Monday, September 1, 2008

The 2008 Reston Century - Part One

The 2008 Reston Century and the Spiders

A fire truck and two ambulances blocked the road. Now what I thought as I slowed and unclipped my right foot. The line of Spiders moved to the right and skirted the waiting cars and trucks.

"Move to the right and walk your bikes," a woman shouted as more cyclists slowed and joined the line.

"What happened?" someone ahead of me asked. I thought perhaps a car had gone off the road on the dangerous curve.

"There are two cyclists down. You can walk though, but you must stay on that side of the road," she emphasized with a motion to the right.

Indeed there were two cyclists stretched out on a lawn. Both had backboards and neck braces on and medics were tending to them even as sirens announced the arrival of more medical personnel.

"That is a nasty curve," I remarked to Stacy after we passed the congestion and headed for Taylorstown Road.

"Been there and done that," Stacy replied. Stacy had crashed on a descent in 2002 not far from this spot. Fortunately for Stacy a passer-by found him- unconscious- and called the meat wagon. Stacy had a concussion and a banged-up Bianchi. He was back on his bike after a week or two. The curve where the two cyclists had crashed was not shaped to take at speed and had a curve inside the curve that may have caused the cyclists to crash.

"Yeah, me too," I answered thinking about 1 June 1996 when I was hauled off in the meat wagon.

We were riding the northern loop of the Reston Century with our group of "Spiders". The group included Stacy, Lou, Kevin, John P, Steve, Buster, Jody, Jere, Jay, Bill, Dave, Ira, Rod (?) and me. We were the Spiders because we had no group name and the dark blue jerseys Lou ordered for us read "Spiders". There were tough as nails cyclists in the group; namely, Buster and Jody who has recently completed the RAAM -Race Across America - 3,000 + miles on a four person team in 7 days and change. I knew I was in for a tough day when the ride started fast (for me) and remained fast. I knew my dogs would howl with this pace.

John Peterson joined us at Hamilton Park for our first rest stop. He chased us up and down the rollers of Harmony Church Road. John is training for an Ironman in Louisville hoping to make it to the Big One in Haiwii. He looks forward to a long swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon. Nuts! I wish him the best.

There was a long line at the Reston checkin station. What the heck I thought? All the years I had biked the Reston I never faced a line like this. "Is there only one person checking us in?" I asked no one in particuler. The line wrapped around the pavilion and out into the street where I waited. "The heck with this," I exclaimed and moved from the line. I knew the route, was preregistered, had my meal ticket band, and was wasting time.

To be continued.

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