Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Steaming Nostril, Screaming Lungs, Burning Quads

So the Steaming Nostril happened this past weekend.  (About time I get this post in, eh?)  After being warned/alerted/clued in to some of the features of this year’s race on SteveS’s RideCycleSpin blog it was time to experience it first hand.  There were over 400 participants for the 65 km various surface race (and the 40km Runny Nose version)!  It was a chance to sport the new True Grit kit..

The fit on the back of the neck feels amazing.   ;)

It was great to see so many familiar friendly faces back at this game.  

The always happy Pinoy Gang

Mike and Bob...ready to roll

This was, for me, the first race of gravel and mtb season.  So after many hellos to old and new friends, I set out to warm up and scope out the start of the course...which was much different from previous years.  This year the start was a long hill, on soggy wet grass...a long gradual climb that got steeper towards the top.

Then into the paddock where  everyone tries to look nonchalant, but really...everyone is eyeing each other up like sunglasses at a nude beach to see for any hint of who to watch out for.  


Finally we were sloth speed...up that start hill.  It was slow, but it shot the heart rate through the roof right off the bat.

 Grant up the start hill
Photo: Lauren Daniels

Seth cresting the start hill
Photo: JennKenn

JeffS first up the start hill on his way to another podium
Photo: JennKenn

Then it was onto a short bit of road with a tailwind...some gravel...a bottle neck over a very narrow bridge...more pavement/gravel...then that rail trail.  I am always the slow starter, and had been dropped right off the bat by my faster friends, and was working hard to pick my way back up to them...then that rail trail. 

That soggy trail
Photo: Lauren Daniels

The rail trail was soft and riding through sucking...10-15kms of it.   Add that to the intense side wind (gusts from 30 – kazillion kmp!!).  I managed to catch a guy (or he caught me) in CanadianCyclingMagazine kit (let’s call him Sam) and we worked together to help cut the wind...and managed to catch and hook on to a couple of other small groups.  Finally, feeling spent, through a deep puddle that left my feet soaked, off the rail trail, left turn onto gravel road.  Left turn...directly into the headwind.

By now, we were a group of 10-15...working together into the headwind...then at about the 30 km mark, one of those sounds you don’t want to hear.  The sound of air hissing out of a puncture in my front tire...Stan’s sealant spewing through the opening....I continue, hoping the puncture seals.  It doesn’t.  I pull group speeds on.  I position the puncture on the downside, hoping the sealant will puddle over the puncture and seal it.  It eventually does...then I CO2 enough air into the tire to provide enough pressure to allow me to continue without blowing the puncture open again.  Meanwhile, about 25 more racers have passed me...and I continue on into the headwind.  Alone.  I turned myself inside out to try to make back the time.

I eventually catch a couple of riders...and recognize one as LondonJoe who is racing on his singlespeed.  I had ridden with Joe once before in a day long winter fatbike Padega ride.  He is a very strong rider...and was carrying another racer.  So we worked together into the wind, then a left turn continued to work together with the side wind.  Then another left turn onto pavement and finally a tailwind...and with the tailwind Joe did not have enough gear on his singlespeed to keep up.  I was alone again.  But now I could see a larger group some distance ahead.  I dug deep to catch them....several more turns, and the kilometers ticked by as I struggle alone.

(Sorry, is that too much without a pic or a joke?  How about this:  'I just came back from a Transformers convention and boy are my arms tires!' ...  No??  Ok, there are some pics coming up...)

Finally a sharp left turn into a farm field, then eventually through a farm yard...into 'the longest kilometer'.  A kilometer through thick mud, long wet grassy field, three deep creek crossing with submerged sketchy bridges...ending in a long, steep, non-rideable climb that sucked what little life may have been left in the legs.  

Thank you to JennKenn and SandraA for the cheers up that hell hill!!  JennKenn and Lauren Daniels also got some great pics of racers climbing that hill.

And Ines Fisher of Pedal Power Photography got in on the pic action.

Robert up the mud hill

Linda...the face of determination!

Finally cresting the hill and back on the bike.  5km to go.  I pass a racer in a blue shirt and give everything I have left, and then some, towards the finish.  One km from the finish I hear blue shirt hot on my tail....I open up any reserves left.  Over a drive way, onto grass 200meters from the finish...the other bike on me...a left grassy turn into the finish I lose traction and slide wide...he takes me on the inside.  It's not blue's LondonJoe!!  He has caught me....and passes the finish line a bike length ahead of me.  A good battle!! (For 154th place!)

A great race finished.  MarkR, Giant, Seth, JeffS are up ahead already finished and chatting.  Post race discussion...then onto the clubhouse for the podium celebrations and food.  

Who are these three??

Steve and Miro on the podium!  The comeback kids!!

Those fancy Pinoy colours on the podium!!  Expect to see more of that.

JeffS second in a hard fought battle with Garnett

Top Ten man!!

For a race report by some serious racers, read about the battle for 1st overall between Matt, Sjaan, and Gaelen here!

Overall it was a great well run...congrats to the organizers (the food at the finish was awesome!!)  And the vibe and banter among the participants always adds to the joy of the event.  Everyone sharing their own take on the challenges of the day.  The passion for the sport, and one of the main reasons we do this.

A great way to start the season...and look forward to the next one...

Which is Friday!!

And Saturday!!

And Sunday???

Sunday is the Hell of The North (I couldn't find a logo), but not sure I can hack 3 intense rides, 3 days in a row...

Although it is Easter...and the impossible is always possible (does that make sense??)

Let's see how this week goes!  

Stay posted!!

One cool cat!

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