What is LOTOJA greatness? Heck, what is LOTOJA?
First, LOTOJA, or LOgan TO JAckson Hole, is the longest US Cycling sanctioned bicycle race in the US. Truly an epic. Riders from around the globe converge in smallish Logan, Utah, to suffer through 206 miles of racing through some of the most beautiful and challenging riding on our planet. Its an enigma. Some people love it. Some hate it. Others love to hate it. Most come back for more. I have met very few "one and done" LOTOJA participants. It gets in your blood and consumes you. Most of us proudly display our cryptic vinyl sticker on our cars to show how awesome it is to be a part of.
Second, what is LOTOJA greatness? That depends. For many, just finishing the thing is well deserved greatness. Or maybe putting a relay team togther with some friends. Some want to set the outright record time. For me, I would love to make it to the podium as a Cat 4 racer. There, I said it. That goal is offically written down. This blog is my diary, my training log, to acheive this goal.
My first experience with LOTOJA was in 2007. I had only recently purchesed a road bike and was hooked. I've been an athlete my entire life, but had let my fitness go a bit and was too heavy to convince anyone I was any type of athlete however. So the bike was a great way to drop some pounds. I've lost 40 lbs since taking up riding seriously in June of 2006.
During that first year of riding, some buddies started talking about this crazy race from Logan to Jackson. I soon found out this was THE race for Utah cyclists. You can't tell anyone you're a cyclist in Utah without them asking "have you done LOTOJA?" Even non-cyclists ask the question! The vehicle sticker says it all.
My goal in 2007, along with my great friend and training partner, Kevan Steed, was to finish in the time frame allowed. We managed to do it in 11 hrs and 50 minutes. Good enough for 5th place in our division, but well off the pace of where I'd need to be to come close to 5th place as a Cat 4.
As I said before, this blog will be my diary. Really my accountablilty to train right. I'll post as often as I can and hopefully make it interesting. I'll put up what I'm doing to train, some advise I've heard along the way and I'd love some input from you as well.
Stay tuned and happy riding!