Well, as many of you know I registered for the Clarence-Rockland Classic with a stomach full of butterflies. Well, as the big day neared I actually became less nervous and was simply looking forward to getting out and riding a new-to-me event.
First off – a big thanks to the Ride With Rendall team and their crew of volunteers – the event was super well-organized and from my perspective went off without a hitch. There were two wheel trucks with a couple of very busy volunteers and the post-race food looked to be very good (I didn’t stay for the post-race meal – had to get home to Marc who has walking pneumonia…). Each and every corner was well marked and typically managed by at least three people – very impressive. The cheering from these folks helped a lot.
So, as for the race/ride? Well I was a bit nervous about an all-category event – it has been a long time since I’ve done this type of event. I was rather nervous about how fast the “fast” guys would go out and was pleased to still be with the group by the third gravel climb. But, this is where and when I realized that I’m not a fan of gravel… I quickly remembered how much I dislike turning on gravel roads (yes, poor bike handling skills) and unfortunately, I packed it in mentally. My legs were there – but my heart and spirit were not. I ended up simply riding the event – at times I rode with others and had some good conversations – many thanks to young Felix for the fast wheel on one of the paved sections. I was very happy to connect with my long-time friend Pierre at the end of the race and we rolled into together. Very nice to ride with Robyn and Tanya as well – some great company out there.
Am I disappointed? Not sure. I definitely didn’t have the competitive “spirit” that I usually have and I didn’t really have that “dig deep” attitude that helps me so much. I think really, it was simply a type of racing that is not for me. I’m happy I did it. It was great to connect with so many people and to chat with others. It was awesome to see the smiling faces and spirit of all the folks out for the day. I think I’ll stick to paved roads and cyclo-cross courses for a while though.
So thanks for the encouragement and convincing me to do the event. I’m happy I did it. Learned some valuable lessons that I’m sure I’ll be writing about in the days to come. I just registered for the Calabogie Classic and I’m looking forward to some road racing as well as a little bit of BMX action this summer.
It’s a gravel road! What could go wrong? 🙂