Can someone give me a life line? Or at least a PB sandwich?

You may remember the show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” I remember watching it years ago, and being mildly bored by the questions starting at kindergarten level and increasing in difficulty as the stakes got higher. I grew up watching Wheel of Fortune followed by Jeopardy in my grandparent’s cabin before bedtime at 7:30, and this Who Wants to be a Millionaire was in no way comparable.

I haven’t thought about that show in years.  However, during the Wente Vineyards Road Race yesterday morning, all I could think about was that silly game show.

Wente. 4 laps. 5 times up “the hill”.  Power climbs following “the hill”, fast descent.  Wide open.  Climb again.  One of those courses you go around and around and pass your vehicle every time and maybe consider just hopping in and driving home, yet you persist, one lap at a time.  I mean, you drove the hour to get there, and ate your oatmeal, you might as well race, right!?

Speaking of oatmeal, mine spilled in the car on the way to the race into my helmet and cycling apparel.  Excellent.  I arrived at the race course at 8:00 for an 8:25 start time.  Never do that.  Also, never plan to get to a race by simply hopping on the highway to your destination, and then looking for “racer type people” getting off at an exit.  Never do that either.  I pinned my number on the line, and put on my glasses as a chunk of oatmeal fell into my eye.  Oops.  Oh well, here for training right?

Race started.  I got myself in a break.  Well, a more appropriate phrasing would be Peanut Butter & Co created a break, and I was the rider sandwiched in between all PBs.  Good thing I happen to love peanut butter, and happen to love the girls as well, but this is racing.  This is serious.  But, I will admit I had a lot of fun as well.

The break.  Kat. ShelleyO. Olivia. Me.  What is wrong with this picture? 3 PBs and 1 TIBCO.  I love these girls, did I already mention that?  Great friends and training partners, but we were wearing different kits.  Well, they all called each other ahead of time and were matching.  I was not.  Uh oh.  The break rolled.  We had fun working, and getting training.

Then it happened.  1 lap to go.  Kat looks at me and say, “Ali, I am saying this as your friend.  You may want to try to think about winning this bike race, because things are not looking good for you.”  Game on.  Me. ShelleyO.  Kat.  3 of us.  2 PBs. 1 TIBCO.  20k from the finish.  I said, “Wait…can I use a life line?”  They just looked at me, smiled, gave me a loving pat, and then the attacks started happening.  I was outnumbered.  I was chasing Kat.  Then Shelley would attack.  I would chase Shelley.  Kat would go.  Ouch.  I said, “What about polling the audience?”  The attacks continued.  “No, really, can I at least use a 50/50?”  No.  We got to the final hill.  I tried, but I had to smile a little grimace of pain as the final surges continued.

3rd.  Shelley 0. Kat. Me. Olivia came in a won out of the chase group.  PB. PB. TIBCO. PB.  Talk about a Peanut Butter and TIBCO sandwich.

I love racing in NorCal.  Some of the best riders in the nation at local racing.  Good training.  Amazing friends.  Next time, I would love to use a life line, who would I call?  I know, but I will keep that secret.  And I might reconsider it the next time someone offers me a peanut butter sandwich.

Tour of the Gila.  Next stop, New Mexico.

Up "The Hill", photo by Michael Hernandez

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