Monday, December 14, 2015

Riddle Box III

What a fun weekend.  Charlie, Matt, and I decided sometime ago to head to Sioux Falls, SD and the the 3rd running of the Riddle Box 120k.  It's dubbed as a winter race but riders can use any kind of bike.  They have categories for fat and skinny tires.  I opted for my fat bike (Salsa Beargrease) for training purposes while the other guys took cyclocross bikes.

The race started at 7:30 on Saturday morning.  We did a neutral roll out to a creek crossing and gathered on the other side for the start.  It started up a decent hill.  I punched it a bit and got a sizable gap on the field.  I knew there was no way I was going to hold this but found a solid pace and waited for others to join on .  Soon Greg Gleason, Charlie, and Matt jumped on and we were off.  We chatted, took turns pulling, while furthering ourselves from the chasers.  During a crosswind section Charlie took a monster pull.  Matt, who recently has been sick, fell off the back and it was down to 3.  During a long tail wind section Charlie and I punched it hard (I as out of gears on my fat bike) putting a small gap on Greg.  Even though it was in the mid 30's and I was dressed appropriately I was dripping sweat trying to keep the pace up.  The fat bike was hauling but dang I was spinning!  At the first check point (17.5 miles) Greg caught back up to us and we rolled on together.

The pace relaxed a bit and I was glad.  Being on the fat bike I was struggling at times to match Charlie's efforts.  We came upon our first B road (minimum maintenance).  I knew the fat bike would shine here.  It started out just fine.  It was a bit sloppy but the tires floated and I was moving ahead of the other guys on the skinny tires.  This wasn't too last!  Soon the road got muddy and I knew I needed to get to the side and ride the grass.  But just 10 feet was all it took and my bike seized up in mud...stupid, stupid mistake.  I was pissed at myself but I'm also proud I didn't let it get to me.  As I struggled to get my bike rolling again Greg and Charlie cruised past me.  I caught back up a couple of times only to have my chain drop, chain suck, or the der. seize...that mud was crazy.  At the end of the B road I cleaned my bike some more and took off for the chase.

I knew before the start that I most likely wouldn't be able to keep up with the skinny tires but I wanted to stick with them for as long as I could.  I put in some hard efforts to catch back up to those guys.  The course turned into a sea of rolling hills, very similar to Gravel Worlds.  I would descend a hill as they were climbing the other giving the allusion I was gaining.  Slowly, but surely they were distancing themselves from me.  Finally they were out of sight.  Again I was happy I didn't have any mental issues!  I kept the pace as hard as I could and made my way to the second checkpoint at about mile 55.

From the checkpoint the course flattened out but took us into a headwind for long stretches.  Having ridden in the wind a lot this fall/winter I just dealt with it and kept pedaling.  Again no mental break downs!

While only 75 miles I was super stoked to see the finish line.  The hills, wind, soft roads, and hard efforts had me tired!
I ended up 3rd overall and 1st Fat Bike.  I scored one of the coolest trophies ever!  Overall it was a top notch event.  Food at the start, finish, and meal at awards.  Tons so swag and all racers got a stocking cap too.  Kudos to those that made this happen.  I hope to make it back next year!
Thanks to all that made this event happen.

Because of the race I had an easier week of riding.
I'm not 100% sure but I think I netted something like 12 hours of riding.
I would like this coming week to be my biggest week of riding but the schedule isn't looking too good.  Lots of school stuff going on.  Go with the flow!

Happy Monday.


1 comment:

Joe Stiller said...

Loved seeing you & your crew Ben,,thanks for the Kind Words and making the trip to South Dakota,
see you Soon Joe