This was the first cycling "race" I have participated in and I had quite a lot of fun! I managed to convince the Nacho guys to sign up for the 50 mile race and to do this as a team. I originally wanted to do the 100 mile version of this but by the time this event came around I was glad I only had to do the 50.
I went up with some Toronto friends to the Blue Mountain resort where I was going to meet the Nachos. Here is a pic of the Honda we drove in and FOUR bikes on the roof rack:
We just made it on time to get through registration and check out the expo and the guys were there also getting through registration. So that was easy enough! Transferred my stuff over to their van and we went to the hotel we were staying at. It was me and six other guys but at least this time we had two hotel rooms (as oppose to the tiny cabin for Triple T) and I got my own bed! Pheww! Let's just say some carbo-loading was done and I enjoyed some tasty home brew by the "kegmaster". We had fun that night playing some pool at Boston Pizza with some more carbo-loading.
Got up super early as we had to be in our start corral at 6:30am for the 7am start. I opted to start in the second group with the "serious riders". The first group were the elites, then after us were the casual riders and then beginners. It was also pretty cold and I wore knee and arm warmers as well as gloves and toe covers. I really was not in race mode and just approached this as another ride. I was also a little worried about the start because I wasn't sure how 1200 cyclists were going to start all at the same time without crashing into each other. Happy to say the start went pretty smooth and I really did not have anything to worry about. I managed to find my TO friend in the morning but we did not find half of the Nachos as the car I was in had to get there earlier for the guys to complete registration. I was hoping to draft a couple of the guys that I was with at the start but I also had agreed to wait for my friend and in doing so I lost the guys right at the beginning.
There was a lot of passing done right off the bat as we were trying to get away from some of the weaker cyclists and in an effort to warm up as it was only 4C that morning. I was also hoping we would somehow catch up to the guys so we can draft as long as we could. We managed to catch up to one of the Nachos that got dropped and I talked to him for a short bit and when I looked up I found that my friend had then dropped me and took off. I was a little surprised by this as we said we were going to ride together especially since I had waited for her at the start. Ah well! I tried to catch up but the gap had widened and it wasn't in me that day. So now I was riding on my own. Being a triathlete I am not used to being able to draft while riding in a race and I did not take advantage of this. I rode pretty much on my own the whole way. I did draft a couple of times but the hills broke up the pace lines and then I was left alone again. Riding in the Blue mountains was absolutely beautiful but also challenging! There were three major climbs but nothing crazy steep. I just need to learn how to climb faster. There was also a good head wind for a good portion of the ride to make it that much more challenging.
|Here is the profile of the ride from my Garmin|
I was riding at a good pace and was averaging just over 30kph until I hit the last long climb and then that pace went all out the window. And then there was a long descent and we all know how I descend - on my brakes! So I lost lots of time here and the one Nacho I passed early on caught and passed me as I continued down the long and windy hill very cautiously. At the end I completed the 84km ride in 3:14:35 for a 26.1kph avg according to my Garmin but my chiptime was 3:15:28, avg 25.6kph which probably was due to me waiting at the start. Average HR was 148bpm and total elevation was 1,133 m. I placed 10/27 in my age group and 588 overall out of 1216 cyclists. As a team, the Nacho Average Triathlon Club finished in 17th out of 33 teams.
|crossing the finish line and I did not even realize that was the finish! lol!|
I had some fun out there that day but I wished I would have had a little more fire in me so I could have raced this a little more. I honestly kind of gave up midway through and just wanted to get the ride done. I also noticed that I did a very poor job of hydrating and eating. I did not even drink one whole bottle and I had only one gel. I should of done much better than that. I definitely would do this type of event again though! It was a nice change from triathlon.