Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tree Farm Relay

Saturday was the Tree Farm Relay. I decided this spring that I wouldn’t race anymore because I have come to terms with the fact that I really suck at racing. I was pulled out of retirement Saturday when three friends needed a fourth person for the relay. Last year, fueled by peer pressure from being on a relay team, I did an impressive 48:11 lap and sent Randy off with a nice gap over third place.

The Tree Farm Relay is a popular race. It is limited to 125 teams (which is about 100 more teams than can fit on the trail). My theory why this race is so popular is the award to the top three teams in each class is a nicely engraved blue anodized headset cap. I am consumed with envy every time I see one on a bicycle. We talked before the race how cool it would be to podium and get this highly coveted award. Silly but true.

This year I did the 10 mile loop in 53:36. Ouch. I sent Randy off in the middle of an overly crowded field. Computers were set up at the finish line so everyone can see who on each team dropped the ball. Clearly I did. We missed the Sport Co-ed podium by 9 seconds. This sent me into a pissy mood.

Last year our relay team’s name was: “We’re Gonna Beat Pete”, hinting at a good natured rivalry. This year our relay team's name was “Riding for Pete.” Pete had a heart attack and passed away while pre-riding Boyne before a race earlier this summer. The Tree Farm race was a fitting memorial service for Pete and a good reality check for me.

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