A few people have approached me and asked when I was going to update my blog, so I decided I needed to get my act together and get typing!
I didn’t ride as much as I would have liked over the winter. I tried to ride outside once a week, but was lucking to get out every other week. I probably downhill skied more this winter than most, but didn’t get out on the XC skies as much as I liked due to the lack of snow in the area. Downhill and CX skiing seems to be a good cross training activity as they are both great workouts. I took a trip to Colorado for a long weekend to ski and had a great time. This winter, I think I am going to head up north specifically to XC ski, if you are interested let me know. I am also looking forward to skiing in CO again. Ok, backing to biking, I spent some time on the trainer at least once a week, but it was hard to stay motivated. About mid February, I started riding in the Fraser lab on the computrainers. It felt a little rough at the beginning, but I was feeling like my form was good by mid March. With the warm weather in March, I was able to put in a lot of miles which really helped to get things firing.
Feeling good about where I was this early in the season, I decided to put it to the test at the Barry Roubaix (www.barry-roubaix.com). Armed with my Kuota Kross with a Revolution Wheel Works wheelset and Tufo tubular tires, I set out to do battle in the Expert 30-39 class. The 35 mile course is over 90% dirt and/or gravel roads and has some killer climbing. I arrived the night before to preride the start and scope out this nasty jeep road that we navigate early in the race as it could definitely be the decider in the race. The jeep road didn’t seem too bad, but definitely had a lot of packed sand that may not be so packed once the elite guys tear it up. Wayne Cook and David Toutant were nice enough to let me crash with them after a nice all you can eat fish dinner. We were up early and at the start with plenty of time, but it was cold. It was a mass start with everyone grouped by category. The neutral roll out slinkied its way out of the park and onto the road with a couple guys almost wrecking. It quickly smoothed out and we were on our way. The first climb came quickly shortly after the first turn. A couple guys went down in the loose dirt. I picked a line to the left and hammered up the climb passing a lot people. The Kross climbs very well and it put a huge smile on my face. Once at the top, I was by myself and saw the back of the elite group up ahead. I put my head down and pushed hard to bridge the gap and made it by the time we hit the Jeep road. The Jeep road was completely tore up and it quickly separated the roadies from the mountain bikers. I managed to make it through and only had to dismount a couple times due to traffic. Once back on the gravel roads I tried to stay with a group and jump onto faster groups or individuals as they went by. The climbs were brutal and wished I had lower gears many times during the race. The hardest part of the race was trying to hang on during the flatter sections with the roadies. The final stretch was pavement and as my group approached the end of the dirt and turned left on the pavement I was happy to know that the end was near. Although, the happiness ended as I realized how long the climb was to Yankee Springs road. A couple guys in our group were setting a pretty hard pace. I rotated through a couple times, but almost got dropped after taking my pulls at the front. The run in near the finish was fast and we were cruising near 30 mph through a couple sections. The amazing thing was seeing Michael Seaman hanging with us on his SS?! I wasn’t sure who in our group was with which group. One guy took off once we were in the park; I let him go and then went shortly after, but ran out of gas and was passed by a couple guys in the group I was with. All in all, I felt like I had a good race and felt strong on the hills. I finished 6th out of the 51 guys in my class (http://raceservices.com/10/br/032710_35.html).
Nice way to start my first year in the expert ranks. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/28280163