August 26th, 2017: Swift Summit NW 200

Well, after a long hiatus from blogging my training endeavors (primarily running related), I'm back to document my new adventures (primarily cycling related, and maybe some running... we'll see)! This first blog post pertains to the Swift Summit 200 mile cycling race, which took place last year (2017) on August 26th. So... I'm slightly delayed on my posting, oops.

The race took place on a Saturday. That prior Thursday I was packing my bags and decided to take a few photos of my supplies. Being that it was my first double century, I figured I might as well get some documentation and do some documenting so I could look back on what worked well and what I could've done differently (which was a lot!). For the race we were allowed to pack a drop bag (1 gallon zip lock bag), which we were able to access at three of the six control/check points). As it turns out, I hardly touched the majority of my drop bag, and primarily utilized the supplies available at the check points (which would vary of course, depending on the event).

Fast forwarding a bit, on Friday evening I checked in to gather my queue sheet, number, etc., met fellow riders, and grabbed some pizza and beer (carb loading, gotta be responsible!). Afterwards, I drove to the campsite where I would be staying both that night and the following night after the race. Upon arriving at the campground (a few hours later than planned) I pulled in to my designated spot, only to find a group of five people with two tents pitched, a canopy, and a picnic table full of food and supplies. I walked up and asked whether they were packing up to leave, but they indicated that they were walk ins and figured it was safe to grab the empty spot since it was late. Considering there was plenty of available grass for us all, I didn't mind and we all shared the spot, they even offered some food.

After unloading my car and pitching my own tent (while my fellow site mates got the fire going!), I brought my bike over to the picnic table to make some quick adjustments and small talk. As it turns out, the group was comprised of recent college grads from Australia who had embarked on a trip to the US for some festival hopping. Having gone to the Total Solar Eclipse Festival in Madras, OR they then drove up to British Columbia, and had just arrived in Lebanon from their BC trip (not sure what brought them to Lebanon). After the brief talk, I told them I had to get some sleep due to the early morning. Little did I know, my air mattress had a leak... so I woke up laying on the ground less than an hour later, inflated the mattress with my hand pump, then went back to sleep, then did that three more times...1am...2am...3am.  My alarm went off at 4am, I grabbed the coconut espresso water next to me (my favorite pre-ride drink), threw on my cycling gear and drove off to the start.

On my way over I realized I had left all my breakfast stuff back at the campsite, so the only food I had available was a banana and the Clif bars I had packed for the ride. This was the first mistake that would come back to bite me later on, not eating enough from the beginning (I only had one bar and the banana)!

Fast forward to the start, we had