Bow80 was initially a MTB race over 80Kms, but as the weather is always bad this time of the year the organizers decided to change the course a bit and ended up been Bow65.
With over 7,000 feet of elevation gain/loss riding this course in my single speed was a hard choice, but I was up for the challenge and wasn't going to change my mind.....
I woke up at around 5:00 am to have a good breakfast (Andy's favorite as I referred to it) wholewheat pancakes, peanut butter, bananas and strawberry yogurt ummm (only thing though is that my baby ate the last banana and my wife the last yogurt the night before and that ruined my breakfast plan... still love them though). Anyway, had my breakfast with all I have left and headed out to TimHortons for an extra large coffee. 6:30 am and I was parking my Rav across from Station Flats. Rode my bike to pick up the race package and went back the the car to get ready to race. With the unpredictable weather we have in this part of the world I tried to have a few extras in the bag I was going to have access to half way through the course, so I packed extra socks, gloves, rain jacket, water bottles, a sandwich and gels. As for the start, I was only wearing my jersey, vest and arm warmers (that should be enough I thought). 7:30 am and there we go, without knowing how long the race was going to be I tried to go as hard as I could. I was feeling good and strong and was pedaling with the lead group for a while. Right after powder face and into prairie creek trail there was this big and deep Beaver pond (oh my god was it dark and nasty), didn't see the line on the right side and tried to go through it as if I had a boat instead of a bike !! big mistake, upside down I found myself swimming in that nasty Beaver pond. I was freezing now with my socks and gloves all wet, it was going to be a miserable ride if I hadn't packed those extras in my bag a few kms away from me by that time.
2 hours in and 30kms into the race when I made it to the feed zone where I had my bag with all these dry stuff. Put on dry socks and gloves, grabbed another water bottle when I saw Andy and the two dead goat ss guys passing by. Back on the bike as soon as I could to catch those guys, but ss on a gravel road with Andy in the front?? I don't think it was very realistic for me to be able to catch him, I could see him getting away from me as time went by... Finally, we started to climb and I started to close that gap between Andy and me (my first target), the next step was catching those two dead goat ss guys (Tim and Pat). There was a lot of climbing up Powder Face and on the descend of course Andy passed me once again. Catching him up again was tough, and when I did it I flew over the bars and bang off the bike I went !! got on the bike in one piece and now needed to catch two guys instead on one.... At the top of the trail everything was so familiar, maybe because I have ridden Pneuma quite a few times, so I knew that the end was coming. I love Pneuma and on a fresh day I could ride it with no problem, but yesterday every hill seemed steeper. I was running and walking sections, on and off my bike. I managed to pass Andy and stayed away from him during the entire climb. Down Special K I knew he was going to catch me, so I rode as fast as I could and when I got to Tom Snow trail I knew I was safe. I pushed really hard those last 6kms and Andy is almost sure that he saw me at one point, I didn't even want to look back untill the last 1k when I looked and no one was behind me... Through the finish line in 5:04 and ready for the next race.