For starters, for me it isn't a race at all, just an opportunity to ride faster than normal. But, let's start at the beginning. Originally this six-hour race (there are also twelve and twenty-four simultaneously) was to be held at The Driveway. I've never ridden it, just cheered the BSS racers and others, on Thursday evenings. This was a perfect opportunity to experience the 1+mile course with little elevation on my TT bike, a much needed training ride in advance of my first actual race at the end of February. Teamed up with Jim Hungerford, I anticipated six half-hour sections.
Just like in real life, sometimes there are hurdles to overcome. Due to construction delays, The Driveway would not be available and the venue was changed to Pace Bend Park. Pook, Ding-fu!! I've "raced" twice at Pace Bend and have also done a few practice rides. There are no fond memories.
Several years ago, like maybe ten, when I felt much stronger and in better shape, I thought I'd do the Walburg/Pace Bend weekend. Walburg was a tough ride. For Pace Bend, while I felt good warming up, my legs lasted about half a lap and I dnf'd in a hurry. The next year, having learned my lesson, I skipped Walburg and toe'd the line full of vim and vigor. My plan was to be mid-pack, but somehow I mis-placed the start line. Not by a lot, maybe twenty yards. Once I realized the error, I moved up, but now at the back. I was ready. Too ready. I botched the clip-in, needing two pedal strokes to get up and running. That's all it took. The pack was full gas from the get-go and I could never close the gap. In my defense, these guys were ten years younger than me and I had no illusions of hanging with them for more than half the race anyhow. I didn't finish last, but did the whole race more or less alone.
From the start, Jim and I were just in it for the fun, so that hasn't changed. Rather than passing the start/finish line every five or six minutes, it will be more like twenty to twenty-three. We figure two loops before handing off, so something like four sections each. Rather than my TT bike, I'll be on the road bike with aero bars, regular helmet. Rain is forecast, but with luck will be done by the time we start. If not, I'll have my rain gear.
Check back next week to see how we fared.