Today was my first time out at Paris to Ancaster. In the past I was always away racing, didn’t have a cross bike and didn’t have mountain bike shoes. This year I had no excuses, and with it being the 20th anniversary figured it was time to give it a go.
I had a good start, making the front on the first rail trail. But then I didn’t stay near enough to the front and when we hit that first right hand into the gravel hill BOOM! My dismount is pathetic and I was fumbling in the gravel. I think by the time I crested Garrigan et al were already out of sight.
Still it was game on and several of us started working together. Jamming, jamming, jamming. Bogging down in some soft grass. I thought the loop through the fields at the farm where you went in and out at the same driveway was a bit masochistic. But fun.
Finally it was only two of us left chasing the group up the road, and we were still going at threshold. Solid. Finally making it across.
I really liked the rail trails at the end. And even managed to ride all of the mud sections except the last one.
The best part of the day though was the final climb. I was chasing back after having run the final mudslide and was powering along in the big ring. Churning. And then oh s@#t! there was one hell of steep hill to finish on. 39×28, full on with cramping quads, giving it all I had to get up it. With so many people watching I didn’t want to run. I saw a few stars there.
Overall it was quite a day. Lots and lots of fun. Janet, my wife, even came and cheered me on. Thanks for the organizers, all the volunteers and my wife for their support.
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