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Aug 15

Kayaking and the Ada Criterium Bike Race

Today has been a fun filled day with kayaking, lunch at Ramona’s Table, and a bike race in Ada.  Jennie and I loaded up the kayaks this morning and headed up to Reeds Lake for while.  We spent about an hour on the lake exploring the shores and taking pictures of the wildlife.  We saw a pack of swans, a couple great blue herons, turtles, and a few other birds I haven’t yet identified.  One of the unidentified birds would almost hover in the air before dive bombing straight down into the water to grab its lunch.  They moved a bit too fast to capture on camera though. 

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Out on the lake

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The prehistoric bird (Great Blue Heron), the lily pads, and the unidentified birds

After kayaking, we swung by Ramona’s Table for lunch.  The food there is absolutely delicious.  If we could, we would probably eat there every day.  The have at least 30 different sandwiches on their menu along with lots of different salads and sides.  My goal is to eventually try each sandwich at least once.  I’ve probably had 10 so far, so still a long way to go.

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Jennie’s Chicken Ramona (the Usual) on the left and my Turkey Jack Rabbit on the right

Ada Criterium

After kayaking, I biked out to Ada to watch the Ada Criterium bike race.  This is actually the first criterium bike race I have watched.  I have seem plenty of road races back when my dad was doing races like the 24 Hour Challenge and ODRAM (One Day Ride Across Michigan), but never a circuit style race.  I didn’t even know the event was taking place until Thursday when I saw a banner for it while on my ride.  The race started at 10:00, but I didn’t head out until almost 3:00.  As I got to Ada, I saw the tail end of the kids race.  They were on their last lap and I didn’t have time to get the camera out fast enough.  They sure looked like they were having a good time though. 

The race I watched was the Class 3 riders.  Not quite amateurs, not quite pros.  I learned quite a bit about how the races work today and learned that you start as a Class 5 rider and move up based on experience and performance through the years.  Boy were these guys fast.  The course was a 3/4 mile semi-rectangle with a couple of serpentine turns.  I positioned myself on one of the serpentine turns at the start of the race.  These guys would whip through the turns without even hesitating.  Some were leaned so far over, it was amazing the bike stayed on the ground.

After watching for a bit, I made my way to the start/finish line.  It was cool to watch them go by there because every few laps they would have prime (prize for the lap winner).  On those laps, you would one or two people break away from the back and go balls out for the last 100 yards or so to win the lap.  

I ended up leaving before the race was over, I didn’t want to stand around for too long before having to bike back home.  My legs (and butt) were fairly sore from my hard rides this week.  My legs were really feeling tired on the hills on the way back home, but it is good way to HTFU.

Here are some of the pictures and video I took of the race.

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And finally, one of me, post workout taken by my camera happy bride.

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