Tour of Fairbanks 2016- Time Trial.

All night long it rained. I could hear it falling when the charley horse ripped through my thigh muscles. I could hear it every time I jolted myself awake by rolling onto my road rash. It was a steady rain with decent-sized drops. The early start for the time trial meant that even if the rain stopped, the roads would still be wet for the time trial.
One more stage.
That morning I put on a new skin suit, fresh out of the bag, as the last one was shredded in the prologue. Underneath was two base layers, to protect my lower back from the cold wetness it would experience. I moved out of the ghetto, retaining access to the showers so I could clean myself up before the drive home. I drove to the start, thankful that the rain had stopped or at least slackened to a drizzle. I took my time trial bike off the car and got it ready. I didn't set up the trainer. I wasn't looking for peak performance. I was looking to get this last 20K over with. My warm up consisted of a short out and back to make sure there were no mechanical issues, then I lined up for the start.
Heading out, we had a nice downhill to start things off, but once the course started to flatten, reality set in. No power. I did what I could, but the legs weren't with me. I caught my minute man and started reeling in my two minute man, but that was just to keep my mind off the clicking in my knee. When I reached the turnaround, I had to yell at the flagger to stop traffic. I'd had enough of trucks and wrecks. I was expecting Jim Winegarner to come blowing by me, but he was off the pace due to a mechanical and Manx Quayle was quickly closing the gap.
My return trip could be characterized as picking off slower riders and ignoring the knee. I held off Manx and wasn't passed by any other riders, which was a small victory in itself. I crossed the line sore and relieved I didn't have to ride anymore. It didn't matter who was faster or slower to me. I wasn't going to win the time trial or the tour. I was finished.
I cooled down (two base layers tend to insulate quite well) and went back to the dorms to shower. No way was I driving back to Anchorage soggy. Clean and dry, I returned to the awards BBQ, discovering that Jim had DNF'd, moving me up a notch on GC.
Unlike the previous year where I had to rush out to gather the family up for the ride home, I was able to hang out for awards and collect swag from the organizers. I ate my 45th and 46th burger of the trip, but skipped the beer because of the long commute in front of me.
The rain followed me all the way home. I preferred this to the road-closing fires of last year. I made good time, and was greeted by my toddler son waving at me from a window as I got out of the car. I took the bikes off the car, but the interior was left a wasteland.
Some things can wait.


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