Long version: It was a beautiful (if somewhat chilly) morning. Arguably a perfect day for a ride.
Over 100 teams of two showed up for the second annual ride. A crowd that was looking a lot more serious about this "fun and crazy" ride than I expected. I figured I could rule out the Ironmen-in-training for this event, seeing how IM WI is only two weeks away....but I did not expect the caliber of racers that showed. I was half wishing I hadn't been too lazy to switch out the pedals on my road bike instead of just grabbing the hybrid.
Then we cut through the parking lot at West Town Mall (something I doubt they see very often at the mall) and headed back to Olin via Odana (yes, through the major intersection at Gammon and Odana acting like cars) - Monroe - and a time saving jaunt down Drake and around the south side of Monona Bay.
28+ miles later (course ran a little long I guess! haha!) we were finally FINISHED. Bring on the beer and burritos please! After only eating a banana for breakfast I was starving.
We weren't last, but it sure felt like it.
Would I do the race again.....well, I'm never one to say 'never' but this event probably won't be on the top of my list of ways to spend my hard earned race entry fees.
Did I learn something from this....yes.
- Communication is KEY to teamwork. (maybe this was more of a reminder than something learned)
- Madison really is a pretty bike friendly town. A lot of the day we found ourselves either on bike trails or following little green "bike route" signs that I didn't even know existed.
- Madison is surprisingly hilly. Roads I drive on every day and thought were flat became hills on my bike.
- My hybrid bike is HEAVY. I have a new found respect for carbon.
- A banana is not enough fuel for 28 miles on your bike.
- Biking in traffic really isn't as bad as I make it out to be.
I was really hoping this event wouldn't draw the usual uber-competitive crowd, but it seemed to. I think in order to really draw out the casual cyclist and promote urban cycling to the crowd that hasn't already discovered it, they need to make the race a little shorter. And a few more mystery checkpoints would really make it a little more interesting. But that's just my opinion.