Monday, April 20, 2009

Paris-Roub- I mean Ancaster

(Hell of the North, Sector 1)
It has been awhile since this blog has seen much of anything in the way of new posts. Naturally the fives of people who read it must be profoundly disappointed. Or something.

Spring is in the air, robins are peeping around, and until today we had a nice dry spell where I got to race the 'cross bike in some long, demanding early season races before the whole roadie thing takes over everything. Yesterday was the second of two Paris-Roubaix Canadian knock-off races, both of which I completed.
Paris-Ancaster is a monster event with over 2000 participants. I was spared the routine of being sandwiched into a school bus at the finish to be bussed to the start as I am now racing for ZM Cycle and got a ride to the start in the team gas guzzler rammed full of middle-aged adventurer men in ridiculous blue and yellow Lycra.


The real deal was the week before, 100 km further up in the 'Hell off the North' which La Bicicletta ran this year (and superbly well I might add). It had 92 racers, and was much colder and longer at 89 kms of road and trail. I bonked with about 25kms to go, but I still pulled off about 30th. That was a really epic bike race.


I finally rode the Mudslide at P-A this year, or tried to anyway, doing a couple of half-crashes in slow motion inside the 250 metre long downhill muck trench filled with big rocks. It was still good fun. All twenty gears seemed to be working fine on my muck-covered bike with the final climb to go at kilometre 59.5. P-A traditionally ends with a steep dirt road climb out of a gully and can say that I was must pleased to be in my 34x27 gear whilst doing it. I even sprinted the last 25 m to nip a guy at the line, 106th of 1202 finishers thank you.
It's hard to describe the whole arc of the process from day before prep to race start and enduring it to hitting peak-working in pacelines-dropping people-final ascent-recovery-return home. A huge journey inside a controlled adventure of a few hours. Endorphins replaying the whole thing in your head hours after.

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