So I didn't have plans to do ORAMM this year as I was lazy getting a spot then it sold out. I tried a bit in early July to get a spot but nothing was available at the time so I was pretty content in skipping it in favor of some more Leadville specific riding. Then Kelly called. 2 days before.
He explained that his family was going to be out of town for the weekend (a very rare thing for him) and that he wanted to do something fun. "What's this ORAMM thing like?" he asked. Now, Kelly is a strong rider but anyone not wise to the ways of ORAMM (or Pisgah) is likely to have an uncomfortable day. I told him all about how hard it is but he still wanted to do it, having NEVER RIDDEN A SECTION OF IT, EVER. He only had one condition, that I ride with him for most of it. That was cool with me as I was looking for a longer training day than I would typically get out of racing it. "Ok,..." I said. "Let's find some slots. I'm sure we should cook something up." We did, the price was right, a hotel was booked and we were locked in.
I have been pretty tired lately with all the Leadville training so the thought of just riding ORAMM was better than racing it the entire time. My plan was to go out with the leaders and then as I fatigued I would drop back and hang with Kelly for the remainder. Bishop and Turner were there along with a slew of other great riders so I knew it was going to be fast. I was able to hang around the top 10 for almost 2 hours (until I got to Curtis Creek Road and checkpoint 2). There I took a nice long break, got some food, got bored after 15 minutes, rode up Curtis Creek for about 45 minutes, then back down to meet Kelly. I got to see a bunch of people I know on the way down and gave them a cheer. I rode with Rich Dillen long enough to take his empty beer bottle off of him and land it in a recycling can. Slacker for not having a light weight can.
The rest of the day was spent watching Kelly suffer; and boy did he. He was strong, though. He had a good pace going up Curtis and kept that most of the day. Props to him, man. He rode strong and we finished it together in 7:29. Nice job man! Three days later he raced the Wednesday night Charlotte Summer Series and won.
Oh yea, we saw Chad Andrews at the top of Curtis Creek with a crew riding the Parkway. He snapped a shot of our glory. I think Kelly was showing signs.