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Is This A Logo??

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

P2A - Riot's Race Report

OK, the race report....(appropriate coming from a Metis??).

Anyways, I guess we should start this off on a more professional note...yeah right...

So, this was the 22somethingth edition of the Paris to Ancaster race...


It's my 6th or 7th time doing this race....and this time proved to be the most favourable weather ever!!  More on this.  Anyways, the day started with EnglishJim picking me up and telling me he had done this race like 15 times!!  Well, he is older than me...

We went to Ancaster where the race finishes, to meet some of the gang and decide who was taking which vehicle, who was leaving theirs, who was going with who to the start...only to decide and have Ondrej show up late (as always), and snafu the whole thing up.  Which is why I'm sure, that he beat me in this race....this was his entire evil plan...

Anyways, we figured it out (OK, NewfieSteve figured it out...really???....yes), and off we were to Paris, where the race starts.  Gear up, warm up, take the 14 nervous pees....and work ones way into the start paddock, where it seemed the were a half million people!!

Found some familiar faces...

DundasJim



Pinoy...


Actually, there were 2100ish racers in this event!!

Promptly at 9:45, bang!!  Off was the elite wave.  CptSydor and Kyle were in this wave, along with a bunch of pros, other ridiculously fast racers who qualified, and people who paid extra to be in this wave and get other perks (that I cannot mention in a public forum...kidding....really).

The elite wave being well above my worthiness-level, I was starting in the next wave; Wave 1, and at 10am...bang again...we were off!

The start of this race is always a sketchy endeavour.  It starts with about 1-2kms of potholed, gravel road rights and lefts, followed by a narrow switchback right into narrower railtrail....and as racers jockey for position right off the start it can get a little hazardous.  And being sometimes too 'thinky' and less 'give'ry', I elected to play it safe and let people pass rather than risk crashing...

But at least it was dry this year!!!  No muddy, sandy spray blinding you...whether you had glasses on or not!  In fact, it was kind of dusty!  It was great!!

So, once onto the railtrail I was packed into a group that was going slower than I wanted to go....and racers were passing in the left lane while I was stuck in the right...but it was too packed to tuck in the left.  Misconceptionz passed on my left...his bright yellow socks catching my eye...



And from behind I heard Blaze call...."Hurry Riot, tuck in!!"....and so I did.  Thank you Blaze!!  And so we made our way past a myriad (good word, eh!?....myriad) of racers...

And I worked to keep those yellow socks close in my sights...
A sharp right, up the steep, rocky, little climb....then onto the rutted, but packed, dry, mud road where things opened up some, but you had to be wary of dodging racers who were dodging ruts...I followed those socks.  Through the various surfaces that make up this race...some singletrack, doubletrack, gravel, pavement, railtrail...we were making good time!!

Then, at about the 14 or 15km mark, on some gravel doubletrack that snaked through a field or orchard (I can't remember which), on a sharp descent that bottomed out into a 90 degree left turn, I remember seeing water running across the rocks and mud at the centre of the turn and thinking 'best be careful here....looks a little slip...'.  BANG!!  I was down!  My left shoulder, and the left side of my head slammed into the ground as my front wheel washed out on the slick wet rocks in the midst of the left turn.

misconceptionz called "Riot!!  You OK??"...  I'm not sure he heard me say, 'Yeah I'm fine', as he sped off...

And as I gave my dazed head a shake....and I scrambled to collect my food, phone (that doubles as my ride/race computer...Cyclemeter), and water bottles that had scattered over the ground...I'm sure about 5000 other racers passed me.  I heard Unglued, Martin, VVagabond all go by and ask to make sure I was OK as they passed.

So back on the bike and get going about 100 meters....go to shift up as the course turned right onto a road...and the chain shifts over the big ring and onto the crank where it tangles in the crank and derailleur...

Back off the bike, where I fight to untangle the chain, my head still dazed, and me getting frustrated (OK...more pissed off).  Then along comes Fig (why was he so far back??)...anyways he says "Riot, give me that!"....and pop, pop...he has the chain straightened and on the big ring, and off he goes.  Back on my bike, and I go to catch up....but the crank is catching and jamming on the front derailleur just enough to be in the way.  Back off the bike...a couple of careful taps of the fist on the derailleur push it into place enough to get going.

Damn!!  The whole episode took only 6 - 8 minutes but seemed like forever!!  But 6-8 minutes IS forever....not likely to make it up....but, you never know what can happen.  So I determined to bury myself to make the effort!  So, I was off....again.  Driving it...making my way from one group of racers to another.  I passed Hal...didn't recognize him, but he noticed me...called my name, chatted briefly, carried on.  Over gravel and trail, fields and sloppy singletrack.  The singletrack that is always sloppy, was the only real sloppy part of this race this year (other than the final mudchute, that is also always a disaster).  Then down the first little mudchute, that wasn't even wet enough to call a mudchute this year...then right onto the road...shift....and again my chain shifted over onto the crank.

But this time I was clear headed and aware enough to notice...and quickly got off the bike and put the chain back, but realized that it would be wise to stay in the big ring until the final hill...no no more front shifting.

Back on the bike and go....again.  Working my way up....heart rate staying steady at about 160....which is high for me.  Then on a lonely stretch I see a racer up ahead...then as I pass i notice it is Unglued!  He tells me to 'Give'r, Fig us just up ahead!'....and he was...I could see his red helmet in the distance...so i upped the power...or felt like I did anyways....not sure what i really had left.

At about the 40km mark I caught Fig....and he latched on to my rear wheel...driving me to keep up the pace...and we did...and we made progress, passing single riders, and small groups.  I knew it was unlikely, but I kept my eye out for those yellow socks...

We passed Martin on some doubletrack...he was in a group...and called out as we went by.  We passed 14stone....who was flying!!  He races in the Clydesdale category, which you have to be over 220lbs to enter...and I am totally guessing but he has to be approaching 240...he is a big dude...not at all soft and rotund, but solid linebacker big...and he was moving!! As I called his name, he yelled something unintelligible at me as we passed...it scared me enough to push me on...I didn't want to get in his way.

Then as we drove on into a looooong stretch of railtrail Fig says..."Riot have you checked behind us, we are pulling at least 15 racers!"  And sure enough...we were.  I didn't want that....I knew that two of the bigger mudchutes were coming up....and I didn't want to be tangled in there with a group.  So as we turned left off the long stretch of rail trail, onto a driveway that was a lengthy hill of soft gravel/dirt that came up into a headwind, I drove it up the hill, and sure enough we stretched and broke off our tail on this hill.

Fig actually took a short pull...OK, only for about 500 meters till he started chatting with someone we were passing.  We turned right onto Poweline Rd, promptly left onto Hwy 52, then right onto Mineral Springs road, which turned from gravel to trail then down the Mineral Springs mudchute....which was once again dryer than ever and easily rideable.

At the bottom of the chute it was right, up Slote Road hill....left again onto Powerline Road...then down Powerline Mudslide...this thing is always a disaster...10 - 15 inches of soft pudgy mud covering pot holes and large rocks.  It's an inevetible endo waiting to happen.

I don't know this rider but the pic gives you an idea of the Mudslide...



Oggie loves the...Mudslide...yeah he endoed....yeah he still kicked my arse.  Will I ever catch this guy??



I rode the first half of the Mudslide, then thought I had better not tempt fate as we got into the thicker portion of it.  Got off, shouldered my bike, and ran.  Fig took the chance and rode by me.  Damn, damn, damn!!  At the bottom of the slide he was gone!!  I got on an gave er.

Onto Gravel Pit road...I could see Fig ahead...under Gravel Pit bridge...but I was careful...had a nasty crash here last year.  Onto Mineral Springs road....getting caught behind a small group of racers as we came to the base of Martin's road that signals the end of the race and a brutal climb to the finish.

Through the boulders at the base of the road...up the squidgy wet trail, winding my way through the small group of riders...up the steep little wall of a climb that is usually unrideable, but just dry enough that I made it and passed the remaining rider in that small group.  Seeing Fig ahead, he must of sensed me coming...he was givin it!!  Through the sketchy dip through the water, over the very tricky log over...   Slowly catching Fig....

Through the boulders halfway up Martin's road...up the first roller...a bit of a lung buster...soft gravel...steepish enough to make you work...a couple of riders pulled over cramping up...some walking.  Over the next roller....a little smaller than the last...catching Fig.

Then up the steepest part of the climb...the final stretch but the steepest, and softest.  Already dying...lungs bursting from the effort....can't get oxygen to the lungs fast enough...try to stand up but spin out...getting closer to Fig.  Spectators cheering, but can barely hear them through the blood rushing through the ears...there's Lois!!...riders pulled over cramping...several walking the hill...can't catch Fig.

Crest the hill....cross the finish....seconds behind Fig.  Try to breath...

Done.

Overall a solid effort.  Average speed of 26.5kph, well above last years (25.3).  Lower placing than I was hoping for, but I am certain it was a stronger field, with the great weather everyone was out.

misconceptionz in his yellow socks beat me by 4 minutes after all...
Giant kicked arse, as did MarkR!!  Well done!!
And Oggie kicked us all...again!

Except Kyle....who was rediculously fast!!  Kyle came in 25th overall!!  He beat Garrigan!!  Garrigan, multiple winner of the P2A, now national team member!!  I can't ride with Kyle anymore...not worthy...

pics of the final climb...

Unglued...appearing still glued...


Blaze looking strong???



Oggie with his perma-snarl...



Giant....don't worry, man I wasn't even close behind you...next time??



Newfie Steve...too clean...

 Me...hurting...


Me faking a smile...




VVagabond negotiating walkers...



Duke....on the fatty


JennR...looks too fresh!



misconceptionz...knowing I'm nowhere near



Fig...carrying a child on his bars??



CptSydor...making it look harder than it is for him...


MarkR....where's Jen??



Martin...why you so happy??



Jeremiah...time to wave??


Most of these pics are compliments of Chyla...I don't know who you are but great pics...thank you for sharing them!!

There should be more pics from our friends at Apex Photography soon....check here!
http://www.apexracephotography.com/

Hangin, and lying...afterwards...


The awards....

14 Stone....well done!!  He has worked his butt off for 5 years to get on this box.  Quite a story, ask him about it!



Is that JeffS on the podium again????



Other podiums of mention

JennR and MarkR for mixed team....way to go, eh!!

JJMisfits....on the podium again!!!  Every race this year???


Once again I should thank the R&R team for letting me ride/race alongside them, and sharing their venue...now if they would just wait up for me during these races...

So....after a hellishly long post...
What's next?

O'Cup number one....this coming weekend!
Stay posted!!



Thursday, 23 April 2015

Pee Too Eh - The Preview

So the P2A (Paris to Ancaster) is coming up....this weekend!



For many this is one of the first major races of the season.  For me, it is one of the toughest races....and one of the most enjoyable.  It is such a mixed bag....every type of racing surface.  Some pavement, some single track, some double track, much rail trail, much gravel...even some wide open-ish farmers fields, always soft enough (if not downright quagmirish!!) to suck any remaining life out of you...and always mud!!  The mud chutes...also known as the chutes-of-many-endos...the damn mud chutes.

Pic of the Powerline Mudslide compliments of JJMisfits (she is as good as an artist as she is a cyclist...which means she kicks butt at both).



The fastest racers will be on CX bikes...the most comfortable will be on Mountain bikes.  This is the first year there will be a fatbike category!  But there will also be tandems....there will be hybrids, and commuters...there will even be unicycles...or at least one, there is always that guy.

And the weather...historically has been as unpredictable as heck (that means very)!!  So far, those who attempt to predict the weather have it very, very, pleasant for this weekend.  However, historically it has been all over the place...there has been sun, rain, sleet snow, gale force winds...and sometimes all on the same day!!!  Let's hope that those who predict are on their game this year!

So what have racers been doing to prepare (besides brutal training, judicious nutrition, and proper rest?)...

Some prepared by winning the Pisgah Stage Race...or at least podiumming...last week.



Congrats to JeffS and Hal!


Some prepared by learning how to fix flats....multiple flats...



Some are already good at fixing flats...

video

That's CptSydor....he will kick my butt at this race...he always does.

Unglued is secret training....and he will likely threaten me in the paddock...again...

MTBMeister won't be racing...instead he will be photographying...which he does as a sideline (mainline??), for our friends at Apex Photography...



He says he will be positioned at one of the mudslides...where all the action is.  Great.  The mudslides scare the hell out of me.  Almost as much as this does...




Yikes!!  (Yeah, I don't know what that is all about either...just had to throw it in...)

Anyways...if he catches a pic of me displaying my obvious lack of bike handling skills in the mudslide I may be as pissy as this...


Sorry, had to get one cat pic in (thank you Shadow, for posing...).






OK, two cat pics....but that's it.

Anyways...what have I done to prepare?  I guess I have trained...some.
I have ridden CX with some good people...like the R&R crew...and Oggie.




I have ridden Mountain bikes with some good people...



I've also ridden with NewfieSteve...and even with EnglishJim...but no pics...sorry...(Oh, and yes....Steve and Jim are also good people!!!)

I have done some motivational training...




Yeah....anyways...

This is one of those races where almost everyone will be there...everyone has secret trained for...everyone wants to do well at (do better than last year)...

So, let's see how it goes...

If you see me I will be sporting the BW jersey...stands for BicycleWorks (not BarkWing).

Good luck this weekend everyone!!
And standby for the race review!!

Stay posted!!