Leesburg Baker's Dozen

Let me just begin with a little history of this race. This is the first year of hopefully many to come that the race took place. It was as the name depicts a 13 hour race. It's located on a working farm in Leesburg, VA just a few miles south of the Point of Rocks bridge and right on the Potomac River.

So as you know from the previous posts I made it up there on Friday for a few laps as the farm was open for the afternoon. Took the time to look at a couple of different lines through the couple of rock drop offs. The first one was about mile and a half in and was roll-able but found it to be faster if I put into practice the cyclocross skills I learned over the many cross races I did this past winter. The course was mostly flat with only a couple very short steep climbs and proved to be a very fast ~7.5 mile course.

Saturday morning comes along and I am starting to mentally prepare myself for the anguish I was about to put myself through. Taking the same approach I had in the 18 hour race last summer I started almost dead last and just rode my pace. After the first lap I was sitting 29th of 31 or so as I only passed a couple of solo riders at the very end of the lap. No worries they will begin to drop off the longer the day goes right?

The traffic began to thin a bit on lap two and even more on lap three. I decided to pick the pace up a bit so I didn't fall too far behind the leaders. Being a chaser by nature, I began to pick one rider off after another. Lap 5 or 6 I stop for a PBJ and ask Dad to check the standings to see where I was sitting as I thought I had made a strong push towards the front. Low and behold it wasn't that strong as I had only picked up positions on half the field and was now sitting in 16th.

A bit disappointed at where I was standing, Dad had to remind me that I was less than 4 hours in. He also told me it appeared many of the riders were beginning to tire as they rolled through the pits. Whether this was true or not I don't know but it worked and I jumped back on the bike and heading out for a few more laps.

After completing those couple of laps I rolled into the pits complaining of my upper back hurting. Sat in the chair for a few minutes while I ate another sandwich and once again mounted the bike. The thing about endurance racing is you do not get a chance to really dwell on any one part of your body hurting for any length of time because as soon as you do some other part begins to hurt even worse and takes your mind off of it onto the new pain.

The night began to come closer and I began to move up ever so slowly. I remember sitting in the pit a couple of laps later, again chomping down on a PBJ when mom's cell rings. It's Dad up at the scorer's table. I had just made the comment, thinking I was still mid-pack or so, "I wish I was closer to the front. Maybe I would be a little more motivated to get back out there." Thats when I hear Mom say, "Well get back out there. You are in third" That comment made me choke on the Cytomax I just squirted into my mouth. Jumping back on the bike I head back out for what ended up being two of my fastest (actual riding time) laps. The taste of blood was in my mouth and I was hunting the leaders. OK so not really. I was really trying to run from 4th, 5th and 6th as we were all on the same lap and already 2 laps down to the eventual winner Steve Schwartz of Titus Cycles.

As the sun began to set, I couldn't help but to notice that it seemed everyone was already grabbing their lights before heading out again. "I'll need my light next lap" "You sure you don't want it now?" "Nope, It will make me ride faster if I am racing daylight." Off I went and back I got before the sun set. Grabbed my light and headed back out.

The last couple of hours in the dark are really a blur as I was fighting the dreaded bonk for the last three laps. My night laps were slower than I would have liked but I got to the point were I could turn over the cranks no more. Somewhere along those laps I surrendered 3rd place and finished in 4th place.

I am satisfied with my finish and loved the ride of the Turner. I find myself in a weird spot where I am in shape but yet still out of shape. Make sense? No? Oh well! The plan of racing on Sunday as well at Poor Farm feel through as my arms and hands hurt like no other afterwards. Such a wuss I know!