Gina and I have been spending much more time lately ride our tandem so we thought we would give racing in the Barbour Detour a shot. The Detour is much flatter then most WV road races so it was the best course for us and our boat archer to make our first racing attempt on. I am pretty sure Gina was a bit nervous as the start approached cause she had never been in a bike race before. I was pretty excite and nervous for the challenge of us trying to get around the roads and not get lapped by the Cat 1/2/3 field and be dead last.
In the first 1/4 of the course you hit the only real long climb of the day. The race officials were nice/smart and had us start with the Cat 4/5 field and not the Cat 5 field which started last on the day. Had we stated with the Cat 5 field we would have been off the back in the first 1/2 mile and would have not seen anyone else the rest of the day. However starting with the 4/5's put us in the middle of the race and we got to see some of the action as we rode along. What fun!
We made it up the first hill much easier then I had imagined before the race and was really excited about the rest of the race as it was rolling the rest of the way out. As we progressed we tried pedaling hard over the top of the rollers and then taking it easy on the downhills because with the tandem's weight it goes downhill fast with out much effort. This worked pretty well for us.
As we reached mile 20 of 31 the heat day and weight of the tandem started to catch up to me. My knees really started to hurt from pushing the pedals so hard (this was a new pain for my that somehow only the tandem brings out). Gina was also getting tired but was hanging tough. Every time I asked her to pick up her pedaling, she did. We also received a huge cheer from the folks sitting on there porch on Route 38. That was really cool!
As we reached the final descent into Philippi for the finished we even passed a racer (only one of the day), and the Cat 1/2/3 field was still no where to be seen behind us. "We are going to finish with out being lapped", I told Gina WOOT! As we head towards the line I asked her over and over again to look back for the 1/2/3 because we didn't want to get in the way of their finishing sprint but that never became an issue. We crushed the other tandems out there that day. Of course there were no other ones but no one needs to know that.
At the beginning of the race Dave Burns asked me, "what time you guys hoping to finish in?" I through out 2 hours and 5 minutes thinking that it would be hard for us to make that time, but we finished in 2 hours and 4 minutes! Another WOOT! It was hard but it was also a lot of fun to do that race with my wife. We even rode the tandem two out of the next three days, guess we both had fun?! Will have to see if we get a chance to race "Big Red" anymore this year. :)
Great work Gina, love ya!
Thanks to Dynamic Physical Therapy, Cannondale, Kenda Tires, Camelbak, Pyro Apparel, Swftwik, Ergon, I9, Mike Miller DDS, Edward Jones, Performance Coaching Services, Pro Gold Lube and Pathfinder of Morgantown for letting us race on the best equipment in the business.
Till next time!