March 29, 2011

Barry Roubaix - First Race of Spring?

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I got the first race of the year in last weekend - the Barry Roubaix in Middleville, MI. I think it was the coldest road race I have ever done, maybe around 20-25 degrees at the start at 10am. I know it was down in the teens while I slept at the "motel wayside" about 20 miles away in the back of my car at 4am. I left work at 9pm and 5 hours later called it close enough and pulled it over for a quick 4 hours of cold cold sleep. Luckily, the Mazda with the seats down is just big enough to stretch across the back so it was somewhat comfortable, but cold. Took a little driving to get the frost off the inside of the windows when I woke up at 7am to hit the Big Boy for some eggs and oats. You gotta just do what needs to be done if you want to race in my situation, there's no leaving work and there aren't enough vacation days to hit them all comfortably, so the option is don't go, or do it this way. Barry Roubaix is a fairly unique race and that is why I choose to go. 65 miles of gravel roads and I believe somewhere near 5000ft of climbing, so a lot especially for late March and mostly indoor trainer rides. This year the gravel was completely packed down almost as smooth and fast as cement. I had my cross bike and I think it was a good advantage over a few that had 29er mtn bikes. My cross bike is 16lbs and I don't care what you have for a mtn bike, you aren't coming near that and with 5000ft of climbing that makes a big difference. I dressed like I would for any ride I would do outside where it is 20 degress when I leave. I had an insulated coat, long sleeve base, balaclava, windshell over my Lazer helmet and medium thick gloves. I was perfect the whole time. The race broke down into a group of about 12 or so that would swell and then get smaller as the distance and climbing added up. There is big differences in fitness right now for a lot of guys so it's hard to judge where everyone is at. Everyone tested the waters but the group brought everything back until about 55 miles in. One rider got away and we all kinda watched, he was strong and I could tell that early on in the race, when he went I did n't go but soon after was pretty sure we'd all missed the boat. I got away as the race broke down in the last 5 miles and then attacked the small group to solo in the last couple of miles, it was hard but I just thought back to all my efforts on the trainer and it got me in for 2nd a minute down on the winner. The weather has barely warmed up at all this year so far but this week looks like mid 30s. I was outside riding today and it was sunny and about 34 which was manageable, it's just hard to do efforts outside when you are all bundled up and not that flexable with all the clothing on. Hopefully the weather changes over and we skip right past the 30s and 40s right to the 50s. Cycling Dirt write up.

Watch more video of Barry-Roubaix: The Killer Gravel Road Race on


~ Tandis ~ said...

I'm pretty sure you're crazy! That sounds like a weekend it would take normal people a week to recover from. Congrats on 2nd place!! :)

Dana said...

From my couch I am impressed =)