Monday, April 6, 2009

2009 Uxbridge Icebreaker Race Report

Left Jeannie Beanie's place and a sleeping wifey and the peanut to head down to the Uxbridge Icebreaker Sunday morning to start the 2009 race season off in 3 degree temperature. Luckily it wasn't raining or snowing and it was a clear'ish, sunny day.

Grrrrr . . . . . a coffee from Timmy's gets my motor running. Was a good sign when I rolled up the rim and won a coffee.

I didn't have my usual race jitters. Kept the idea that this whole racing thing should be for fun in my head. No body cares if I win (except me) or lose (again, me) and I'm not getting paid, so why worry about it. Truth be told, every now and then a butterfly flapped it's wing in my belly but I schwooshed it away with happy thoughts.

Number two. Foreshadowing of having to go to the bathroom or landing on the podium? Neither. Stop trying to read into everything. Geeez, it's just a number. But I wasn't actually that far off in placing.

I love race venues. Not a better place to meet like minded people out for a good time and a great way to get your mind off the self-imposed-pressure of racing and more on having fun. The Vassago always gets attention, so it was a great way to meet some new folks. I also got to put on my 'sponsored rider' hat and promote the company - I had a half dozen or so people take the Jabber for a cruise.

Without any written consent, or verbal for that matter, I stole this from Matt on the Tall Tree blog. I hope he doesn't mind me poaching it from there . . . but he did a concise job in describing the course and I'm feeling too lazy to do it myself.

The 'long course' was supposed to be 50k. It was more like 41-42k. I didn't mind. It was comprised of a mix of wide logging road trail, dirt road and a small amount of singletrack. Packed snow, in varying depths covered anywhere from a few to 200 meters of trail. Some was perfectly rideable fast, other sections not rideable. Big ruts developed in some areas over the course of the race. I suspect most crashed at least once. There were a couple sections of sheer lumpy ice. Dirt sections varied from soggy to pretty firm. There were very few rocks posing the risk of pinch flats. The dirt roads were smooth and rolling. I can't attest to the elevation profile, but there was a moderate amount of climbing. There we very few if any difficult turns to navigate.
There you have it. And to make a long story short, one I'm sure you don't want to read and I one I don't want to type . . . . I rode my bike through some mud, snow, ice, on some double track and concession roads and came in third in the single speed category. Full race results here on Ontario Cycling Associations website.

From left to right: me, Matt Prosser and Guy Leclair
Is it me or does my face look really chubby?!

Matt set a blazing pace from the bell and only had him in my sight until the first rise on the first bit of concession road. The next time I would see him was in the parking lot - he was pretty much cleaned up when I was just rolling back to the car.

Don't let the grey hair fool you on Guy, he's a machine. I battled back and forth with him on the first lap, but he kept a consistent 20-30 m gap on me for three quarters of the second lap. I caught him in the last four or so km's and even had a chance to pass him (would have been a sketchy pass on snow and cutting him off), but I decided to sit on his wheel and let him take the win ahead of me . . . . didn't seem fair to win it like that, after all, he had me beat pretty much the entire second lap and deserved it. Yeah, I'm a class act . . . what can I say?!

I lost a shit load of time riding single speed on the concession roads - couldn't pedal down the hills, spin, spin, spin, spin - nothin! Fat tires and ss were good in the snow and mud. This was my first ever podium on my own (I podiumed a few years back on a 5 man 24 hr team), so this was pretty cool and kind of a big'ish deal to me . . . . a schmuck middle of the pack hack. It's a nice feeling that I doubt I'll repeat anytime soon, so be prepared for me to wallow in it via the blog the next few weeks and months.

The proof . . . .

. . . . is around . . . .

. . . . my neck.
Not bad for a chubby fat guy.

There were a bunch of other fellas from Ottawa racing too and who did very well. Ryan Atkins took second overall in the long course in elite 19-29 age group (sorry no photo - what were you thinking Greg?), Matt (above) and Stuart Blunt also got themselves on the podium in the long course 30-39 age group, second and third respectively. Dom F. took first place in the clydesdale category. Greg Zuliani also had a wicked fast time on the long course, 1hr 51 min, and placed fifth in elite mens. Ottawa represent'n!

Stuart (3rd) and Matt (2nd)

  • 53 registered starters, 51 actual starts - 3 DNFs
  • I finished (from my calculations) 17/51 overall in the long course
  • My average heart rate was 172 bpm - I was above 172 bpm for 53 mins.
  • Lap times from 2007: 1 hr 12 mins 24 sec(1st lap), 1 hr 18 mins 17 sec (2nd lap)
  • Lap times from 2009: 1hr 6 mins 48 sec (1st lap), 1 hr 6 mins 13 sec (2nd lap)
  • 1 lost gel pack
  • 1 thrown away water bottle
  • $52.50 speeding ticket driving back to Ottawa, no lost points
  • 15 kms over posted speed limit
  • 53.5 swear words due to speeding ticket

Special thanks to all my sponsors for providing me with kick'arse products that helped me roll across the finish line. Cheers.


Matt Spak said...

What is it with this race and speeding tickets.

shockstar said...

congrats on the podium!

Matt Surch said...

That's cool Craig, I'm stealing your photo so we're even. See you in Hell!

The Vegan Vagabond said...

Big Ring - you are my new hero! Great job.

First Big Ring Racing podium of the season. Good start to the year.

Anonymous said...


way to go man!

must have been the outdoor riding last week, race preparations!!

kidding, you worked hard for this, and considering the lack of sleep, new dad, way to go, SUPER DAD!

pictures never do any of us justice...that guy had a bad lense...just look at Leigh Chapple on CTV news...ok, sorry, bad example...

congrats man, keep it fun, you are 100% right, we don't get paid to do it, so if it ain't fun, why bother. the results will come...and if they don't...who cares...ride hard!


Papa G said...

Congrats Big Ring! As a member of BRR, I will bask in your glory and have a bowl of chocolate bacon icecream in your honour. Really, I found a place that sells it - not far from your house....


Chris said...

Good job. Didn't have to drive as far as you thankfully. Even though rested at the In Laws first the drive to Kingston still sucked.

the original big ring said...

Ta- thanks all.

Bacon chocolate ice cream!? Dat be true?

rick is! said...

did you get beat by johnny cash?

Papa G said...

Dat be true dude! You know I wouldn't lie about that. Place called Piggies down in Westboro on Winston Ave (round the corner from the legion) at Richmond. Dark chocolate with maple coated bacon! I'm drooling just writing about it, must run downstairs and get me some...

the original big ring said...

Rick, you being from Maine, you should know your country stars. Doesn't everyone from Maine listen to country?! He looks more like Kenny Rogers sans beard. And man could Kenny mash!

Anonymous said...

speeding tickets - that's why I don't race anymore. The cost of racing just got soooo expensive. Bikes, racing, travelling and speeding tickets.

I'm glad I'm over that now.
Now I can just ride.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


rick is! said...

doh! kenny rogers, that's who I meant.

for the record, despite my redneck roots, I really don't like country.

Golonghardman said...

Well done Cranky! Great start to the season