Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sam and Dave's Excellent Adventure

 Here's Sam and Dave's story about their UAR experience. They got 2nd overall in the biggest Urban Assault Ride of all time!

From Sam....

"It was my first time participating in the Denver Urban Assault 
ride...so I really didn't know what I was in for. One thing I had 
going for me was that I was a bike messenger in San Francisco from 
1992-1997 so I had a solid 5 years of dodging cars, getting doored 
from parked cars and getting trapped in the cable car tracks. I had 
also entered a few alley cat races during my time in SF, which were an 
illegal version of the Urban Assault race, mainly for bike messengers. 
Dave had done the UAR last year and had a blast doing the ride with 
his wife Julie. Being that she is 6 months pregnant I think skipping 
the slip and slide this year was a good idea, so I volunteered to be 
Dave's partner. Since Dave lives in Denver and is my brother-in-law 
this was a no brainer, he knows the city and I don't. We decided to 
use our road bikes with mountain bike pedals and shoes, which is what 
I had used as a bike messenger. At first our game plan was to take it 
easy and have fun in the race, then the night before we decided to 
just go for it and see how well we could do.

I got a ride to Denver with our co-ed Adventure Fit team, Mike & Kelly 
Bernhardt. At the start line the massive crowds started to gather (of 
course it was a record number of riders for an UAR event) and I was 
being pushed into a port a potty by an overly aggressive female team. 
I heard 3, 2, 1, GO and then a 100 yard sprint to the bike and my 
hamstrings were laughing at me, they were saying "You don't run, what 
do you think you're doing old man"! The second Dave and I hit the city 
street I went into bike messenger mode. Dave would yell which way to 
turn and I would be the sacrificial lamb checking to see if it was 
safe and clear to go. We made it past the first check point with no 
problems and Dave knew the second mystery check point right away so we 
headed off West. In the rush to the next check point Dave clipped a 
pedal and went down pretty hard and enjoyed his first road rash of the 
year! After dusting himself off we were off and running. Thank god 
Dave had studied the route because I was completely lost at this time, 
taking wrong turns and hoping we weren't lost. We raced it like a 
downtown criterium or short track race, sprinting out of every corner. 
Dave and I arrived at my favorite checkpoint, where we had to dive 
into a refreshing swimming pool and find 3 different New Belgium 
beers. We saw the 3rd place team nipping at our heels, so after the 
Keen sling slot check point I knew we had to punch it to drop these 
guys. After each check point we noticed less and less people, and by 
the time we got to the slip and slide we were all alone, no massive 
crowds, just Dave and I and some lonely volunteer roasting in the 100 
degree July sun. So at this point we thought we were doing well. We 
got into Skyline park for the finish and could not find the finish 
line- Where the hell was it? Then I saw Talisa yelling at us to get to 
the finish line at the other end of the park. We finally had our beads 
counted and found that there was another team that finished before us, 
the volunteer said it was some guys named Levi Leiphiemer and Lance 
Armstrong...funny...Anyway, I had a great time and would for sure do 
it again and pre-ride the course next year."


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