LEWIS! placed 2nd in his last bike race of the season on August 22nd at the 1000 Warriors event. The 95 mile race started in Park City, climbed up American Fork Canyon the over Suncrest, finally finishing at the top of the brutally steep Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Suffice it to say, it was a hard day- made significantly harder by not only the 100 degree temps but the fact that LEWIS had no support vehicle and, as such, only had 4 water bottles total until he blew up in the last 8 miles going up Little Cottonwood and was forced to stop and guzzle as much fluid from a neutral aid station as he could.
Despite his spectacular suffering and dehydration on the final climb, LEWIS was extremely lucky in comparison to the 5 riders who, earlier in the ride while descending the tight turns of the narrow American Fork Canyon, ran into the back of a stopped SUV and suffered severe injuries. LEWIS and his breakaway group of Cat 4 riders arrived on the horrific scene maybe 15 minutes after the accident and it is still something that LEWIS would rather not think about, let alone write about. Thankfully, all the riders lived. The most seriously injured was airlifted out of the canyon (effectively shutting down the race for about an hour) and underwent a number of surgeries over the ensuing days but should be heading back to Arizona shortly if all goes well.
Continuing the race after such an event felt wrong and LEWIS had a hard time getting his head back in the game. Nonetheless he and 2 other riders managed to build a breakaway again (having lost the 5 minute lead they had previously built up to that point). Early on the final climb Will from Spin Cycles launched a vicious attack which broke the group of 3 into individuals at which point several things happened to LEWIS in close succession: first he noticed he had entirely stopped sweating and, in fact, had goosebumps despite the high temps, then he began to dry heave and feel quite peculiar and, finally, he began weaving on the road in speeds that soon approached the infinitely slow. Realizing that he was in trouble he stopped at a neutral aid station, sat down, and drank as much water as he could fit in his belly. Several minutes later he was rejuvenated enough to get back on the bike and managed to catch and pass the suffering Spin Cycles rider who, despite his strong efforts over the day, had succumbed to the heat as well. LEWIS finished 2nd overall and has spent much of the past 2 weeks re-evaluating the relative intelligence of continuing to race bicycles on roads.