Monday, February 27, 2012

FHR - 2012

Distance: 33 miles
Time: 2 hours
Average Speed: 16mph
Max Speed: 39mph

So the FHR was on Sunday. I love this race. It is fast enough and tough enough for my purposes, but casual enough that I can enjoy it. I went to the race last year and had a great time. This year was better because it wasn't raining. It was colder, but I will take clear and cold over rain.

I met up with the rest of the crew under the viaduct around 8:00. Then took the 9:35 ferry to Bainbridge. The ferry was full of cyclists. I am always impressed by the number of people who bike around here. It isn't a small number, and to see a bunch of them in one place is pretty impressive.

Once back on land Derrick kicked off the race with "I guess you can start." And we were off. I thought I would do pretty good this year. I have been putting in a lot of miles. Then again, I spent a week down in Houston and didn't ride. But I was able to keep up. After the first couple of miles I fell in line with Torrey, who is also from the .83 crew. We were pretty well matched and traded pull and draft positions. It worked really well for the first half of the race.

Halfway through the race is the traditional vodka stop. I had been looking forward to that the whole first half of the race. I needed a extra minute to catch my breath though, so Torrey took off without me. I also started eating some energy gummy bears. I am glad I did. The next thing was the big hill of the race.

I felt good about my performance up that hill. The lowest gear I have is 46-34, but I didn't put a foot down once. At the top it started to snow a bit. Actually it was more like really tiny hail. It didn't slow me down one bit.

On the down slope of the hill I fell in with another cyclist. He asked us what our "deal" was. His explanation was "You dress in dingy clothes, ride beater bikes, and blow the doors off of everyone else". Pretty much. You don't need spandex or dura-ace to go fast and have a good time.

The last six miles of the race I was running out of steam. I bonked really hard toward the end. Each hill my body kept telling me to pull over and take a nap in the grass. My average speed dropped form 18mph to 16mph, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it. But I didn't stop, I must have been through worse, right?

When I rolled into the finish line I headed straight for the chili. They warned me that it was just put on the stove so it wouldn't be that warm. It didn't matter. I needed food. My friend Sean, who finished a couple of minutes before me, was sprawled out in the grass. That seemed like a fine plan, and I did the same for a bit.

After the rest and the food settled in, I started talking to folks and congratulating people. It was amusing at that point to notice the cognitive impairment in other people. I had figured this out in my big tour. At the end of a long day I couldn't deal with finding a place to sleep until I had some food and a chance to sit for a couple of minutes. After the race people weren't very talkative or coherent until after a bit of chili and some rest.

All in all a great race. I am so excited to have been a part of it this year. A big thanks to Derrick for putting it on. Also thanks to the sponsors for donating gear.