Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Urban Assault Ride

Urban Assault Ride: Road Bikes 1, Mountain Bikes 0

This past weekend was a return to action for me. Time to get back out on the bike after a long hiatus in Ohio and time to get the competitive juices flowing once again.

I spent Saturday morning struggling through one of those ride where you and the bike are not one. I changed a flat tire on Friday night in my garage, and that $7.99 tube lasted exactly 4 minutes on the trail before flatting. Then after putting a new tube in the tire, I somehow ripped the valve off during the inflation part of the clue. Anyhow so I spent $15.98 to ride those four minutes...swell. My four Team ODP adventure racing buddies had a swell ride after that though as we dragged my recently post ACL reconstruction beginner biker buddy AB up and down some non beginner hills.

Sunday was the Urban Assault Ride in Tucson which is basically a bike scavenger hunt through the whole city. I rode with BJ my cousin's husband, and he came pimping with a town bike loaded with fake purple fur weaved around the frame. I had my blazingly fast full suspension mountain bike with about 30 lbs of pressure (air kept leaking out). There were tons of people at the start, with every kind of bike and outfit imaginable. It was a cool vibe since the event was sponsored by New Belgium Brewery, and they know how to party. We had to answer a quiz to get our starting position, and due to BJ's great googling skills, we ended up in the first start group.

The first secret location we had identified was at a parking lot halfway up A Mountain. I have never road raced and so it was an interesting feeling as a whole group of us raced down roads in tight formation. It was easy to see that all of the road bikes were blowing by us. Since it was already hot and I had gotten little sleep Saturday night exploring 4th street's best haunts, I was quickly redlining. Once we got to the checkpoint and turned back downhill, I felt better. At each checkpoint we would get a bead to put on a necklace.

The next five checkpoints were basically in a big loop around the entire city. The standard feeling was that periodically, road bikers would pass us, but we made sure to not let the mountain bikers by us. At each checkpoint, they had fun activities set up that we had to complete. One was riding mini trikes around an obstacle course. Another was a blindfolded piggy back ride around an obstacle course. Because of my amazing biceps and the fact that BJ is a skinny man, I carried him...and passed a ton of people. Hah. We also did a ring toss, and a bike ride around a cone with a bowl of water balanced on our joke. The final event was a blowup obstacle course full of water. The water was much appreciated because it all the sudden is hot as hadies here.

We rode as hard as we could the whole time, but there were periodic road bikers passing us the whole time so we felt like were were towards the back of the back. When we finished though, I looked around and realized that almost all of the bikes lined up at the finish were road bikes. Small victories are victories I say. We ended up finding out that we finished 14th out of 96 coed teams. Not too bad for having a really good time the whole time. We also got two free NB beers at the end and a bunch of snacks. I recommend this race to anyone in it's path.

Maybe someone needs a road bike at some point...


Your Green Bike said...

Hey now, don't say that, you already have a perfectly awesome road bike...

The Chaser said...

Dear Green Bike,
You haven't had air in your tire for months now. Plus, you are broken and won't work properly. Retire with dignity Huffy.

Your owner,

Crazy Rower #2 said...

You might appreciate that bike when you're a poor student. :) Jack and I'll help you fix it up if you want. Oh, and you should ride Whiskey with us :).