By: Ben Dodge, Esq., Ultra Cyclist
For our 3rd year in a row now our team has been lucky enough to race LOTOJA. LOTOJA is the longest single day USAC sanctioned road race in the united states. It is approximately 203 (give or take) miles crossing through parts of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Starting in LOgan Utah, you race TO JAckson Hole Wyoming (thus LO-TO-JA). It is simply beautiful and amazing. In order to race LOTOJA you actually have to submit an application and get drawn to race. I do not know the details of how the selection process is made, but I am grateful for our BAA Team’s opportunity for the past 3 years in a row to race LOTOJA! It has become a staple for us and we look forward to it every year.
Of course, for those of us BAA clowns in Arizona, we must commit to training all summer long in order to be race ready for this epic event. LOTOJA is always in September. Hammering out grueling 100-200+ mile training rides in the summer isn’t for everyone. But for us, we love it. In fact, most of us continually comment on how much we love LOTOJA in large part for the crazy fun training rides we force ourselves to do all summer long. Some of the highlights include training rides such as: Gilbert AZ to Tucson AZ and up to the Mt. Lemmon Summit (175 miles); Gilbert AZ to Globe AZ and back (140 miles), 5x-10x South Mountain (SOMO) repeats, Gilbert AZ to Payson AZ and back (170 miles), Gilbert AZ to Florence AZ to Casa Grande AZ to Gilbert AZ (120 miles), Gilbert to 9 Mile Hill and back (104 miles), Vision Relay, Iron Lung, EOP, Saguaro lake, and on and on. So many fun rides. Essentially every Saturday we are engaged in a new adventure around the state of Arizona with approximately 1oo miles or more on the ride. Often because of the heat and other Saturday family commitments we start these rides between 3am and 4am. It can be incredibly early but I am always amazed at how many teammates and friends show up to hammer out a Saturday Century ride with us. So fun. So inspiring.
This year was a great year as quite a few of us on the team were attempting to get the Triple Crank award. In order to earn this award you must complete 3 of the toughest races in Utah all in the same calendar year: Vision Relay, Iron Lung, and LOTOJA. We were so proud to get several of us on the podium for this fantastic award this year. Congrats to my amazing teammates who earned this award this year!
I think my favorite part of LOTOJA this year was seeing our team and SAG crew grow from the 8-10 of us our first year to over 30 of us this year. And standing alongside of us was over 20 friends and family members there to volunteer as SAG crew! The growth, energy, and positive vibes were really cool as we hung out the night before and had an awesome team dinner and team meeting. The sheer size of our group represented thousands of hours of training, volunteering, commitment, and support. We are one big happy BAA family. It was cool to meet some new faces, and make some new friends as our team has spread into several states now including Utah. The friends and family who supported us were simply amazing and inspiring with their continued acts of selflessness. That is for sure my favorite part of LOTOJA this year.
A close second to that was the race itself. I loved our race this year. Several of us had trained hard and we had developed a strategy and some goals that we knew we would have to work hard to achieve. We did just that. Many on the team set personal records shaving time off their previous best times. Many more finished for their first time. Others endured some grueling physical, medical, and certainly mental challenges. Everyone seemed to come away from this year a little better, a little stronger, a little wiser, a little more ready for whatever is next. It was cool to see that in the eyes of my teammates. This year our teammate Eric Woolsey snagged a 3rd place podium finish in the Mens Masters 55+ category, as well as his 10 year/2,000 mile LOTOJA award. He has raced LOTOJA 10 times. Epic! Congrats Eric!
My personal goal was to shave off about an hour of my best time and finish in nine and half hours. I openly commented on this goal and also expressed how happy I would be with any time less than 10 hours if I could be so lucky. Riding with my good friend and teammate Tom Liddell, we raced the whole race together and pushed ourselves as best as we could and found ourselves setting PRs all along the course. As the end drew near we found ourselves in a pack sprint for the finish. I was so pumped to see that our finish time was 9:28! We met/beat our goal! That is always a good feeling. Set it, plan for it, train for it, then work for it.
To all my teammates out there, and everyone else who showed up to race or support LOTOJA, I say thank you for your efforts. You all inspire me. LOTOJA is an amazing race. A full race report may be coming later if I get to it. But I will share a few things billeted here:
- Nutrition was spot on. I used 4 bottles of carborocket mixed with 6-8 scoops each. I carried 1 bottle of carborocket and 1 bottle of water on board. I ditched my empties and snagged new ones pre mixed and ready at the 3 designated Feed Zones for racers with crew (I believe they were 3, 5, and 6). I had 3-4 GUs for good measure. I ate nothing else. I drank 1/2 of a glass bottle of real coke with real sugar (from Mexico) at each of the 3 feed zones. These were already opened and poured into a disposable plastic water bottle (the kind you get in a case of 24 at a grocery store). This nutrition was ready to grab and go at each feed zone in a draw string bag labeled with my name on it. And the crew was expertly ready for me each time (THANK YOU!).
- I had 2 flasks of pickle juice through out the entire race – mostly preventive. I carried this in my jersey picket.
- I consumed 2 salt pills every couple of hours – I carried them on board in a little plastic vile.
- I consumed 2 Excedrin every couple of hours -carried them on board in a little plastic vile.
- My total stop time was 3.5 minutes and only because the draw string bags weren’t great for reaching into while riding. So we had to stop to open them and grab our water bottles out of them. Plus, Tom and I were hurting at the top of the KOM climb so we stopped for approximately 1.5 minutes there to get a water bottle and coke from the neutral sag there. 😉
- I never stopped to pee. I sued a condom catheter. It was fantastic and saved loads of time and energy for me. Frankly, it was genius and I’m glad our teammate Darin Edwards thought this up for us to experiment with (Thanks Darin). For the record, I had practiced using this on other training rides. I will for sure be using it again on other longer rides or races. See this article here for more discussions on peeing while racing and the condom catheter.
- Our average speed was something like 21.6 miles an hour (which includes our 3.5 minutes of stop time).
- Top speed was only 55 miles per hour.
- Burned about 5700 calories.
- Average HR was 150 bpm.
- Max HR was 187 bpm.
- Average Power was 199 watts, Normalized Power was 202.
- Max power was 1282 watts.
- Average cadence was 82 rpm, with a max cadence of 166 rpm.
- Elevation gain was 8,727′.
- No mechanicals or flats during the race, although Tom rolled up to the start line and he noticed hist front tire was flat! So with 4 minutes before we were supposed to start he and I scrambled to change his tire. We did just in time and it held up the whole way.
- Great weather and favorable winds for most of the entire day.
All in all it was awesome. I highly recommend you give LOTOJA a try. The training alone is awesome.
Be safe out there and keep the rubber side down!
Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.
Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
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In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
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You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His main Arizona offices are located at:
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Mesa, Arizona 85206
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Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.