The citizen start
The ride starts at the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon and goes all the way up to Brighton Ski Resort: 14.7 miles and 3,800 feet of climbing. I mean, it's all climbing. There are some flattish sections but it's truly all uphill, all the way up.
Just before he flashed me the peace sign
This year the "citizen" (non-licensed cyclists) start was at 7 a.m. H rode from our house to the start, as a warm-up; I left a little later and drove to meet him there. The weather was cool and there looked to be a tailwind chasing the cyclists up the canyon, so that was good. I watched H start, then headed back to my car.
Just above Solitude
Like before, I leapfrogged the cyclists: riding ahead and then stopping to cheer and take photos. Both times H looked great, really strong, even on my second stop above Solitude, when the already long climb kicks it up a couple notches.
I got into position at the finish and watched H come in, beating out another cyclist right at the end. I thought he looked very strong coming across the finish line and he confirmed that he felt pretty good.
What? No podium girls?
It took the race organizers forever to tabulate the results - and it seemed longer because it was cold, with clouds covering the sun, wind and temperatures in the low 50s. But it was worth the wait because H got second in his age group and took ten minutes off his 2012 time! I'm so very proud of him and I think he feels pretty good about his performance as well.