It was a cool morning with a thick overcast of light gray clouds. The sun was no where to be found yet?..Casey was on his way to Weatherford for the Peach Pedal 100K by 6am. He was meeting a few of the legendary ?Wheelbrothers? bicycle team to join him for this domination. To his surprise, everyone backed out but him! Ryan had to work until 8am. Rainer partied until 8am, and Ken?s wife would not let him up for air. So it was up to one ?Wheelbrother? to wave the battle red flag for his team.
Having made it there so early, Casey was able to get in the front of the starting line. The first 12 miles was full of quick, but steep hills through the city and the descent?s were no where to be found. Casey managed to stay in the top 20 riders until his chain fell off about mile 15. Fixing it quickly on the side of a highway, Casey was once again on his way. No telling how many riders passed at this point. At least 50 zoomed by. Riding by himself, Casey had enormous amounts of determination. The next 20 miles were through cow pastures and woods and slow rolling hills. Casey was able to keep his avg. speed just above 19 miles per hour to this point.
With full bottles of water and no sun, there was no need for Casey to stop at the first 3 rest stops. The sun finally came out about 10:00am. The temperature got up to 94 degrees by 11:00 am. Casey started having HnH100 flashbacks. The 4th rest stop was at the 75K turn off. Casey finally had to stop, his water bottles were low, and the quadriceps had started to turn to mashed potatoes. To Casey?s surprise, the race volunteers let him know he was in the top 20 to take the 100K route. That?s right boys, the top 20.
?The rookie of the year 2006? award winner was kicking a little ass of his own. As all races are, the last 20 miles are always the hardest. We were getting into farming communities, with lots of live stock and flooded creeks. The hills got longer and steeper. There was a hill that resembled the hill behind Hicks airfield but a little longer. Casey came across another rider on this hill that was walking his bike to the top. At the top, his partner waited, while he was vomiting. Although Casey and hills really don?t get along well, the adrenaline was so high running through Casey?s body he crushed this hill but dipped down to 10 miles per hour. After this hill it stayed pretty flat in an open pasture in what seemed like miles. Up ahead in the distance, was the Interstate 20 over pass. Right before the over pass, another group of riders started spilling onto the highway. I guess this was from one of the shorter routes that started 20 minutes after the 100K.
Once we got to the interstate, we took a sharp right and went up the service road, against the wind and it wouldn?t be right if it wasn?t up hill. With no one to draft with, Casey slowed to 12 miles per hour and continued on. Once the hill was conquered, the route once again changed direction, a sharp left over the highway. Just across the highway was another rest stop at a fire station. This rest stop looked like a restaurant. With canopies and lounge chairs, ice cold gatorade and cute little country girls pouring it. With the desire to finish in the top 20 on his mind, the recently divorced young man felt obligated to go get some dang Gatorade.
After Casey refilled his bottles and spit about all the game he had at this little country girl, who had her shirt tied up and was wearing boots, they exchanged phone numbers and Casey went on to finish the race. The rest was down hill and tree covered until it brought him back to down town. With a nice finish and a 22 year old country girl?s phone number in his pocket, Casey had a great sense of accomplishment. Where he actually finished? The rest of the ?Wheel brothers? may never know. Casey finished the race in 3 hours and 48 minutes with an average speed of 18.6 mph. Casey burned 8120 calories. 63.7 miles. With out a doubt, in the top 100 riders out of a whooping 1,961 riders!