Who knows what weather we’ll see in the next five days... I figured someone might be bored one day this week and find this report interesting so here goes.
Somehow, last fall, I had this idea that a cross bike would be fun to build up. Well, I guess it earned it’s keep today! I woke up at the crack of dawn, packed my stuff and made it out the door to catch a ride with my buddy Edgars, his mom Valda and her partner Emory out to Ancaster. It was nice not to have to worry about directions and traffic but I must say the rear-seat legroom in Jeep Cherokees is lacking…
Anyway, I had registered late which meant I was supposed to be put into the third wave, I didn’t take into account that if you have a UCI licence you should be in wave 1 regardless of the number of entrants. At registration in the arena in Ancaster, I found my number-plate had a red number so when we got dropped off at the start line in Paris, I warmed up a bit and lined up within the mass of nutbars in wave 1.
I spotted Dimitry, Brian and Rob on the warm up and I knew Jeff and Alex were riding too so I was confident I would see a few BCC jerseys over the course of the day. Well, it was a bit chilly early in the morning so I made sure I had arm warmers, two jerseys and my rain jacket, knickers and bibs on, not to mention a slathering of embrocation. BTW, if you’ve never used embro, you’re missing out, it’s awesome stuff…
Well, the announcer got us all going up the main drag, onto a dirt road and then right onto a cinder and gravel rail trail. It was pretty much “on the rivet” for the first 25 minutes, with two distinct riding lines and a gravel bit in the middle. I felt like I was doing well, picking wheels to chase and draft, jumping across breaks that were forming as the field stretched out. I caught up to Jeff, who remarked what a fast start it was, just as I realized that yeah, we were moving along at a good clip. Anyway, I kept the pace up until a tight right-hander had us going up a loose rocky climb. Lots of racers were already running it and I was puffing so I hopped off and did my best to trudge over the top. Well, I managed to catch up to Scott (who I mistook for Bruce until today, April 20th!). He was riding a pretty awesome mountain bike and was doing a really decent pace so I tried my best to keep up. Well, that lasted most of the race, Scott was hauling it and I tried to make up ground where the terrain favoured the cross bike... From rail trail to farm fields, paved road to dirt road, atv trail to muddy ravine, today had it all. As I remember, the only scare came when a doe decided to bounce across the trail right in front of me. For a second, I was sure it was going to try to squeeze through my spokes… anyway, no such luck and thus, no stew for dinner! Oh, and there was also the nasty creak from my bars when I hit a pothole at 45kph! Yikes, I hate that noise!
I had been drinking as much as I could, and had downed a couple gels but still started to cramp up inside 5km to go. As I got off my bike to trudge down this muddy ravine, my legs locked up and I knew I had to back it off if I didn’t want to Forrest Gump the rest of the race. I started to feel better when I dropped off the group Scott and I had been riding most of the day with and ended up riding in solo up the last grinder of a climb. Crossing the finish line, I appreciated hearing my name called out by the announcer. I looked down at my computer and saw that my riding time was about 2:28. I was stoked to have beaten the 2:45 I had set as a goal.
I bumped into Alex who had a great race as well. Edgars ended up 78th and through some chip-timing error thing, I ended up 79th. I was pretty pooched out and gave my bike away to Emory who graciously took it and power-washed the heck out of it… cleaner than when I started! Well, it didn’t take long to grab my half-subway sub from the arena, I was starving! I never did get to say thanks to Scott for all the great pulls, so Scott if you’re reading this, thanks man! I also saw a disappointed Dimitri, he bent his chain and didn’t do as well as he had last year. Mechanical failures are a pain in the butt!
After that, we hopped in the car and I pretty much slept the whole way home! Two beers this evening and I decided I’m good to go for next year!
Good job all BCCers! Another grand day out!
Edit: Hey, sorry all! I screwed up my post this morning trying to reply to some comments and deleted everything including everyone's cool comments! Aaargh! Anyway, I appreciate everyone's additions and encourage you to re-post them. Oh, and Scott, i mistook you for Brian all freakin' day! Again, I'm a doofus!!