Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Race Day: St. George to Ancaster

On Sunday my buddy Tony and I participated in our second St George to Ancaster 35 kms bike race, which is the half distance to the 65 km Paris to Ancaster race.
Up until 5 minutes before the race I was having a blast.
Then it started snowing and I started to get cold and the fun stopped.
Ten minutes into the race I couldn't feel my fingers anymore and I was wearing full fingered gloves. The wind was blowing, it was cold and the snow was falling encasing everything in a fine layer of ice. At this point the race became and exercise in pain and endurance and I am not a big fan of pain.
I think it was at this point that I started whining like a little girl.
Fitness wise, this race was not a problem, even with the strong winds. But I still couldn't keep up with Tony and I blame my bike for part of this. My bike is a tank, and it literally weighs as much, and my tires are almost twice the size of his. Excuses I've come up with after the fact, but the truth was Tony was just faster then me.
But my fat tires did play a big part in my ultimate downfall.
About 25kms into the race, we hit a mud patch about 1km long, where we had to dismount and push our bikes through. My tires kept getting bogged down with mud to the point where they would no longer roll. I tired to carry the tank, but with the added weight of the mud it was next to impossible. So I would have to stop every few metres and pull out the mud from around my tires to get moving again. It took forever to clear the mud field and by the time I had made it to solid pavement again both my bike and I were totally caked in mud.
I cleaned it off as best I could, and we set off again. No more then 10 pedal strokes after we started I heard a crack and my chain popped off. I looked down and thought, no problem, just pop it back on and away we go. But no such luck, all the mud had apparently put a tremendous amount of strain onto my rear de-railer and snapped it right off.
My race was done, 10kms from the finish line.
I told Tony to keep going and finish the race, which he did in a time of 2:54:00.
You would think a race like this would have a sweep-up crew to follow behind and pick up any stragglers or break downs, and maybe they did, but I never saw them.
I ended up walking a km or so out to a main road where I met another guy with a broken de-railer sitting in a cop car for warmth and a girl who had hurt her back pushing her bike through the mud field. She was waiting for her boy friend to come rescue her and when he arrived she offered to give me and the other guy a ride back to the finish line with our bikes and us covered in mud. Thanks to Eric and sweet girl who's name I forget. You saved my bacon and I appreciate it.
It was a tough race this year and I hated every minute of it. I was cold and wet and totally ill prepared for the weather conditions I faced. I whined like a little girl and may of cried like one too, but would I do this again next year?

You bet I would.

No comments: