The 2014 edition of the Barry Roubaix was my first race of the year. On my way to Hastings I drove one of the gravel roads on the course to check conditions. On that one gravel road the conditions were good. But, the rain that fell the night before had different ideas.
Starting in Wave 1 was a new experience for me. I have never done that. I was chatting with a former rival (and former clyde) when we were staged up. Then we rolled up to the start line and waited the last two minutes for the start. 3, 2, 1...GO. I knew the start would be fast. All pavement. 150 people. The leaders went off like a rocket. I settled into my groove and just plugged away. We made the turn onto Yeckley Road and I could still see the leaders. I was impressed with myself for that....keeping them insight for nearly 2.5 miles. By the 3rd Sister the group was strung out and the leaders were gone.
I did start too fast....as usual. So I had to back off a bit but then I settled in. Starting in the first wave I had plenty of people to ride with. I knew Jay, Mark, Ken, Brian, and Lisa were chasing so I kept plugging away. Conditions were interesting to say the least. The roads were still wet and I could definitely feel extra drag. Some of the areas were awful. Deep mud and mud puddles which made it like riding in peanut butter. A few miles in a group of guys were passing and the first guy went down, taking two others down with him in some deep mud. I made it safely through and just kept plodding away.
Finally making to the pavement on Gun Lake road I really found my rhythm. I started to pick off a few people and I was able to hang with a smaller group and recover. I was comfortable. I knew I was going to miss my goal time by the 11 mile mark, but I was still having a lot of fun. Lots of people all suffering the same. Well...some were suffering more than others when they were hurling on the side of the road...but you get the idea.
So, I took 57th place in my age group. Missed my goal by 19 minutes. Finished the race with a smile on my face. The new run into the finish was awesome. 3 miles of pavement but another long climb. I was ready to be done so I crushed it. I passed a lot of people and then let it rip over the top. It felt good to crush the last roller and then be going full tilt into the finish line. Awesome time! Even with conditions I was able to shave over 5 minutes off of my fastest time ever (2012) at this race.
Our whole team finished and was glad to be done! Here are our team members that were here:
Back Row: Left (me!)
Ryan (hiding in the back middle)
Front Row: Brian B. (left)
Mark K. (right)
It was a good time on a tough course. The Lowell 50 is next on the schedule on April 5th and then Yankee Springs is the following weekend. Season off to a good start! I weighed in at 242.25 this morning which puts me at 24.75 pounds down for the year. I am shooting for 239 next Monday. Just gonna keep plugging away!
Riding bikes is awesome.