Sunday, April 11, 2010

First "race" of the year

Today I raced, er, rode, in the inaugural Ride with Rendall Clarence-Rockland Classic, my um, first real "high intensity ride" of the year. My prep started last night, humming and hawing forever about what to wear...the forecast was saying 5 degrees around the start of the race, but warming up to a high of 13. Jeez, what to wear?!?!?!?! I pulled out a bunch of stuff and figured I'd decide in the morning.

Morning rolled around and I still couldn't decide what to wear. I won't bore you with the details of what I actually did wear, but it turned out to work well.

Once I had all that crap sorted out, OBR came by to pick me up and we were off to make it for the 10 o'clock start time...a nice start time that meant I didn't have to get up at an un-godly hour.

So plan for this race, if you could call it a plan, was to hold on to the lead pack for as long as possible. Simple, right? Seeing as how I haven't done much top-end work this year, I figured that would be reasonable, so whether I hung for 1km or the whole 85kms, I would have met my goal. (Yeah, it's more of a cop out than anything else, but hey, it's only April!) 

I held on until about the 19km mark, when the course turned onto a stretch of chunky, loose gravel, and slowed me right down. I was already at the back of the lead pack at this point in time, and I wasn't gonna kill myself trying to hang on, so I sat up and took it easy.

Not much time passed and a group of 3 passed me, but I decided joining them would be too much work, so I waited for the next group, which was about 10 strong, and soon after we caught the group of 3. Our group eventually swelled to about 20, picking up people who had been dropped from the main pack. I was feeling pretty good, until about the 60km mark....

And then I was struck with a severe case of leg cramps, to the point where I got off my bike and tried to stretch out and massage my legs. I got back on my bike as soon as I could, since spinning the legs would be better for them than standing around. What followed was a 27km solo ride to the finish. Not much to talk about for the rest of the ride, unless you want to hear about me complaining about my legs cramping up (excuses, excuses) and the wicked head wind.

Crossing the finish, I came to a stop, which was about the worst thing I could do for my legs. They decided to straighten out like stiff more spinning to work out the cramps.

The course wasn't as hilly as I was anticipating, but certainly rougher than expected. I felt like I just ridden a mountain bike race. I was using my road bike, with a 28 tire up front and a 25 in the back. A little softer pressure in the front may have eased things *a bit*, but probably not.

For a first time event, I would have to say the organization was great. Use of the hall for registration and lunch afterwards was a good idea, and it was nice to have lunch included...the little chocolate cakes were good but the pasta did leave a bit to be desired. 

When I checked the results, I was 50th out of 118 finishers. Alright for the first race of the season, considering I hadn't really prepped at all for it, and road racing is not my strength at all. So now I have two weeks to get ready for the Almonte Paris-Roubaix.  Let's see what happens..... 


  1. Nice Stu - good to see you out there !

    I see you've got Wilderness 101 in your sights. I was thinking about that too. Let me know if/when you confirm it and register. Rob Parniak and a couple others were also thinking about it, but not sure if it is still in their plans.

    See ya in Almonte !

  2. Good job Stu! Great result, especially considering you got off your bike at one point.
    We all got cramps at Battenkill yesterday too. Early season intensity doesn't always work so well, does it.

  3. Good to see you too, Mike. I'm already registered for Wilderness 101, along with Craig. Last I heard Rob wasn't going to race the 101.

    Thanks Tanya. Props to you on your first road race. Quite the event to wet your feet in!