Steve furnished the crew with
|This is how we roll.|
We stumbled on a restaurant gem in Echo – The Wheat and Barley Pub. Small menu, on the pricey side, but locally sourced organic food and well prepared. I look forward to bringing Patty there next time we head West. My roasted brussels sprouts and pork belly pasta were outstanding. The lamb shank and rib-eye steak dinners looked good too.
Our waitress informed us of the pool table in the basement... sounded like the right thing to do,
especially given the limited options in Echo. It was rustic down in the basement: sump pump, water
heater, storage, wiring, plumbing, soda kegs. A
|Basement of Wheat and Barley Pub|
'80s kept the music pumping, and the atmosphere
festive. Steve must have done some significant billiards
time because he was unstoppable.
Pool hall rules hung on a chalk board:
1. Clean up after yourself.
2. Keep the door closed.
3. No urinating in the basement.
4. Winner chooses music for one game.
We abided by the rules to the best of our ability.
Eventually we wound down the party and returned to
the trailer by the railroad tracks. During the day, the
train traffic was pretty light. At night, it seemed like
every 30 minutes a train would roar by. Lesson learned.
Saturday morning, we ate at Echo's only diner, in final
preparation for the 11AM race start.
|TEC Battle Preparation|
Race time: Page Rost traveled
separately to Echo, and we saw
him during warm-up. Mark,
Steve, Mike and Page started with
the Cat 1 32-mile race. I started
20 minutes later with the Cat 2
because I thought 25 miles was
enough for an early season race.
There were ~400 total racers. So
Echo's population of 700 nearly
doubled. For such a small town,
the trail system is truly
impressive. Several miles of
single track meander the drainages
|Cat 1 Start|
kudos to the race organizers,
sponsors and volunteers! We're
grateful to all who made this race
happen, and look forward to
My race went pretty well.
Immediately after the neutral rollout, the pace surged way beyond my level. I counted 25-30 racers in front of me by mile one.
Once we hit the single track, I started picking off riders. I ended up 4th in the 40's age group of 40 racers, I think 8th in the whole Cat2 group.
Passing on single track was problematic for everyone. Going off the single-track into sage and
rodent holes is taxing. It's typical for someone getting passed to accelerate. I once got straightarmed by another racer after I made a clumsy attempt to pass. I eventually got a clean pass opportunity, and never saw him again. The course was bumpy and turny, demanding a lot of focus... first time I checked mileage was at mile 19. I didn't drink water during the whole race – another lesson learned: camelback for technical races. Mercifully, weather was perfect: cool and dry, but not cold or dusty.
Finish: Mine was uneventful. One guy passed me on the flat time-trial road section. I was able to
catch his wheel and he was such a hammer that he carried me past two riders.
Here are Mike A. and Mark finishing.
Mark represented the Team on the podium – 3rd in a tough single speed field. We collectively got