A week or so ago the "season" started off with Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge, NY. My first ever road race consisting of about 62 miles of pave and dirt mixed with a sprinkling of rain about 2/3 thirds into the race.
I don't do a lot of road riding except on my cross or mountain bike and getting ready for this race consisted of 2-3 road rides (longest one was about 5 hours out to Havard from Arlington ). I decided to use my cross bike (fitted with some 25mm road tires) to help with some of the steeper climbing sections. I did get in some long mt bike rides on weekends at Otis and near home. Longest being a six hour tour that was lead by mtb tom a couple weekends ago.
Great weather and course for Battenkill this year. I lost the 3/4 women "pack" about the time the climbing began and the rest of my 4 hrs 44 mins was solo until one of my cross teammates caught up to me and we rode together to the finish. The climbs were tough and my speed was non-existent, but I climbed everything and only stopped for a bottle exhange at the feed zone @ mile 42.
The time sort of fly by to that point, the end seemed longer than 20 miles. I did get a flat about 45-60 minutes to end. I took a gravel downhill slightly too fast,. After that, I was paranoid about getting another flat and was more careful.
The entire day, all the mens field keep passing me, so it was a bit like a super long cross race. Everyone was fairly friendly and my overall impression of this huge race was good. I think only two men finished slower than me, but I was happy arrive at finish and get this whole Battenkill thing out of the way. I was more worried than I should have been, but if I decide to do it again in 2009, I'll be better prepared and know what to expect. Maybe I'll even do more road riding in preparation !
Next big event is Mohican 100 mile mtb race in Ohio. I have done the 100k twice and hopefully this year will be traveling out there with better fitness. Might do some events before then, but am not sure yet...will decide on the fly.
Warm weather and now May is almost here.
Get out and ride !