannondale for me to race the next morning. He not only looked for a C'dale to race, but also helmet, shoes, jersey, shorts, gloves, etc. He did fantastic work and got all my gear from Firsttrax bike shop who was one of many sponsor of Jay's Challenge.
I really lost my wind once I didn't received my bike and no clothing, and, well, it was just hard to leave the room. But the Mt looked great and mountain air was fresh as roses, but not having my bike was a real bummer! See, I was ready. This was my first race since RAAM. I pick this race because I love climbing and in 70 miles there was over 10,000+ ft of climbing, and the weather was perfect for racing.
...The story gets weird now, the Race Director Dan Des Rosiers got a RUSH like new from a local rider who's wife had it and said she was riding for fun and was not going to race but support her man, the guy who's name I won't mention. Great! Dan set me up with all the rest of the gear and I went back to my room with everything intending to dial it in to get ready for the morning. By then it was after 10:00 PM.
So after about 20 minutes the no name guy came by my room Sat night and said his wife was having a hard time letting me use her RUSH. First, I say I'll replace whatever I break, and he asked me since I ride for Cannondale, can't I just give her a new bike? I was ready just to kick him out of my room with the bike too... I was tired and it was a long day and the race start time was 7:00 AM... And to think I was just getting ready to change the tires and put on my favorite Kendas that I got from Firsttrax. I still hear him saying "...my wife changed her mind..." I thought he was kidding but it was no joke.
The next day, the Race Director had a good laugh about it and so did I. I said I'd repair or replace anything I break, but no deal. See... I ride like a flying carpet so I wasn't worried since the RUSH that I've raced since early last year is like new...
It was unbelievable - the chance of this happening?? Well it did. And I thought I had seen everything. My sponsor wouldn't have been happy to see me on any other bike except Cannondale so I helped Dan out and enjoyed the day.
Wierd stuff happens sometimes, so just know when traveling, try to fly on a better airline, don't arrive the day before a race, and just know that there is a chance that you might not get to race.
I will be back next year, though I'll make sure to fly a day early so nothing like this will happen again!
Thank you so very much Dan Des Rosiers Race Director - you put on an awesome race! Also, Thank you Firsttrax who set me up with awesome bike wear!
Top 5 finishers:
1 Brooke Scatchard 7:39:57.00
2 Brian Lyster 7:46:53.00
3 Jeffrey Whittingham 8:05:05.00
3 Andy Sanidas 8:05:05.00
5 Alec H. Petro 8:06:49.00
Here is a photo from the 4th place finisher web blog