I did the metric race, which was "100" kilometers through the Ottawa National Forest including plenty of climbing in and out of the Sturgeon River Gorge. My (unofficial) time was 5:24:31, which seems like long time to be on a bike riding through the woods, but honestly didn't feel too bad. That time put me somewhere around 5th out of 14 for the metric, depending on how you count the guys from Minnesota who started in the wrong time zone (heh). Which was pretty amazing to me, as my goal was just to finish before the course cut-off.
This photo was at the roll-out on Forest Highway 16. I just eked ahead of the second pack of riders at about Mile 5, and that was my position for the rest of the race. Kinda lonely, but then nobody else had to endure me singing the many ass-soreness-themed songs I came up with.
My ride was a 2010 Redline Conquest cyclocross bike, and it made the trip with no complaining. The gearing was a bit steep for me on this course (36-27 is my low gear), but I made it only having to walk for a big sandy area. Hills were a serious challenge though, and a few rocky sections had me wishing for a mountain bike. At least I was faster than this guy:
Besides being hilly, the course ranged from sandy to rocky to loose gravel. The cyclocross bike made the best of the gravel rollers, and before my enthusiasm for being in the woods could pass through bordeom to utter contempt, I was making the turn back onto the pavement for the final five miles.
I was cheered at the finish area, and was promptly administered a delicious pulled pork sandwich by Dr. Jen. A few beers and some stretching had me feeling pretty good, and I enjoyed hanging out and listening to the war stories of fellow racers.
Thanks to James and Heather - this was a great race. Thanks also to Nancy, who calmed my pre-race nerves and cheerled for me at the half-way checkpoint. I'll definitely be back next year!