Friday, August 3, 2012

Tour de Park City

Before we left Virginia, Scott and I researched cycling races for him.  We found the Tour de Park City on the Utah Cycling Association website and decided it was a great fit for both of us.  The timing if it was after a month of travel with about two weeks of being stationary in Ogden, it was relatively close, and the cost was reasonable.

A few days before the event, Scott received an e-mail from the race director indicating that they needed more volunteers.  He forwarded it to me, and thought it might help to keep me from being "bored."  Plus, he knew my love of volunteering.

We set out at 0635 with our first stop being Einstein Bagels on Harrison (bagel for Scott and chocolate milk for me).  Our route was very simple (89-84-80-other local roads), but finding the start/finish proved a bit tricky.  We followed some Gran Fondo (150 mile) riders for a few minutes before realizing we weren't in the right spot, so I stopped and asked a policeman who was  directing traffic on 248 for help.

By 0815 the Medio Fondo (50 mile riders) were off, and by 1130 Scott had returned to finish in the Top 10.  I helped with a variety of minor tasks primarily related to the finishers medals. 

Here's a summary of the Pros and Cons of the race.

  • the area was gorgeous
  • the uphill climbs were awesome, and Scott passed many riders
  • there were plenty of port-a-potties (though maybe not enough at the start for 700 riders?)
  • the finishers medal is gorgeous
  • the altitude (6655' at the start/finish) was easy to adjust
  • the drive was smooth and beautiful (even heading east with the sun in our eyes with road construction)
  • upon finishing, a racer who appeared to be in his teens, shared with a close-by adult a roadkill report (this was the first time I've ever heard one at the end of any race!)
  • Scott forgot his bottles in the car and there were no bottles on the course (just cups of water and Red Bull)
  • the downhill roads were rough on the bike (rumble strips, etc.)
  • the course was poorly marked
  • various points outlined on the website did not happen (nor exist) in real life
So while we enjoyed the morning and the race's close proximity, we have opted out of it for next year and all other events put on by Team Exclerator.  While it might be harsh, we both have raced and volunteered enough to know what kinds of races and events we enjoy, would repeat, etc. 

We are grateful for the experience and look forward to the next on-the-calendar cycling event, the City Creek Bike Sprint which benefits The Road Home.

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