who showed up for the state championships
Saturday we had the State Championship Road Race. For several years we have been meeting in West Branch for this hilly, hot and difficult road race. The roads that wind in and out of the Cedar River valley several times are some of the best we race on all year. The Spokes were well represented with Richard Gilmore, Mark and Alijah Beatty, Mike Foster, Kathleen Porter and John Adamson. And our Keith Reynolds was the Head Referee. The conditions were perfect for fast and exciting racing. The weather was hot – hot and humid and that was a serious situation with legs cramps for many of racers – Kathleen and Mark were both victims and their results suffered as a result. Our great little Junior - Alijah Beatty and John both brought home the gold for the team. They were the oldest and youngest competitors in the race.
It was a good day to race and enjoy the Hoover Days Celebration.
I have two memories of racing on this course. The first was 5 or 6 years ago when Conn Day was still in the business of promoting 40 - 50 events a year. Conn always had a lot of interesting twists to his races. We raced one lap on the same 27 mile course, but the road race portion of the event stopped short at mile 22 and we time trialed in to town for the second stage of the race. These were small races with 10 to 20 participants and Mark Guthart was the registrar, follow car driver, official, time keeper and good guy. I can’t remember what caused the accident, but at about mile 15 three or four of the riders got tangled up, went down and broke up their bikes and bodies. Conn probably lost the most. Mark stopped to assist and 4 of us went on to the end of the road race while the rest were held up by the accident. With Mark back at the accident we had to determine where the finish line was and the order of finish by ourselves – without an official. With Conn – we were “racing just to be racing”
The other incident was maybe two years ago at this same State Event and I was racing with a really good group of 50+ guys, Colan Arnold – a strong rider – was having trouble with his rear shifter and when he stood up to climb one of the tough hills his chain skipped on his rear cogs and he went over the handle bars landing on his head. Needless to say he was in a bad way. We all stopped and called for help, assisted where we could and waited until the ambulance came. He regained consciousness after maybe 20 seconds and it turned out that he was not seriously hurt when he got up he said it was the best nap he had ever had.
The State Road Race is a good event with many memories from its different venues - Adell, Graf, Balltown even South Waterloo …