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LOTOJA (1 day, 3 states, 203 mile race) (long post)(2 posts)

LOTOJA (1 day, 3 states, 203 mile race) (long post)Brooks
Sep 17, 2001 9:31 AM
I don't know if others on this Board did the LOTOJA, but I'll give you my experience. Saturday was the 19th annual Logan (Utah) to Jackson (Wyoming) bike race. It is listed as 203 miles although my bike odometer and support vehicle odometer has it about 199 miles. A minor quibble. This is a one day race. I think they get around the USCF maximum mileage requirement by having the awards ceremony on Sunday. Mandatory attendance or forfeiture of prizes, and they can call it a two day race. I first did this race 16 years ago as a graduate student at Utah State University in Logan. There were 40 of us and we all just rode out together in the cold drizzle. The finish line was a piece of tape on the road at the edge of town with a couple of spotters writing down numbers.

My how things have changed! Saturday's race had 550 riders including tandems and relay teams. Great organization, neutral support, police presence, timing mats with ankle timing chips, pre-race food, etc. It was a beautiful day for cycling, a cool morning turning into 70+ degree warmth with, generally, a tail wind. And beautiful fall foliage in the mountains. The huge peloton is separated into 6 packs with the fastest (Pro, I/II) going off first and then working down to us older citizen riders. Still, our pack was 140+ riders (citizen women, cit men 35-44, 45+, tandems and relay teams.

From Logan through Idaho it is rollers with gradual gain in elevation. A couple of steep pitches 2 miles long, really broke up the pack. Stragglers connect and paceline, some learning for the first time. The feedzones were strange in that riders would pull in to stop, get food, chat, whatever. I just grapped the mussette bag, exchanged bottles and food and kept riding. I usually ended up with a different group than I rode in with. By the time I hit the Snake River Canyon with 50 miles to go, I figured that I would make it to the finish near the 10 hour time that I was shooting for. Unfortunately, there were a number of times that I was solo, including a section with a headwind, that would keep my time a little high. Hooked up with a group of 7 or so, picked up a few other stragglers, dropped a couple as well and rode through Jackson to Teton Village (the finish). Not much talking going on as everyone was in survivor mode. There were three of us in the group who were the same category and we sprinted the finish. We finished at 10 hours, 15 minutes and were top 20 (of 85+) in the category (cit 35-44). Next year I go up to 45+ so I can be the young one in the category instead of the older one. That is assuming I am crazy enough to do this again. My wife was great as support crew but still thinks this is all nuts.

Thanks for reading. Just wanted to share.
re: LOTOJA (1 day, 3 states, 203 mile race) (long post)Jon
Sep 17, 2001 9:38 AM
What a great account. Congratulations! You're a stud.