So the Tour de King has come and gone…and no crown for me (unless Crown Royal counts!).
The race started with Lois driving me, NewfieSteve, and Fig to the start. EnglishJim and Ondre followed us in. Suprisingly, John (of Jean Luc Picard) pulled in behind us! We got suited up and ready; it was friggin cold, but we knew it would warm up so we all fought with what gear to wear!! Anyways NewfieSteve, Fig, and I all pulled into the paddock to start the race (EnglishJim, Ondre, and John were starting in Wave 2). Lois left in the truck to meet us at the finish.
With the sound of the gun, we were off. This race was about half road (gravel, and pavement), and half twisty single track, over the 50km distance. The start was a lengthy bit of gravel road. I pulled in front of Fig and Steve in an attempt to take and hold the lead. Steve is a rocket in the single track, and Fig is just young, fit, and fast so I needed to go hard right off the bat! Plus I really wanted to beat last years time of 2min12sec. I also did not want to get caught behind cyclecross bikes once we got into the singletrack. The cyclecross bikes are the wrong bikes for this race…too many roots and climbs on the singletrack…although many riders had them thinking they would be faster on the road sections. Speaking of climbs…this race was full of them…long steep climbs, on both the singletrack and the roads!! Many opportunities to pass!
However, hammering up the hills was almost my undoing. Well into the race, I hammered up a lengthy road climb; head down, I looked up to see a police car at the top of the hill, I sped towards it…assuming he was there to direct traffic for us racers. He was not. He was there to inform dipshit racers (me) that they had gone the wrong way and missed a turn somewhere down the hill! I turned around to head back, and saw at least a dozen racers that I had already passed dive into some singletrack…how many more also got in front of me? Did Steve? Fig? Damn idiot I was for not keeping my head up! Damn poorly marked turn! (Homer taught me that it is always good to deflect the blame.) Anyways I hammered on.
If Steve and Fig were still behind me, they had to be close now. I kept looking over my shoulder, while trying to pass back as many riders as I could! It’s tough to pass in the singletrack, but managed to gain ground on several riders who would walk the climbs…and a couple who made ill advised shifts on the climbs (broken chains). Got caught behind a couple of cyclecross bikes struggling on the singletrack…then…earlier than I expected…the ‘1 Km to go’ sign!! So I hammered out the last kilometre to the finish! It wasn’t as good of a finish as I would have liked…but I beat my time from last year by over 12 minutes.
A minute later Steve crossed the finish line. A few minutes later Fig crossed. Apparently Fig pulled ahead of Steve early…but then had a nasty wipeout on a very soft gravely descending curve. Steve passed him as he was laying on his bike in the gravel. Every racer for himself! (Just kidding…Steve made sure he was OK first).
Made for a good story on the way home. In fact, Fig yapped the entire way home. He’s the only guy I know that can work in bleeding hemorrhoids, great Danes, wood splitters, and altar boys all into the same conversation. Blame it on the post race beer and BBQ.
So this race was Sunday; as far as the rest of the week. Monday I went for a fast, solo, mountain bike ride on our local trails. Thought I should get in a ride before Richard wants his mountain bike back. (Thanks again Richard!!)
Tuesday I managed an early morning road ride…every time I ride the Venge, I remember how much I love that thing! It is fast! It’s impossible to not push your limits on it…it demands full effort!! After that ride I was pooched. The BicycleWorks group wanted me to join them for a ride in the evening, but I did not have the legs…I needed a rest (and you won’t hear that from me often!). Guess I really am getting old.
A very busy work day on Wednesday kept me off the bike…plus my daughter is visiting from Saskatchewan, where she is going to college, this week so I have been spending all non-work and non-bike time with her.
Here we are hanging out today at Café Domestique.
And Lois trying to hide behind Superman's Stout.
Joy! Joy!! Joy!!!
Look out 2013 race season!!! Maybe I will have to do the 50 km SingleTrack Challenge at Hardwood in late October after all? I now have some work to do, to qualify myself to properly ride this new deadly weapon.
I will keep you posted!