Just over a week ago, my teammate, Cole McCord, his wife Katie and I all loaded up and took a 12 and a half hour road trip for a race for single speeders only. The race was billed as approximately 35 miles, with 4,300 feet of climbing. The race is SSUSA, and had a field of approximately 300 racers from 33 states.
We left after work on Thursday, August 15 and drove until about 2 am before bedding down at a hotel just outside of Kansas City. We were up the next morning early and arrived to the small town of Winona in the mid-afternoon. The plan was to get the bikes ready and get a little ride in to see what we were facing the next day. After a necessary hotel change, we were on the bikes at the start point for a pre-ride. The trail system was outstanding with a fair bit of climbing, but great trail and views up top. But it was only a small taste of what was in store for us the next day.
The next day, the race was set up with a Le Mans style start with the bikes about 1/4 mile down the trail in a park. After “running” to our bikes we discovered that the volunteers had re-organized them for us, so there was a little hide-and-seek game to be played.
All told, the race was very demanding with no shortage of tough climbs and long miles. Around 40.5 miles later we were done, and I had a black eye and bloody leg to prove it was fun.
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