Tracking the 200: The first day
By Jeremia Schrock
Sun Star Reporter
The Sun Star’s Jeremia Schrock reports on location as a team of UAF students competes in the Fireweed 200 bicycle race.
Terri Donaldson, Bippy’s mother, has no concerns when it comes to her daughters involvement in the race. “I know she’s done it a couple of years with her dad, but now she’s branching out on her own. She’s very resourceful. I mean I let her head to Japan on her own! At least this time I know she’s in the same state!”
By the time noon rolled around, a very tired and worn Killasaurus Wrecks found itself at the pre-race registration and orientation at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. What surprised the team most was how young they were compared to most other participants. The orientation was attended primarily by the middle-aged, followed by young families with children.
“Most people who do [the race] do it for the fun,” said Kennicker. “Like parents with their 12-year-old kids.”
Keill pretended to be annoyed by Kennicker’s comment. “I will not stand to be beaten by a bunch of 12-year-olds!” Keill joked.
The orientation, hosted by race director Peter Lekisch, was essentially a safety meeting for participants. The team, especially Keill, was frustrated by the announcement that that there was to be no listening to portable music devices while biking. Keill, who says listening to music while he bikes keeps him sane, was visibly disturbed. Prior to the proclamation, Keill was leaning forward, resting his head upon a closed fist. His eyes closed. When he heard he wouldn’t be allowed to use his iPod, Keill sat upright, his full attention being given to the front of the room.
“I should have slept through that meeting,” Keill said. “It would have been a nice little power nap.”
By the time Killasaurus Wrecks made it’s way outside, the sky was gray and overcast. A strong wind had picked up across Kincaid Park. The dozen or so bikes that were locked to their racks visibly rattled. If the weather now was any indication, things were not boding well for the team.