by Michael Hast
It was cloudy, it was very windy, a perfect day for a time trial. That is how the Southern Arizona Omnium started with the Flap Jacks 20k TT. We had to drive to Picacho which is about a 40-minute drive from Tucson. We didn't set up our Christian Cycling tent and flags due to the wind. Margo, Greg, Gary and I nonetheless got ready for the battle against time and wind. During the warm-up, I had trouble getting my Wahoo Fitness HR monitor to work and display my heart rate on my Wahoo display. As with many TT's it was an out and back course. The "out" part was into the wind and on the way back we had a great tailwind. Once the race started, I accidentally pressed the pause button rather than the lap button which messed me up for the first couple of miles. I tried to un-pause which didn't work at first, so I fiddled with my device for a bit. Not good when you're supposed to stay in the TT position. About 2 km before the turn-around point I was passed by the rider who started behind me. It felt as I was standing when he rode by. I for sure thought I could keep him in sight to the turning point and then on the way back, which was a fine thought. Reality was different. With the tailwind on the way back, I hammered as best as I could and finished 7th that day.
The Colossal Cave Road Race on Sunday was the second part of the omnium. The Cat 5 race was about to finish when I arrived at Pistol Hill near Colossal Cave. They started around 7:30 am, and our Cat 4 race didn't start until 10:53. Praise the LORD, I got to sleep in. After talking to the guys about their race, I got ready and warmed up. Our race was 54 miles (or 6 laps). The 1st lap of the race was pretty casual, even though Colton tried to break away on the 1st lap. We wheeled him in slowly but surely. On the 3rd lap a group of 3 broke away and stayed away for a little over 2 laps. Team Trisports worked hard with the winner of the road race to catch that breakaway. It was very tough to even hang on. After catching the breakaway, there was 1 lap to go. Initially the speed slowed for everyone to catch their breath and position themselves. With 4 miles to go, Kyle broke away and his team was blocking. With me in his tow, Buzz launched an attack to bridge to Kyle, which we did successfully. Kyle was startled when we passed him and I had to laugh out loud. With 2 miles to go, Ryan, another strong Trisports rider, launched an attack and stayed away to the base of Pistol Hill. This time Buzz launched another bridge attack with me, which was not so secret as we had hoped, because I wasn't looking at Buzz. So he had to call out my name. Hey everyone, we are about to launch an attack :-). Well, the gap to Ryan was bridged and the sprint up Pistol Hill was on. It was a tough uphill battle and I placed 8th that day.
On my way home I listened to Pastor Jons sermon "Forgiven!". "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalm 32:1-2