This past weekend Ryan had another bike race near Madison, Wisconsin. The race was called the Grand Fondo, which I learned today stems from a type of ride they do in Italy. Apparently, a Fondo, is a long ride that large groups of people do together. Nothing strange about that right? Well, the way a Fondo works, is that half way through (maybe say around mile 50 or 75) the whole group pulls over and enjoys a gourmet lunch with wine, cheeses, and fancy things like pa tee. The real kicker is that you've still got to get back in the saddle and finish the other half of the ride. In any case, this wasn't really much like the real Fondo, but Ryan enjoyed the race anyways.
We drove up to the Blue Mounds state camp group late in the afternoon on Saturday (after Ryan put in a full day of work...what else is new lately). We spent the evening getting ourselves set up, building a fire, and having a few "day improvers" ie. Beers. It was fun to have Ryan indulging on a race night. He sure won't be doing that for Ironman. I guess Dan and I will just have to drink some for him. We ate some brats for dinner, and Lily enjoyed one herself. Jerk dog!! I'd spent 10 minutes roasting the perfect brat for my hubby, I had it on the bun and ready for him to eat and turned around to grab the mustard. As soon as I turned around Lily made her move and grabbed Ry's dog from the table. Hahaha, get it? Our dog grabbed a dog. Hehehe, I crack myself up!
The worst part of the whole brat shenanigans was that I was about to make a delicious 'smore for myself. So, after roasting a 4th brat, I moved on the the Mellos!! Man, I sure do love a great 'smore!!
Sunday morning Ryan's race started at 7am, but he needed to register first, so we headed up to the start around 6:30. At 7 when he left on his race (which would go until around 2 pm by the way), I headed back to the campsite with the dogs. After eating some breakfast I decided I wanted to take a little hike with the dogs. I left thinking we would walk for 2-3 miles, but around 7 miles later, we trudged back into our campsite, hot, thirsty, and happy with life. It was so beautiful up there. Hot or not (it was around 90 on Sunday, with heat indexes in the 100's), I wish I could walk on trails like that every day. The dogs were happy and tired and so was I. Staley got to chase a few wild animals and they both ended up in a stream at one point. Oh well, if you can't get dirty when you're camping, when can you right?
I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon reading, taking a nap and hanging out at the campsite. It was a seriously great day and I really enjoyed the time outside. Ry and I usually have a few camping trips each year and this year there just weren't enough weekends to go around.
Finally at about 1:45 Ryan called to tell me that he had finished. I headed back up the hill to meet him and hear all about the race. Apparently he had quite the eventful race. In the first lap he got stung by two different bees (or something with a stinger) and he broke a deralleur cable. I don't know crap about bikes (that's man's work) but apparently he was able to fix it but it meant that he wasn't able to change gears with the back set of gears. Even I, who knows zip about bikes, knows that that ain't good on a very hilly race. Ryan was only able to change gears with the front set, meaning he had a total of 3 gears to work with while doing one of the hilliest races he's ever done. UG!!! Then, you'd imagine that would have been enough to have him call it quits, but nope. On lap 3, he got a flat tire!!
The goal of the race was to try and do 5 laps (22.5 miles each) in the shortest amount of time. With all of the mishaps and issues Ryan had, he was only able to finish a total of 4 laps, but he was overall pretty happy with the race in general. I enjoyed it, and the nap I got while he was gone!! If I was a betting woman, I'd bet that we would be heading up for this race again next year.
So, that is the last official race for Ryan before Ironman, the last weekend in August. He still has alot of workouts between now and then, but it's getting close now. More importantly (well, if you ask me, I'm sure Ryan will say otherwise), we are headed on vacation to Colorado on FRIDAY!!! I'm so excited to take a vacation. More on that later as I will be blogging through the vacation with pictures and stories, but we leave Friday afternoon, in a van, with my parents, my sister and her husband, Andy. You gotta love a good cross country road trip!!