It has been awhile since I had done a stand alone bike race. Focusing mainly on adventure racing and even more so the last 2 years on ultra running. I really wanted to get back on the bike, though. So I made it a goal to balance the bike and run training better this year. I enlisted coach Jen Segger to ensure that would happen as she is a beast on both.
As well I decided to sign up for some bike races. The first being P2A. I had heard such great things about this race. Thus thought it would be a great “ease” back in.
I signed up thinking it was after Pick Your Poison and would be a good training weekend and a way to spin my legs out after a 50k trial run. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the dates had changed. P2A was now the Sunday before PYP and not after. Yikes! Strategy changed a little bit, but not much. I still went in on tired legs, having done a 4 hour training day the day before and lots more the week leading up. Just hoping now my legs will hold for Saturday’s PYP.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only misstep leading up to this “training race”.
Barely two weeks before the race I went for a ride on my mountain bike and as I went to lock out the rear suspension it began to ooze. I have a specialized safire with a “brain”. So yes, my brain was oozing. Not good and not a quick fix.
As my poor bike, named Svetlana sits at Gears waiting to get fixed I was on the hunt for a replacement. In comes Bateman’s Bicycle Company to the rescue, (as well as many friends). Their fleet of cyclocross bikes were already spoken for for the race. However, they had a beauty Norco 29er for me to use for the next two weeks and for the race.
It was a sweet ride and it will be tough going my back to my 26er wheels. Although the first ride was not without complications, as I got a nail in the back tire 42minutes into my ride. But like a well oiled pit crew Bateman’s changed me out and I was off again.
You got to check these guys out. Great bikes for sale and rental. Spinning and bike storage during the off season. Plus a huge bike swap this weekend, April 30th- May 1st.
Finally race day and arrived and I followed all the cars carrying bikes along the highway to the finish line where the LapDogs Cycling Club Gears Van was ready to take us to the start like a bunch of VIPs.
It was super cold and I was really struggling with taking my jacket off or not. Fortunately, the temperature warmed up significantly on the 20 minutes we waited on the start line. So the jacket came off. It was fun to see a lot of familiar faces at the start and throughout the route.
It very dusty on the gravel road sections and as I was in a wave too good for me I was eating a lot of dust as people whizzed by me.
I felt good at the halfway mark, when I got out of the trail and connected with the 40k races. I knew the bottlenecks would get really long now. But didn’t realize how long until I got into the next short single track section. This section was about a kilometre and really shouldn’t have taken more than say 4 minutes. Sadly it was 24 minutes before I exited that section.
You see, it seems that over night someone had come through and chopped down 6 trees, causing an obstacle course that took time to navigate through. Not everyone got stuck as long as I and those around me did, we just happen to be the biggest bottleneck as both distances grouped together at once. As we stopped, we thought at first that it was due to one of the mudslide sections. However, as we approached we saw the downed trees, and their freshly chainsawed stumps.
I just can’t believe someone would do this. It is totally inconceivable. I mean, it was Earth Day on the Friday before people. Hug a tree, not cut a tree should be the motto.
It would be great if they found the culprit, but I am sure that is unlikely. I just hope it doesn’t happen again. So sad and disappointing, and to add insult to injury I rolled my left ankle as I hopped over the last tree. I had to take a minute to shake it off. (Now icing is happening so I can make to PYP)
Regardless, I enjoyed the rest of the ride through gravel roads, farmer’s fields and memorable mudslides. Ending with one last climb up Martin Rd, with an encouraging push and cheers from my fellow lapdogs.
My time my have sucked and redemption may have to follow, but it was a great day, with great people and on a great bike.
Thank you LDCC and Bateman’s!!!
P.S. I didn’t have to clean the bike as I handed back to Bateman’s right at the finish line. Renting may be the way to go. 🙂
P.P.S. Sadly as my bike still waits for it’s new brain to come in I will have to forgo the other bike races I had planned. But the season is long and I will get back on the steed.