2012 Elite, U23, Juniors & Paralympic Road National Championships – Day 1

Originally posted June 2012

Chester and I left the Cool Breeze Cyclery at 3PM and headed to Augusta for the 2012 Paralympic Road Nationals.  We made it to Augusta in 3 hours and checked into the Sheraton.

Chester asked me a couple months ago to pilot his tandem at Nationals but I don’t think I really understood how big a deal it is.  It started to sink in when we rolled through the hotel parking lot and there was a line of about 100 cyclists with their time trial bikes.  They were in line to get their bikes inspected by USA Cycling! 

Chester checked into the hotel and we met up with some of his friends.  We went to dinner with them and I sat next to a paralympian named Jasen.  He is 28 but was injured in Iraq in 2004.  He enlisted in 2003 and a year later he was overseas.  He sustained his injuries when and IED hit his vehicle.  It was heartbreaking to hear.  He lost his right eye and has no vision in his left eye.  It really put things in perspective for me.

After dinner we had a US Cycling meeting to discuss the details.   They discussed the start of the Time Trail , the course, times, etc.  And then they spoke about the ParaOlympic selection process.  Which to be honest, I don’t really understand.  But there are 6 spots open for the men which means there is the slightest chance Chester and I could qualify for the 2012 London Paralympics!

At the meeting I met some more of Chester’s friends. It was nice to see several people search Chester out to say hello.  It’s definitely a tight group. 

Chester and I race today at 3:15pm.  The course appears to be slightly rolling out and back with a small elevation gain on the way out and then fast on the way back to the finish.  It’s 8AM right now and we are heading off to breakfast.  Chester and I are both fired up to race.  I think we have a good chance to be really competitive!

Chester and I are heading down to the 2012 USA Cycling Paralympic Road Nationals next week.  We will be participating in the Time Trial and Road Race. 

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