by Michael Hast
I rode the 55 mile event. It was good to see our recreational riders and pray with them before the start. I lined up with friends from the Shootout ride; Big Mike, Lorenzo, Richard, Chris, Conor and Bill. Before the gun went off, I was also able to pray with Conor and Bill, who are not IC3 members, but strong Christian brothers. We decided to put the hammer down up Swan Rd. and up La Canada in order to dwindle down the group to about 15 riders before we got on the Frontage road. That was a success and after Big Mike's unfortunate flat tire we had a group of 13 who were contending for the win. Going down the Frontage road, the participation in the pace line was spotty, as riders tried to save power for the final couple of miles. I attempted a breakaway at the corner of Congress. I was caught by the group just before turning on Grande. I could feel at that time that my leg strength was not the same as when I broke away at the CCCC. Nevertheless, Richard, Lorenzo and I attempted another breakaway on 22nd, just before 6th Ave. On 6th Ave. we were caught by the group and then everyone tried to line up for the final sprint. At that time we encountered a couple of riders from the 104- and 75-mile distance, which interfered with the sprint. I played it safe and didn't go all-out, finishing 7th. I had a safe and blessed ride, all praise be to our Heavenly Father!