Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Barry Roubaix....let the season begin

The 2011 season started with a cold....cold...day. It was about 18 degrees at the start....but it was sunny. I lined up at the start towards the rear of the wave. I know that this is the kind of start where people take off like mad and I didn't want to get caught in the scramble. The start was just as I suspected. By the time I got to the road I was nearly spit out the back of the pack. Knowing that the race was 35 miles I didn't want to blow up in the first flat section. Eventually I managed to hook onto a wheel and keep pace with a smaller group. The turn to Sager Road was where the real fun began. The first hill had people walking. Sager was in good shape because it was frozen and there were good lines to follow. After Sager I tried to find some people to ride with...but everyone was just smoking past me. The later waves were coming full force and I reminded myself to just ride my own pace. Eventually people started to slow down and I caught a few here or there. The split where the 23 mile loop turned opposite the 35 mile loop was where the traffic dropped. I turned onto the 35 mile loop and saw some people ahead of me. Just keep plugging away. I was well above my planned average speed by now...so I was feeling good. Eventually I stopped getting passed...because everyone was settled into their own grooves. There are three hills that just about murder people. Small, medium and large. The sisters as my teammates lovingly call them. At the bottom the third sister a family was blasting "Eye of the Tiger" out of their yard. The family was standing there cheering everyone one. Cool to see the locals be happy that 100's of people were zipping by their driveway. The third sister is just a monster. Seems like it goes on forever....but I just dropped into Granny and spin away. Its fun to pass skinny people on their cross bikes....walking....or stopped on the side of the trail. Numerous on this hill....and more to come. I started to gain on people. One at a time I would close gaps and leave people behind. They were running out of gas and I was just plugging away....keeping my pace even. Chelle and Zack were driving by and ringing the cowbell. It was cool that they could be right there to see what I was actually riding up and down and around. Put a new perspective on things for them. The last roughly seven miles are paved. I passed a lot of people on that last stretch. I was shooting for a time of 2:45:00 and I knew I was going to be close. I had a post here about defining what kind of rider I wanted to be. I remembered that as I was making the last long grinding climb. I was defining who I was as a rider. I was going as hard as I could with what I had left in the tank. I crossed the line in 2:49:56 less than 5 minutes off of my goal time. First race in the books....now you have the perspective of a "slower" rider. ;)

2 comments:

  1. It is very cool you did the race. It was too cold, too early in the season, and too hard of a race for me. Now I feel guilty for not attempting it.

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  2. It was super hard....but worth every pedal stroke. Good training for Yankee!

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