To read other racers' accounts of the 2013 Barry-Roubaix, you might think that this was somehow a 'fun' race. You would be wrong; it was not. Those other racers are either lying or crazy.
There is very little about this race that I could say I actually enjoyed.
It was cold. Roads weren't so much 'gravel' as they were stretches of potholes or sheets of ice. The first turnout onto the dirt may have actually been the surface of the moon. It was a wasteland of things that had rattled themselves off of bikes and riders: water bottles, whole sandwiches, whole sets of teeth. Surprisingly, I was OK with this part.
In spite of the irritatingly-ubiquitous advice, I was unable to keep the rubber side down on the iced-over parts. Once I got tired of all this falling on ice, I stopped to let more air out of my tires (advice given to me by people who know, and that I should have paid attention to before the race started). This helped me stay upright on ice, but 1/4 mile later the worst of the icy roads ended, and I was riding mushy tires on pavement. No, I didn't pinch flat. But don't think that thought didn't cross my mind.
I just wanted this race to end, honestly. "One and done" was the mantra that kept me going to the finish line.
Of course, these kinds of events are always better when they're over (or as a friend of mine likes to say, 'It's not fun until it's done!'). The gathering of friends and teammates all weekend (and at the beer tent, in spite of my craving to get out of the cold and into the nearest hot tub), was not to be missed.
So, there you have it: 36 miles of never again. Unless, of course, I can somehow learn to ride a bike on ice. Then I might consider this for next year.
|Emily, Angie, Kris, Me, Dave (with a spike sticking out of his head), Julie, Vicki, and Billy.|
|Flying to the finish line, and to the beer tent!|
Note the flat tires. I would be surprised if I had 20 psi in them.