Sunday, 30 June 2013

BC Bike Race Day 1

Nice night of camping save for some dog serenading the world at 3am. I got two amazing zonked out sleeps at Tania's house, and this was decent but it cooled off quite a bit so I had to dig out warmer clothes. Great breakfast, little warmup ride... and it was hot and humid already at 9am. Bakke bakes in the heat, and I was dripping before start. Uh oh...

So despite Drew being cordial and actually announcing that I was part of start block one, I tried another strategy for once. I started in the second one, and the guys hit the pace like nobody's business on the pavement and gravel. There was a sketchy peloton wipeout. Guys were either superhuman, or had no intent to pace well... and as it turns out, most were in the latter category. I drafted and rode with Tamara from the Yukon. Highlight of the day - I know the corner where we turn into the singletrack. So I pulled out, carved the gravel corner, and headed off into the trails solo. In the shade. I could hear the bottleneck mayhem behind right away over the first few wet roots. And bam... I'm in a happy zone. Riding solo, shady singletrack, completely open to me (3 minute space between groups). It's like I'd died and gone to heaven.

By the climb, I'd caught some blow ups from the first group. The climb was exposed sun, hot and humid. I've got a heavier bike that's high on fun, but obviously doesn't aid me up the hills like a 20lb Cannondale flash. So I slug it out. And drink, and eat. Riding smart. Some guy blows by, and says "get on my wheel". I say I'm happy at this pace. 30 minutes later he was cramping at the top. I talked to the Mexicans who are loving the temps. Put my gloves back on through the aid station and hit the downhill. Negotiated a few passes, people are reluctant. I just say I promise I won't slow you down, but some actually asked why I thought I was faster. I just said I've had my brakes on for last minute at your pace. Funny.

Few big wipeouts around me. Some of the exposed rocks are wet and have clay film on them - it might as well have lightweight silicone grease. Apparently even Wade Simmons bit it hard.

By the exposed logging cuts I was slowing down and battling heat. I paced, kept moving, rode harder in the shade. Trish caught and passed me on Buggered Pig climb, which was roasting and sun exposed. She was going like twice as fast, I admired her awesomeness and wanted to get off and sit in the shade. I turned pedals instead of lying in the creek, cause it's fairly short and the trees are right after.

All in I was about 10 minutes slower and one place lower than last year (so 30th today), which is a huge save given my heat challenges. Pat and Trish were at the finish, and noticed I was covered in goose bumps. Time for shade and more hydration. Pat said his car said 29C in a mostly shady parking spot. Everyone would have dehydrated today, I guess that's obvious as you don't really gain moisture riding, but question was just how much and could you avoid cramping.

Trish did awesome and was third, despite people not letting her pass on singletrack. We're gonna work on her aggressive voice! At least now she can just say she's a podium woman and hopefully get some respect.

My legs don't feel too bad, I couldn't push them, cooling system was the governor today. I'm on my second bowl of amazing spicy thai soup at the Wandering Moose in Cumberland. Thai's are used to the heat, so maybe it'll help. Two old guys next to me are talking about trying to get their 8 tracks working... wow.

I fell asleep on concrete after snacking - with two panting dogs. That's the antidote for tired + hot.

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