Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Coming back at the provincial circuit

All things considered, this past weekend was pretty much the perfect weekend - I mean what more can a guy ask for? Good health, great support, camping, and fantastic weather. Oh, and giant inflatable pretzels, they're important too. As my last blog post says, I was off the bike for 2 weeks, stuck in bed due to a disk problem in my back pinching on my sciatic nerve. Luckily I bounced back so quickly that it alarmed the physiotherapist that I was seeing, who didn't look like he believed me when I told him that I had got back on my bike. This means that in the 3 weeks leading up to the race, I rode my bike 4 or 5 times. I wasn't really going for a good result; I would just be happy to finish the race, to support my friends, and to have a good time camping!

The race was at Albion Hills Conservation Area near Bolton, Ontario - which is a sweet course that hasn't been in the Ontario Cup circuit for 3 or 4 years. Another perk of racing at Albion is that the trails area awesome, and it is attached to a campground. I camped out with the Wolfpak crew, Sarah from Two Wheel Racing, as well as Davis and Hannah from AWI racing - couldn't have asked for a better crew!

I'm the lucky guy on the left, getting my legs stretched out
If we weren't joking by the fire or eating, we had the luxury of swimming to cool off (it was so hot this weekend that I was melting, but maybe that's because I'm used to days like these.

Alex and I are sharing the most buoyant pretzel in the world (thanks Mary Lynch for the photo)
The race course for the elite race was tough! There were two outstandingly unforgiving hills (the Green Monster and the Wall of Pain), as well as a bunch more hills, and insane sun that I just couldn't get away from - but at least there were gnarly features to huck off of in front of the crowds!

On the race start I was thinking mostly of how badly I just wanted to finish such a tough race, especially after being in bed for 3 out of the last 4 weeks or so. Once the gun went off, I was't too aggressive, and filed in near the back of the pack - waiting to see how the long, hot race would unfold.

I had a couple of pretty good laps, with a big collision with a tree, and fell into "no man's land"after that. "No man's land" is that part in the race where the guys behind you aren't fast enough to catch you, but you have lost enough ground on the guys ahead. It's a tough place to be, especially when you're not feeling good and you know that these guys have trained 30+more hours than you over the last 4 weeks.

I kept confident however, and really enjoyed having a cheering section at most places in the course! The tech features were a positive as well, and though there are no photos of me, this is what doing them looked like.

Big shout out to Andrew, who trusted me with his super expensive wheels not to do exactly what Sarah does in this video. It wasn't completely misplaced trust, I landed smoothly and a little closer to the rocks - his wheels are fine.

Currently I'm on the course for the Baie St. Paul Canada Cup bike race, staying at a campground with wifi...weird right? So I'm sitting in the shade by my tent, waiting for the race to start in like 4 hours - hoping to have my legs back to how I was feeling before this back problem!

Big shout out to CLIF bar for fueling this 2 week trip, and Thule for making me able to pack so well!

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