You’re probably looking at this title and thinking “YEAH RYAN, WE GET IT. YOU THINK YOU’RE AWESOME FOR THE BICYCLE RIDING”. Not true. This race was quite difficult, and I am really glad that I’m good at writing macros in Excel and doing website things.
In the days/weeks before the race everyone was like “Hey, that race is really fast the whole time and it’s absurd.” To which I said “Yeah, it sounds hard!” and went on with my day.
Telling me the race is hard, and me actually understanding that the race is hard are two entirely different things. It would be like telling someone how awesome sex is, and then they say “Oh, neat!” and then they actually have sex and they say “OH HOLY HELL THAT WAS AWESOME”, except this was the opposite, because during the race I was shouting in my brain “OH GOODNESS THIS IS VERY FAST AND HARD AND TOTALLY ABSURD AND NO ONE PREPARED ME FOR THIS”. The only way I could have prepared for the race would have been by motorpacing at 27 mph for three hours every other day. Which I couldn’t do, because I have a life, and things to do in my life, etc.
The three significant climbs on the race would have been totally manageable had we spent the day going a normal speed. But Stan’s / AXA (and others I suppose) frequently decided that we should be going speeds that were out of my comfort zone, and then going into climbs with similar ferocity.
I made it up the first climb without a huge issue…got over the top of the second climb just off the back of the group, and experienced sadness on the third and final climb. Leading up to this climb, any time the road turned out of sight, I prayed to atheism (Cycling Gods, maybe? I suppose I believe in and honor them) that there would not be a climb.
Then there was the climb, and I made it over the top JUST OFF the group, but the descent was terrifying and I had no idea what was going on, I didn’t catch on, there was a false flat/slight climb, and UGH that was that. I came in a few minutes off the main field – apparently 70 riders or so. There were 120 starters, maybe?
Now Peter and Landen are playing video games and Ryan Fleming is taking a nap and I’m going to make a website, because that’s what I’m good at. Probably finished on the podium of the “Dudes Who Make Websites and Write Excel Macros” category today.