Adventure Bike race 8:45:00  99.85 mi (11.4 mph)
It was just above freezing at the start with a forecasted high of around 15C, so clothing choices were challenging for me. There were no drop bags, so anything I started with, I had to carry the entire distance. I was joking around with the other back-of-the-pack guys at the start that we should have brought stamped, self addressed envelopes and mailed our extra layers back to ourselves from the many rural mailboxes we were to see on the course.
One needed to average 10 mph to meet the cutoffs on this new-for-2018 distance for the Barry Roubaix. I should be able to do that. Sure I can.
Even with the hills, I was averaging a decent speed of around 12 mph, and that was even after the first round of sandy spots in the "roads" that made me get on and off my bike a few times. Then I got into the second round of sandy roads. That were longer than the first round. Sometimes I could ride my bike on the firmer "shoulder" that was almost in the woods. But it was starting to feel like a cyclocross race, I was off and on so often. I was very glad for the internal hub and belt drive through here, as the sand was loose enough that I know I would have been worried about my derailleur system/chain. Guys were tipping over, in slow motion, as their bikes bogged down. At least the landings were soft.
When I got out of the second batch of sand, I realized my average speed had dropped to 10.1 mph. Holy crap. Not knowing how much more of this speed sucking sand was ahead, I had a small panic attack and pushed my pace for the next 5 miles (or whatever).......until I got to more loose sand. On an uphill. I would be very pissed if I got kicked out at the first check point for not maintaining the 10 mph pace!!!!
We had a better stretch of roads, then the infamous Sager Road section....but it was mostly rideable for me, so I maintained a pace just above the minimum. I had put extra effort into this first third of the distance and had some leg cramps, but was able to ride through them. I consumed more electrolytes through this first third than usual to try to combat the cramps, and must have reached a happy point, as they didn't haunt me again.
At the first aid station, they refilled my bottle with Infinit (which I was drinking anyways). I took a layer of clothes off my top half (thank goodness for lots of carrying capacity in my Salomon running vest), changed to lighter gloves and was very glad to hear that there would be no more sand. Not that I really mind sand, I just didn't like what it was doing to my pace. I was grateful that it was sand and not clay. And that we weren't having a repeat of last year's rain.
After that, I got enough fuel in me that the Killer hill wasn't as bad as usual. I was glad to turn onto the 62 mile course, as that was new scenery for me. I had been wondering when the crazy fast 62 milers would pass me (we had done about 20 extra miles in the first third, and had started 3 hours before they did). About mile 52, vroom, they started passing! Insane speed. Those folk average 20 mph on the 62 mile course.
I didn't stop at the second aid station in the 50-something mile area, but did stop about 10 miles later at an intersection to dig my Tums out. I was not feeling very happy around there.....but Tums saved the day. I forced down some real food, and within 5 miles, was feeling like I could git r done. Especially after a re-application of chamois cream. Miles 57 to 65 took forever to pass, but after that, it was all good. I stopped at the 80 mile aid station to get rid of my empty Ensure bottle, but that was all. I had enough fluids to get me to the finish.
I had passed a half a dozen riders since mile 50, despite my unhappy stage. And caught up with one more 100 miler dude with 8 miles to go. I also was getting ahead of the stragglers in the 62 mile version. With a dozen miles to go, I was getting warm, so took my gloves off and even wrestled my buff off, without taking my helmet off nor stopping. There wasn't anything stopping me now!
Other than a red light just before the point where you turn down to the finishing chute for the event. Whatever.
Paul finished half an hour before I did. When we compared Strava segments, he had been going about 2 mph faster than I was in the first half, but we were going the same speed in the last third. He has 47mm tires on his bike so floated through more sand than I could, as expected. And that was important in this event.
Not many finished after me.....as usual.....I was 185 out of 191 who finished (and well within the time limit).....but I think there were almost 240 signed up for it, so some might be still out there, stuck in the sand.