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Barry Roubaix 2011

28 Mar

What is Barry Roubaix? Like the website says, “A Killer Gravel Road Race” or as I now like to say, 65 miles of Leadville, just replace the 5 big climbs with 40 little climbs and subtract 10,000 ft of altitude.  40 little climbs translates to zero recovery, non-stop pedaling.

Much like Leadville you see all types of bikes; mountain bikes, cross bikes (yes, always someone on a cross bike at Leadville), tandems and even a few road bikes (not so many road bikes at Leadville).  Even like Leadville – 1000 racers.

I got out of bed at 4:15 am on Saturday, picked up Todd of TenSpeedHero slash HalfAcreCycling fame and headed to Michigan.  While waiting in line to park (20 min  just to park, I’ve never been to a race where there was a line for parking) I noticed the outside temperature read 18 degrees, not so excited to be in Michigan all of a sudden.   Luckily, packet pick-up was a breeze, shout out your number and you got a plate.  No I.D.  No license.  No fuss.  Took all of 10 seconds.

Did I mention it was 18 degrees? We had a police escorted neutral roll-out (Leadville style) before hitting the dirt.  The initial dirt 2-track felt so good.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in the dirt and Immediately felt right at home.  After the first couple of  grunt climbs I reached down for my bottle and noticed that I had already lost one in the rough stuff and the nozzle on the  bottle  that remained was frozen shut. Great.

It’s been forever since I’ve done any climbs on a bike and Barry Roubaix did not disappoint.  The climbs are not the long, get into a rhythm grinds found in the West but non-stop short grunts that really wear you down.

I was so beat after 1 lap of the 2 lap race that I almost bailed.  Lap 1 was very much a pack race where road tactics and drafting either helped or hurt you,  I’d jam up a climb passing the riders around me only to get sucked back in to the group on the flats.  Lap 2 was all about attrition and I frequently found myself riding along all by myself.  There was a small pack that I rode with for part of the last lap but they shed me pretty fast on the last 5 miles of pavement, I ended up crossing the finish line in 3:48, 49th in the 65 mile category.

Barry-Roubaix is a race worthy of a road trip or flight from anywhere in the country.  Huge turn out, well run and well organized, great early season endurance race, awesome people, raffle and FREE flowing Founders.  Highly recommended! Oh yeah, a Canadian dude won on a cross bike.

A Big Effin Day

25 Mar

It’s been too long. I don’t remember the last really big effin day I had on a bike. Saturday will be that day. What makes a big effin day? For me it means the following things will be different from, say, a small effin day.

  • Suspension, It’s been a few years but I think I remember how to use it
  • GPS, don’t want to get lost
  • 260 oz. of CR, never carried that much before
  • 4800 calories, never ate that much before
  • Space blanket, just in case
  • Almost forgot, 22t cog

Check back Monday or Tuesday for details. I hope I’m able to post details. I’m so excite, high five!

Park City Point 2 Point Race

31 Aug

It’s about time. About time Utah had its very own endurance race that didn’t consist of going in circles on the same 10-15 mile loop for 12 -24 hours. Not that theres anything wrong with that I’d just rather actually go somewhere in lieu of getting on a treadmill.

We’ve had the Brian Head Epic, RIP, which was my favorite 100 mile race until the Butte 100 came into my life. There was also the E100, RIP, in Park City that had a great course and potential but too many political and personal problems to ever be great or survive for that matter.

Enter the PCPP. This will be the inaugural year but the organization, timing, interest, buzz, sponsors and course have all the markings of a race that has been going on for a decade.

I am very excited about it if you couldn’t tell and think that it will be one of those races to look back on someday and say, “I’ve been doing that race from the very beginning.”

Don’t look back and say, ” I missed out on it the first year, heard it was the coolest ever.” Sign up today because at midnight registration closes.

Park City Perfect 40

14 Jul

I turned the big 4-0 yesterday and to celebrate I signed Tasha and myself up for the Park City Perfect 10. It’s a 10 hour mountain bike race that follows a 7 mile loop in Deer Valley (time for a name change) with about 900 feet of climbing per lap and whoever does the most laps wins.

Here’s Troy Michaud from Maine in the ugliest jersey I’ve ever seen, ain’t it cool.  BTW, he can motor.  He came in 3rd overall even with 3 flats.  You heard it here first, remember the name.

Other than a flat tire on lap 5 and a broken pedal on lap 11 (turns out I can hike almost as fast as I can ride) the race went perfect for me. I lost the lead on lap 11 for about a half lap but got back and stayed there for the win.

The sportsman of the year award goes to Mick, who I just met at the start, he offered to sacrifice his race and give me his pedal when he passed me on the trail. He knew I was in the lead and just wanted to help, unbelievable! I declined but was really impressed with his attitude.

I definitely left everything on the mountain as I spent considerable time dry heaving after the race. As miserable as it was being curled up in the fetal position between bouts of heaving it was well worth it to know I gave everything and came out on top.

Dirt never felt so good.

I can’t think of a better way for a fortieth birthday to turn out.

Tasha hung in there and kept going the entire time in spite of multiple crashes and rode 50 miles of brutal single track. Way to go Tasha!

Congrats to team Holley for taking the co-ed duo win and Dave and Lynda for giving them some stiff competition. It was fun doing the last couple laps with the women’s overall winner, Jen Hanks and her significant other Shannon Bofelli who was just out riding support. Also, congrats to go Chucky and Woody for winning the men’s duo cat after Kenny and Tyson led most of the race on their single speeds.

The Vassago Jabberwocky continues to impress me with its versatility although, I think I may need to introduce a suspension fork into the mix as I’ve lost use of my right hand from that damn rigid fork. Any recommendations?