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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Race Preview: Paris to Ancaster 2011

Spring is in the air, which means it's time for yet another Paris to Ancaster!

What is it

A 60km race across the Ontario countryside. Roads, rail trail, off-road, mud, fields, you name it this race has got it!

It used to be considered a mountain bike race, but clearly the perfect tool for the job is a cyclocross bike. I just bought one in the fall, so after five previous attempts all on my old hyrid, I can finally do this race justice.

It's hard to really compare times at a race like this, there are too many variables - namely weather and course conditions.

But here we go anyway:

2006 3:54:44 (970/1096)
2007 2:56:21 (632/1136)
2008 2:48:07 (513/1064)
2009 2:50:34 (429/1202)

That first year was a gong show - I had the wrong tires, the wrong idea about what the course would be like, the wrong clothes... I was just in way over my head! Miserable.

But every year I've learned a thing or two, now I feel very prepared for the challenge.


I've had cramping the last few years on the last climb, and it's driven me to madness. This year I've focused more on burst intervals (tempo riding punctuated by bursts at 100% effort) to simulate the lactic acid build-up. I'm going to go nuts with electrolytes to make sure that's not the cause... and I biked through the winter outdoors, getting out almost every weekend (in addition to indoor training sessions!).

I've basically done everything possible to not have cramping... if I still have them, I give up.


Boris T said...

I expect to see awesomeness with the new bike! Rock it buddy!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Forever in my mind will be the image of that final climb with you boys in spandex cramping and moaning at the side of road, and me walking with my bike looking upwards at the spectators that all end up looking downwards at us like vultures waiting for our likely deaths.

It's so great.

Interval work, I hear too, is the ticket to getting rid of the cramps. It's strange, I know it's a pretty male race but I never see women having those problems. Just another way we are better I guess...

Kidding, I kid. Really.

Jon P said...

Ha ha, that's a perfect description, they really are like vultures...

I don't think ovaries themselves help cramping, two years ago a girl in a skirt was in the same mess I was! She had been trash talking the "boys" earlier... there were a bunch of guys pushing their bikes up a hill, she attacked it and got up it on her bike, then yelled out "c'mon girls get back on your bikes!". I had to laugh (but only because I wasn't one of the pushers). :)

Anonymous said...

Damn I wish I could say that was me last year. I always wear pants so I can run through the weeds on the side when a pile up occurs but, this year, perhaps a skirt. I rocked a tiara last year and will have it again. Just doing 35k this time, even my overworked, undertrained husband is doing the short one. Some times you have to know your limits.