What will the husband con this “triathlete” into next?
OK, truth be told, I fancy myself as a triathlete, which I have learned is not necessarily “cool”” in bicycle circles, but since my training revolves around swim-bike-run as they say it is what it is!
I do like to mix things up a bit so I don’t get bored, plus I have been doing more and more bike stuff since that special someone (the husband, Joey) has been getting more and more into it. Yes, watching him transform from the guy who never exercised, weighing in at a few lbs more (or nearly 100), to this fit guy who now punishes me regularly on the bicycle seems to motivate me to try new things (and every now and then, suffer A LOT!)
So back to Hilly Billy…. After completing our second Barry Roubaix, Joey pitches the idea of doing Hilly Billy Roubaix and AS A TEAM! Well me always being the sucker to what-the-rationale-person-would-say-no-to, said sure! After all, it would be my first team event with the old (well technically younger than me) man!
I was a little less excited about the race looking at the forecast. RAIN all day! Yet, it actually seemed a little better. Like a million other peeps, we debated cross vs mountain bikes, but we decided to go with the safe mtn bike choice which I think given the 2014 super muddy conditions was the right call for me!
We arrived and it was a super chill hilly billy experience! Some twang in the air and I encountered a West Virginian dog…her name was Lou Lou! I LOVE HER and want one!!! Got to talk to her proud parents and apparently her sibling doggy, Denali, gets jealous because she gets all the attention. Wonder why?????
Anyways, with Lou Lou’s squeal, we were off!
OMG, we hit a few road sections and I was playing it safe and then we hit the first big hill which seemed never ending and my heart rate went through the roof. I could see Joey ahead trying to wait on me. I was maxed with my heart rate pegged over 170 and I thought this day might kill me and I was most disappointed as I knew I was slowing him down.
However, finally the terrain leveled out and I started to settle into my rhythm. Joey joked likening me to the turtle…yes there is something to be said about slow and steady.
We made our way into hilly billy MUD HOLE HELL….well that is what this roadie triathlete will call it. I mean really???
I tried riding through some of it and then gave up and ran through some of it! I heard it was the wettest it had been in many a years! Hmmmm….why has this race been called one of the most ridiculous races?
Miles were clicking by and we were making friends along the way with other teams, especially when we hit the road sections and Joey hammered like a maniac and others sat in, like me!!!
Most of the race is now a blur. I was metering my pace trying to make it through the day. Looking back maybe I should have worked harder. Joey was a machine, dragging me around most of the day, but most of all, I was enjoying that all these hours were with him and much better than being out there solo.
As the race went on, we were passing more and more people and I was enjoying it. Crazy thing was, as much as I wanted a nice sunny day, I was enjoying the cool light rain (did not really need the hard painful rain times) and when the sun came out and warmed everything up, again I would think I liked that rain! OMG, literally that was the dirtiest and most soaking wet I have ever been! I have never been so dirty from the very start. I never had a dry clean place to wipe anything. For that reason, I skipped the glasses knowing they would be so trashed and end up off, but oh did my little eyeballs get destroyed with mud, hard rain and everything else. I might still be pulling gunk out of them!
Joey was having some shifting issues throughout the race, my tire was going flat and we stopped once for that, but other than that, the only other real slowdown was Joey’s legs started cramping late into the race as he had worked so hard. We lost a spot in that last 10 miles but I was pretty excited to come into the finish. Yes maybe there was a nasty steep road climb followed by the grassy section (or rather swampy exert maximum power to get through) and then the last climb to the finish, but then we crossed the finish line to get our SUPER BAD ASS Hilly Billy Roubaix mason jar glass. And yes, there was free beer to go in it and pizza and bacon and more!!!!
Even better, Joey and I managed to score third co-ed team with our time of 5:35! Since we were just hoping for the podium, we were thrilled and the race event had a super nice prize bag for us (tires, lube, tshirts and more!!!) I also will note here that I also really liked the soft fun race event shirts!
All and all, this was such a wonderful experience! Definitely not a triathlon and I might have thought, “This is ridiculous” and “You have got to be kidding me,” more than a few times, but I already want to come back. Next time we are suckering more friends into it with us! Lastly I wanted to give huge props to the RD and the volunteers….aid station stocking and execution was about the best I have seen! BRING ON HBR 2015!!!