Monday, February 11, 2013

Ice(y) Bike Report

Let's just say it was the day of the Rooster! David "Cold Hands" Coughlan (see photo below) and Andrea "Cloud Flier" Tetrault both snagged wins in their respective categories of the days penultimate event, the Abominable race. Cocks on top! Cocks on top! Shouted the thousands of delirious fans lining the long icy straitaways and treacherous descents along the Red River. Of the four Roosters entered in the race (Dave, Andrea, Leanne, and Myself), DRR left with 2 wins and a 5th place podium (Me) in the mens race. Pretty sweet. Where was the rest of the hen-coop? Perhaps they were enjoying beers on the beaches of Florida or warm hearth-fires in the bungalows of Manitoba... whatever the case... they were no-shows. Statistically, this might have been DRR's best event to date. I registered early and went back home to have some family time. When I arrived at the race I barely had a few minutes to spin up the legs before plopping my bike near the front of a bulging mob at the start/finish. Despite my tardiness, I felt I had things under control. In relaxed fashion I took off my gloves and was about to re-tie the drawstrings on my pants when the comissaire bellowed "10 SECONDS!!. Ten seconds??? WTF? That sounds like a pretty tight notice for staging well over 100 racers... I scrambled to tie up my pants and as the flood was unleashed, I barely had one mitten on. DARN. Great way to start. It was going to be one of those claw-back races.... After a brief foray on the paths behind the Johnston Terminal, the trail veered down into the astrological crater followed by a very snowy run-up the far side. The race headed across the old train bridge and down onto the gravel path under the Norwood bridge and south up the trails behind Donald. Following that, the course veered down a steep snow-covered switchback and onto the river. Now on the ice, we headed south to the end of the ice trail. Then a hairpin turn and we headed back north along the trail... who knew it was 2-way traffic?? Obviously not most of the racers... there were numerous close-calls as riders slipped and crashed on the ice... it was a bit of a gong show. Dave went down as oncoming riders slid into him riding on the wrong side of the ice-way. From there the trail headed north to the Provencher bridge. Yes, cross bikes would have been the best option here, as pushing my 29er against the wind started to feel like a tractor pull. Following the longest ice-trail ride since the 2011 24 hours of Clint Eastwood, there was a series of 2 snowy run-ups followed by a stair descent and then back to the start-finish. 2 laps of this 6 something km course marked the end of the race. On the second lapof the race I was sitting 4th behind Willem "The Butcher" Boersma and just ahead of Ari Robinson. On the last run-up Ari screamed past and I thought- good for him if he wants to use extra energy in the 2nd lap... I'll just apply constant pressure and catch up. Too bad for me I had gotten it into my head that there would be 3 laps... and crossing the finish I realized that I was officially a moron. Good times though! After the race I looked down at my computer and it registered 32 minutes of race time. What?? I'm not sure what most people call "Abominable", but this was definitely NOT it. It hearkened more to Curry Cross 2010 and the race from Broadway to the Klubhause than any sort of "Abominable" race. Oh well- in the end there was a TON of schwag thanks to the good folks at Woodcock cycle. Seemed like nearly everyone walked away with at least one door prize, many of them in the vein of bib shorts, sunglasses, 29er tires, shirts, bar mits, etc. What with the fancy dancy yellow woodcock touque in the racer reg pak, many folks will have come out even. I ended up with 2 pairs of beautiful Ryders sunglasses- and since they were on the "to purchase" list anyway, I was very happy I came out. Looking forward to Actif Epica next weekend and then the 24 hours of Coen!
***Photo Credit: Stefan Isfeld. He is awesome, eh?

1 comment:

Mark Reimer said...

Too sweet! But no gloves??!