Sunday, September 29, 2013

Coeur d' Fundo 2014

A little over a month ago, I remember cruising over Lake CDA in a similar ferry so I could swim back across the lake in the CDA Crossing 2.4 mile swim. That day presented us with beautiful clear, sunny skies, but water that roughened us up a bit. Yesterday, the lake looked unmistakably angry: whitecaps as far as the eye could see. Yet I had no intention of swimming across the lake. Instead, I found out the minute I stepped off the ferry in Harrison that I'd be swimming around the lake--on my bike. Bryan and I had originally intended to ride the Gran fondo of 108 miles, contending for a medal that signified we'd completed more than a ride, but a race against the clock. However, the fact that we'd just come off a long triathlon season, Bryan had just returned from a business trip to Boston with a cold, and the weather was striving to chase everyone back home, we opted to ride the Centro route instead. We figured 47 miles would provide us with enough of a workout to make our time worthwhile.

Off the ferry, we started out on the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes for Plummer and then turned north toward CDA. Riding the highway back felt fantastic. If the falling rain hadn't already soaked us to the skin, then commuters did a heck of a job splashing us with standing water from the roadway. It felt comical, really. To think I paid 90 bucks to drive all the way to CDA and ride in such conditions for shits and giggles: I must be stupid.

We rode back into CDA, embellished with road grime, snot, and spit all over our faces and clothes. The finisher announcer seemed more excited about our entrance than we did. Bryan and I rode side-by-side down the finisher's chute, and the announcer--despite his attempt to encourage us to make a competition out of our finish--could not convince us to sprint any more. We'd already ridden our butts off to make a longish ride "short."

Soaked to the skin, we headed into the Plaza shops to eat our post-race brat, potatoes, and pastry. We began to shiver and waited...and waited...and waited for our dry clothes we'd dropped off in Harrison to arrive. After about an hour, we shuffled to the truck and took advantage of Bryan's heater to warm up. Another hour had passed with us sitting in the truck, finally recovered in warmth. Bryan stepped out into the drizzle and wind to retrieve our bikes. Figuring our clothes had likely arrived by 2 hours, Bryan dropped me off at the entrance to the Plaza shops. I raced by three security guards in a sports bra and bare feet, weaved through others enjoying beer and food at Oktoberfest, grabbed our bags, and met Bryan again as he circled around with the truck. Done!

We missed out on the beer and the conversation afterward, yet we had done our best to enjoy a day filled with extenuating circumstances. I hope to have the chance to race either the Medio or Gran distances next year. May the day supply sunshine and warmer temperatures!

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