Sunday, April 14, 2013

Battenkill Race Report, or yes I am still alive!

Blogging is such a conundrum to me. When I'm in the habit, I love to blog. When I'm not, it's overwhelming. That is stupid. I think it's the photo upload process that kills me for some reason. What a dumb reason.

Anyway, I am starting to get back into the habit with a race report. I raced Tour of the Battenkill yesterday, a classic season opener in the Northeast about 3 hours north of New York. I haven't seen any race pictures yet, but here's one I took from another site:

The race is pretty epic. Here are some stats:
- 64ish miles
- Per my Garmin, 4,200 feet of climbing
- 25% or so on dirt roads

SO much fun. I was in the 4 field and I frankly thought I could win. Which would have been very helpful on my quest for my Cat 3 upgrade. The race tends to split up on the first decent climb which is around mile 10. We started out pretty moderate but at that climb that's exactly what happened. I tried to push the pace on the climb to make things more selective, and so did a few other girls that I knew would be contenders. We got the group down to maybe 9 at that point. We organized well into a nice rotating paceline. I kept dropping them on the descents - that's what I hate about 4 fields, many of the girls who are strong just started racing so they are fast but have no idea what they're doing. So I would either try to get more of a gap or just sit up and let them catch back up. I also ended up doing a LOT of work, way too much. That was just plain stupidity on my part. I think I learned from it.

The next big climb was around mile 30. It was 'new' - it had been in the course in 2011, then removed for 2012, then they put it back in for 2013. Holy cats this was tough. I had a moment when I thought I would pass out and fall off my bike, I was going that hard. It was dirt (I think - hard to remember!), and steep. But I made it with the group somehow.

The next action was the three-step climb around mile 50. I basically lost the top two girls here. SUCKS. I don't know, I just couldn't climb as fast as they could at that point. The field kind of splintered again here and it was the top two ahead, then three of us, then the rest got dropped. We tried to catch them but they just didn't get any closer. There was one more climb after this that was just frankly demoralizing. But I was able to stay with my little group so that was good. After that it's flat to the finish. I tried to drop them at 1k to go, but one girl came around me with maybe 150 meters to go, and I couldn't catch her. Once again this was a dumb rookie move - I basically gave her a nice leadout. Next time I would try to sit on someone else's wheel and slingshot around them. But I rolled in for 4th in a pretty solid field. So ultimately I can't be mad and I think I got enough points for the upgrade, which makes me very happy. All in all it was a great day for my team - two of our girls went 2-3 in the 3 field, which is amazing, and we had two more in the top 10. I am so proud of all of us.

After the race, we had a GIANT pizza. I didn't take a picture of that, so I leave you with a hilarious picture (to me at least, I have a weird sense of humor), depicting Peeps as High Fashion (Blakleys are obsessed with marshmallow peeps):

I will really try to blog more now. I know, I always say that. But I will!


  1. HA!! You and your blogging. You will never change. I get you on the picture thing. It is time consuming to upload pics. Some people have a lot of patience with that.

    I personally marvel at that.

    Congrats on your race. :)

  2. Sounds like it was good (tough) race!! I like your blog.. keep it up Barb! Miss ya friend!