15th out of 24 in the expert singlespeed class yesterday at Barry-Roubaix. Definitely not where I had hoped to end up, but it was a fun day regardless. After the slightly sketchy neutral roll out by the Sheriff things really started to heat up quickly. Geared bikes had a significant advantage on the downhills but the uphills made everyone hurt.
Four of the argyle army rode with one gear today, and I was in pretty good position after the two-track demolished the field. 32 minutes into the race and it was hard. Wiz was up front early on, and Mike Seaman ended up passing me shortly after the two-track. Apparently I was a bit gassed, as shortly after a small gap opened up that I wasn't able to close. 34 minutes into the race. Big Wayne Cook rolled up and said, "JB we have to close that gap!" We traded pulls for a short while. 35 minutes into the race. Man, time is going SLOW and this hurts. 36 minutes in. Some geared guy rolls up to us as we have the gap at around 20 meters to Seaman's group. 37 minutes in and the group ahead turns left onto another dusty dirt road. Wayne rolls by once again and says (more emphatically this time...), "JB, we MUST close that gap!" 39 minutes and it has felt like an eternity since we got out of the two track and onto dirt roads.
Pow...there goes the rip cord. Wayne rolls away and group after group seem to ride right by without difficulty. Survival mode came earlier than expected. Rolling hill after rolling hill, left turn, right turn, up, down, Barry-Roubaix was destroying me. One climb in particular was the site of riders walking their bikes at the top...I told myself I would NOT get off and walk. 7 mph, 6 mph, 5 mph...grind, grind, grind. I must have been all over the bike but I made it. One small step for JB, one giant leap for SS kind.
The paved road back to the parking lot was fortunately mostly downhill. Even so, within the last mile I was passed by two others with one gear but I was unable to manage even the slightest elevation in pace at that point. Crossed the line in 2:04 and change, happy to be done but absolutely gassed.
Rick put on an awesome race and I can see this getting absolutely HUGE. Look for a write up on www.cxmagazine.com shortly.