Wednesday, November 21, 2007

La Ruta Day 0

La Ruta de los Conquistadors is 4 day stage race held every year down in Costa Rica. This race was the 15th anniversary and also the first time they've had 4 stages.

I decided to do this race almost a year ago after reading about it. I was really getting into endurance racing and kept looking for bigger and bigger challenges. I read that this was the supposedly the hardest race in the world and that sounded interesting. I made a rash decision and signed up for it. Now all I had to do was get ready for it. Do to that I packed my schedule with as many 12, 24 and 100 mile events as I could. To make things even harder for myself I decide to do it on my fully rigid singlespeed. At the time I didn't know it but I was eventually going to get picked up by Vassago Cycles and I would eventually take my 29er Jabberwocky down with me.

So anyway enough background info. I actually got down there a few days early. I was meeting up with Sean and and bunch of other nuts doing this thing on singlespeeds (Dicky, Doug, Andy, Tim and few others). We killed a few days in San Jose doing the tourist thing, visiting muesumes and just looking around in general. San Jose is an interesting town. You can walk a block and enter a very poor area, walk another block and you are surrounded by American restaurants like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

The night before we got word that there was going to be some kind of party at the Best Western that we were staying at. Sean spoke Spanish farily well and we learned that there were was going to be some kind of beauty contest. This sounded interesting so we went out to eat and came back in time to see the show. Sean wanted to get a better look and walked into the party. Reported that there were a bunch of hot chicks walking around. I had to see for myself so I walked in. Immediately I'm surround by security and asked to leave. "Private Party" is all I understood. Ok, no big deal don't want to land in jail before the big race. I'd had enough exciment for one night so I decided to pack it in and get ready for the shuttle ride out to the coast where the race was starting.

The next day we get picked up by several buses and begin out 2 hour trip out to the coast. We pass through some beautiful countryside and eventually arrive at the Best Western - Jaco. Registration goes fairly smoothly and eventually I even find my bike among the hundreds laying on the ground. There were some really nice bikes laying around and I wondered what would stop someone from just grabbing a 7,000 dollar Scott. I figured my bike was ok since no one in there right mind would try to ride a singlespeed at La Ruta, well except the 8 of us trying it. In fact I was told several times that night that I was loco for even trying it. We'll see. I tried to put on a brave face but deep down I was scared as hell. Especially after seeing the mountains we were supposed to go over. I hoped my 20 tooth would work but brought a 21 and 22 just in case.

I head to my room and get ready for the 3 AM breakfast. I don't really sleep all that well knowing or better yet not knowing what is to come.

Hotel Filling up with racers


Sunset over the Pacific

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