Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tour of Battenkill race report

Battenkill was really great! I had a really good time and will remember that race for a long time. The scenery was fantastic and the riders were super cool and fast. The 30+ 1234 was stacked with pro team tactics and attacks that were the real deal. Attack, attack, attack, was the race. Sometimes it would be Attack, then slow way down then someone would come up from behind and attack. Every hill and riser was Attack!

Alex drove me and Josh up the 2 1/2 hours to Cambridge NY. The weather was perfect and the roads were dry. The night before the race I was drinking lots of water to try to hydrate my body knowing that I would only have the 2 water bottles during the race and in the morning I was drinking lots of water so it was a relief that Alex stopped 2 or 3 times along the way.

Battenkill has been the focal point of my riding since February, I'm sure it was Josh's and Alex's as well. We would talk alot about it and focus our "training" towards it. Josh and I would ride alot together and hurt alot in the process. I don't think I would have been as prepared without all of those punishing rides with Josh and Alex.

The start of the race was intense. The group was pushing 28 mph and I was in the middle of the chaos. Trying to stick behind Josh was a challenge. Everybody trying to get towards the front if you didn't concentrate for a second someone would move in front of you and eventually you would find yourself at the back of the pack. Josh was amazing at sticking with the front of the pack and I wanted to be in the action. On the first dirt section we came up to a corner and were slowing when someone hit a dead stick about 1" in diameter and it got airborne and flew right into my front wheel and instantly shattered when it hit the forks. If that was a green stick I would have crashed head first. For some reason it got me really stoked! I guess it reminded me of mountain biking and I was wishing there was more excitement like that.

I was slightly disappointed with the dirt sections because they were relatively smooth. Guys were flatting left and right from potholes but I kinda expected more. I think 23's would have done the job. My 25's were really slowing me down and the only time I felt like they came in handy was on some of the loose climbs and loose descents which there were only one of each that I remember. I think me and Alex were the only ones on cross bikes. I was the only one with Mountain bike shoes. I guess I made an impression on some of the riders because I heard one guy talking to another about me. All I heard was "have you seen the guy with the mountain bike shoes. " I have to admit that I wish I had some road shoes, and a road bike with all the right gear but I'm really not a roadie and I don't have a lot of money and I don't believe in spending money I don't have. My shoes are Specialized "Sport" that I got over 3 years ago from Specialized for $50. They have held up for all these years of constant abuse. When I ride my cleats click and clack in the pedal because they are so warn. I almost got a pair of Mavic pro shoes that were the bomb but they didn't fit. So I'm still hoping to get some shoes soon. At one point I was ahead of the pelaton with one other guy and that was a lot of fun. It was the most beautiful part of the course with old farms and rolling hills. There were a lot of people with pro cameras and I'm hoping that they got me in some of the shots.

Back to the Race. Every hill I was with the group and was doing really well until about mile 45 My vision started to cloud up and so did the sky. I thought it was just my glasses or the clouds but then I started to get into trouble. I ran out of fuel in my body. I bonked. I kept trying to stick with the group ahead but couldn't hang on. Then Alex tried to rescue me and offered me to draft. But it was too late. I couldn't hang on to his 28 mph pace. I dropped off and started to suffer. I looked at how many miles I had left and my computer said 47 miles, 15 miles to go. My vision was really suffering and it started to rain a little so I couldn't really see that well. I still had some dirt road climbing to do and I pushed through with all I had and just spun in my easiest gear until the next hill. I was passing other riders that were completely blown so I didn't feel too bad about my performance. A couple of guys in my group caught up to me and I tried to hang on to there wheels but it didn't work. 4 miles to go and it was all down hill from here. I crossed the line in under 3 hours. My computer said 2:57 it might have been a minute less or so. Josh and Alex made it 32 and 33 respectively. They averaged over 22mph and I averaged 20.7. So not too bad for bonking out. My eyes clouded over to the point that I couldn't see peoples faces. I got back to the car and ate all of the sweetest things I could find. An orange some dates some chips for salt. We went back to the finishing line area to wait for the results. I still don't know what I placed. My eyes didn't clear up until halfway home.

So how did this happen? The day before the race I was on Martha's Vineyard. I was there the whole week on vacation. I think it was that on the way home from there I didn't eat as much as I should have. For breakfast I had some turkey sausage and some potatoes and then had some almonds and prunes waiting for the fairy. We tried to find a Mexican food place on the way home and did find one just not until 3pm. We didn't have any food at home so I had to stop along the way. We didn't get home until 8pm. I still had to replace the chain on my bike and clean it up and go for a spin out session. 8:30 I was on the bike with my lights on and it was a nice warm night and beautiful. I got back and made dinner. Some chicken and rice but I didn't feel like gorging my self before bed. I ate at 10 and went downstairs to work on my bike. It was 12:30 when I went to bed.

After we got back from the race Jesse wanted me to hang out with them at the Red Door in Watertown. I wanted some food. So instead we went to a nice restaurant and I got a NY steak to treat my self.


  1. Eyes clouding up; that's scary!
    Good effort.

  2. At least you didn't have to rub elbows with the heroes at RD. Nice job, dude. I wish you had your fueling dialed in a little better but it was great to see you out there in your mtb shoes chasing down breaks. I wish I could have been of more help getting you back to the peloton. You're awesome.

  3. Thanks Mookie. I've been consuming food like crazy since the race to get my GI back up to par. Now I feel fat and bloated and not ready to ride tonight. I think I will go mtbing tonight to have some fun and not feel selfconcious about my mtb shoes.