I have been talking about Race With the Wind for a little bit. I had a plan that I had to change due to a crash. It was my year end race. My fall classic. It was also Noah’s first race. It was today. And what a totally fun day it was.
I want to start with a couple of observations. First observation. I have heard the wind called “the climb that never stops” by bikers. This race was the “Race with the Wind”. It took place on the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi. Oh, no……
(Just to show you how big the turbines are, I put the picture in the post really big, see how I did that?)
Good news/bad news in that picture. Good News: You can easily tell the wind direction by looking at the turbines. Bad News: Yes there was wind.
Second observation. Here look at this picture. Its the elevation profile from the ride today.
What do you notice? No real big climbs. In fact its only like 500 feet from the low to the high point on the elevation profile. (Easy right?)
OK. So we got out to Lowville NY this morning at 8:45. The race was to start at 10:00 for me (and the other 46 milers) and 10:30 for Coreen and Noah. Time for some requisite pictures.
That’s a fine looking Fat Family of Bohls if I ever saw one.
And there are my super awesome wife (who ran 8.5 miles yesterday for the FIRST TIME EVER and volunteered to ride 10 miles with Noah today) and my young budding racer.
Time to warm up. And start.
There were 28 people in my division. Probably 4 or 5 cross bikes, the rest mountain bikes. The start was fast. There were about 8 people who went out really fast. I went with them. Here is where the wind played its card for the day. I lost the wheel of the front group, and never got it back because of the wind. (This was probably not a bad thing, they were faster than me and I’m not sure I could have kept up with them for 46 miles.)
The course was a lot more challenging that I had expected. What the profile did not show was the 15-20 short very steep climbs that were along the course. Go back. Look at the profile. See all of the “fuzz” on the profile. Yeah, that’s the stuff. Leg sapping hills. Hills with no real down hill to let you rest and recover, or with downhills so covered with rock you had to work to get down. It was 46 miles of continuous cranking with no real coasting. The second thing was all of the rock gardens. Fun going down and fun going up (and rough on cross tires!). And finally, they had added a bunch of single track to the ride. Really nice trails (added to punish the cross riders :)).
I passed one cross rider very early on while he was changing a flat. He got back on his bike and promptly flatted again. I saw him later in the race as he tried to pass me and flatted his last tube (no I didn’t cause any of those flats! But I did cackle in my mind. Yes the voice in my head cackles…)
The ride itself for me was pretty uneventful. Lots of peddling. Lots of mud (it rained here yesterday). On slow motion crash (back tire skipped off a rock). My bike was a mess when I finished.
I was a mess when I finished.
But I finished without too much trouble. 3:41….
But how did I finish? How did Noah and Coreen do?