The 2016 Roundup

Now that it’s 2017, and my DK wounds have healed (into deep, grotesque emotional scars), I figured I should mention the other races that I glossed over. It was really a good spring race season, despite some races not going my way. I think I’m starting to figure this training thing out a bit.

Tour of Hermann

Man what a good race. This is still one of my favorites for sure. I’d never shown up at ToH with intentions to finish the whole event, but this year I made it one of my goals.

Day 1: 3, 30ish mile loops that started out with the threat of rain. It turned out to be a really good day, with only a small section of loop 3 feeling like a death march. I wrapped up  3 loops feeling confident I could tackle day 2 after a good night’s rest. No drama, too easy.

Top of the first big climb

Did I mention I was camping in the city park that night? Unfortunatly, SuperKate and I had a lapse in judgement and both set up our tents next to one of the busiest roads in town, and directly across the street from a gas station. I laid in my tent with the red electric glow of fuel prices washing over me and sporadic PA anouncements of pump authorizations.

Day 2: 2, 50 mile loops. Despite the less than ideal sleeping situation, I was feeling pretty good come race start. I knew if I could get through the first loop, I could will myself through the second.

SuperKate and I probably talking about cycling shoes made for walking

Unfortunatly I had a minor mechanical at mile 45 involving my crank arm coming off. It was stuck to the bottom of my shoe with a stripped bolt.Totally my fault…I don’t really want to talk about it.

About a mile before my bike gave up

I was able to call the race supplied sag wagon and had the pleasure of being the first, and maybe only, person that needed it. Uggggg. The ride of shame.

Still 145 miles for the weekend, with good company and a challenging course. I’ll be back, and have a much better tent spot in mind.

Cedar Cross

I’ll ride Cedar Cross every year until the end of time. If I have to sneak out of the nursing home in a cart full of dirty adult diapers and relearn how to ride a bike on my way to the race, I’m doing it.

This year’s course was a real humdinger. It hit all the classic Cedar Cross stops, but shortly after you hit the Katy Trail and feel like it should be a straight, flat cruz to the finish, you’re rerouted back into the hills for just a bit more pain! I felt super strong this year and kept on the gas all day.

Janie thinks I was in the top 15, which would be one of my best race finishes. However, this is Cedar Cross and if you want to know where or when you finished, you’d better be ready to study the strava flyby map and figure it out yourself. I gave up on that pretty quick and just assume I finished top 5. Legit.

The Hairy 100

This is a race that I’m torn on. The start line is less than 10 miles from my house and the course covers some awesome roads that I normally wouldn’t end up on. There is a Casey’s convenince store nearly every 20 miles, so you can travel pretty light. HOWEVER, there is one section of this course that so thoroughly wrings out my soul that I hisitate to enter each year. A long stretch of paved hell so terribly flat and windy it makes one wish for a time trial bike (and that’s ridiculous). How long you ask? About as long as it takes for you to want swerve into oncoming traffic and never talk of cycling again, plus a mile or 2. Luckily I had Eric and Kate with me and we smashed through with burning legs and miserable silence. After that section we all admitted to wanting to let up on the pace, but were all too proud to speak up. Team work!

The highlight of this race is the finish line is right at the Mulberry Grill in Rocheport, which cranks out the best pizza you’ve ever had after coming so close to hanging yourself. You should totally do this ride.

Dirty Kanza

Oh DK, how I love to hate you. This was my 4th year riding DK. You may notice that there is only 1 previous race report from it though. That’s because things just don’t go right for me in Kansas and I don’t want to talk about it.

No Bueno

Long story short, I trained for 6 months fueled by hate and revenge, only to have a tire shredded at 85 miles in and having to call for a pick up. No hard feelings DK, I’ve just taken a blood oath never to ride my bike there again. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. It took me 3 months to get back on my bike after this one.

There were a few good group rides in there and LOTS of dark cold winter night rides. A good learning year for me as far as training and nutrition goes. Those leasons are getting applied to 2017 which is looking to be another good one!

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