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Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race - Cycle

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Ancaster, Ontario
6C / 43F
Total Time = 2h 59m 43s
Overall Rank = 798/1357
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 288/452
Pre-race routine:

Prerace involves getting your bike onto a truck and yourself onto a bus which brings you to the start line. There is a truck at the start to load stuff to bring back to the finish (extra jacket, warm stuff etc.) I was really on a time crunch so didnt want to bring anything extra and got on the bus in race gear and nothing else. This was bit of an issue as I waited around for quite a while in the cold
Event warmup:

biked from the start line up the first road section to very loose gravel then onto the rail trail. 15min ride to warm up and get a feel for it.
  • 2h 59m 43s
  • 70 kms
  • 23.37 km/hr

fantastic course, apparently it was described as very dry but there were still a few mud sections that were unrideable. Years past people have lost shoes in the mud. The race is mostly on rail trail with short gravel or road sections to connect. There are also 2 mud shoots which are down hill but are thick thick mud, even the mountain bikers i saw were forced to push their bikes through the slop. A couple of farm paths and single track sections that were quite rough and difficult as well. The final push involves a long slog up martin road (cat4 climb) to the finish line, One of my top goals was to simply ride the climb as a lot of people are forced to walk it. I also had grand delusions of finishing in 2:30.

How I did

Its hard to "race' something like this blind, I saw a full video of the course and knew I could ride the distance but pacing was still difficult as I was constantly thinking about what might be ahead and wanting to keep something in the tank for that final climb. I did my best to latch onto groups where I could and keep a consistent pace over all. On the roads and rail trail I was able to ride well but through the farm fields I was having trouble as it was very rough and my back started to get sore which slowed me down. Once on the Martin Rd hill I was determined to finish strong and past a number of walkers but quickly found myself getting very hot and my pace slowed to 5 or 6km/h. I stopped - I did not take one step forward - but did take off my hat under my helmet and gloves which seemed to have a profound effect. I took off again "hammering" past a few before settling into a decent cadence to complete the climb and cross through the finish. I have mixed feelings about the race, I completed it comfortably as far as my legs go which of course begs the question if I could have gone just that little bit faster. Also back pain later in the race had a real negative effect as it really forced me to slow down and was demoralizing. I think next time I would work harder on the road/smooth sections to bring up my over all pace.

I found this after writing my report but am pasting it in here
When I came to the bottle neck and downed trees I figured it was due to a wind storm and perhaps the organizers left them there just to be more "authentic" Turns out Nope -disgruntled neighbours.

An otherwise spectacular day of racing was marred by an act of sabotage at Sunday's Paris to Ancaster race.

A section of the course near the small community of Harrisburg was partly blocked by trees that appear to have been intentionally cut down and pushed onto the rail trail. The obstacles created a backup of riders as they were forced to dismount and push their bikes up, over and through the logs and branches.

Race organizer John Thorpe said that section of the route was surveyed on Saturday afternoon and was clear of obstruction, but the trees were down by the time the first group of racers arrived Sunday morning. The cuts to the tree trunks were straight and clean, consistent with a chainsaw.

"Somebody went in and sabotaged it," Thorpe said. "It's a real concern because it's a safety issue. It's frustrating."

Alan Lo came in from Collingwood to compete with his friend Audrey Stukas in the tandem division but the pair saw their hopes for a podium finish dashed by the traffic jam that cost them almost 30 minutes.

"We didn't know was going on. There was a long lineup and we were pretty upset by the delay," he said. "But when we got there, you could see what had happened. They seem to hate us, I don't know why — we only use the trail one day out of the year."

The course causes delays for some motorists, and the more than 2,500 cyclists who take part do dominate the trails on race day. But Thorpe says that after 23 years and counting, most people in the area are used to it.

"The community of Harrisburg has been great, it's just one or two individuals who don't like us very much," Thorpe said. "We have over 20 private landowners that we have a great working relationship with — they all enjoy the race."

The rest of the day's events were an unqualified success. The 70-kilometre race was won by 17-year-old amateur phenom Gunnar Holmgren of Orillia, who outduelled professional rider and 2014 champion Anthony Clark on the final climb for the win.

Clark, who rides for Squid Bikes in the United States, also finished second in 2015. He took the defeat in stride.

"I love this race thank you for always letting me be a part of this race it's amazing," he tweeted. "Canada rules."

Ellen Noble of Aspire Racing took the women's event, defeating last year's champion, Ellen Van Loy, by more than six minutes.

The 70-kilometre and 40-kilometre versions of the race were completely sold out, and Thorpe said the newly added 20-kilometre route was well received and is here to stay.

"The 20-kilometre was fantastic, people had a ton of fun doing it. I think it's going to be a growth area for us."

Going forward, Thorpe says, organizers will check potential trouble spots along the course the morning of the race, and he plans to talk to police about what more can be done.

Lo said the delay may have cost his team a medal — they finished fourth in the tandem category — but he'll be back again next year.

"It was still a good day. The weather was perfect and we rode up the big finishing hill on a tandem. So that was pretty cool."

What would you do differently?:

Back pain -> CF bike?
ride in a group -> going it alone is hard as you dont have that group dynamic to feed off of. Riding alone you also have to fight the wind yourself the whole time

Post race
Warm down:

rode back to car and got on the road. I was double booked so I really had to get back home fast. skipped lunch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

hard to say, need to train more. Need to push harder on the easy sections.

Event comments:

A really great race. lots of people but spaced out well due to the wave starts. There were a couple of bottle necks but not bad. Certainly a race worth doing.

Last updated: 2016-04-25 12:00 AM
02:59:43 | 70 kms | 23.37 km/hr
Age Group: 288/452
Overall: 452/1357
Performance: Average
avg HR 154
Wind: Some
Course: Paris to Ancaster has taken place for the past twenty three years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads we can find. Combined with unpredictable spring weather and the largest field of riders assembled in Canada, it has become a classic race experience for everyone from average riders to Canadian Olympians
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-04-25 8:35 AM

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Southampton, Ontario
Subject: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

2016-04-25 9:13 AM
in reply to: #5178690

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Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

Congratulations for doing so well on what sounds like a really hard course!! Sorry about your back, when backs hurt nothing is fun!! And really well done completely the final uphill without walking!!

2016-04-25 9:17 AM
in reply to: amd723

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race
Sounds like a tough race!! Hard to control the back issues, sounds like you did very well considering!
2016-04-25 11:31 AM
in reply to: Jet Black

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

You did it! nice job - i am glad to hear the mud was reasonable this year. Definitely a tough one and you did great! 

2016-04-25 11:32 AM
in reply to: #5178690

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Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

Congrats on hitting the 'not walking the hill' goal and for completing a very challenging sounding race!  Hope you get the back pain figured out for future races.

2016-04-25 12:22 PM
in reply to: Jet Black

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

Congratulations!  This sounds like a great event!  I notice that you said "next time" in your race report so I'm guessing that you enjoyed it! :-D

2016-04-25 1:36 PM
in reply to: #5178690

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Paris To Ancaster Bicycle Race

That sounds like a very challenging race. Congrats on meeting your not walking goal.

Bummer about the back issues. As others have said, it's hard to do anything with a sore back.

Still shocked at the extent to which the neighbor(s) went to sabotage the race  

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