Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hell of the North

Here in Utah we have a little bike race called Hell of the North that is supposed to be our equivalent of the spring-time European Paris Roubaix, one of the spring classics, which also goes by the moniker Hell of the North. The race is notoriously muddy or dusty. Although the real Hell of the North in Europe isn't until next week, our local version lived up to it's name this weekend. With temps in the low 30s, wind-driven snow, and a muddy section of freshly grated dirt road, it was—well—messy, wet, cold, and fun. The real Hell of the North crosses between 25-30 cobblestone sections (depending on the year), some precariously narrow for a group of charging cyclists.

Since we don't have much cobblestone here in Utah, except maybe the road up to LaCaille, we just do laps on a 5 mile course with a 1.75 mile section of dirt road. Beyond the cold, the biggest challenge of the race was visibility. After one lap through the dirt i couldn't see. i took off my glasses, but then i just had to contend with the dirt and mud going directly into my eyes. As a team we did a good job pushing the pace and breaking the group up, but kind of blew it at the end. The artist did a good job and pulled out a fourth place despite having cx bike gearing. I was really stupid and let a couple guys catch me at the line for 7th, and DC and "the robot" came in 8th and 10th. KP got caught cleaning his glasses when we attacked and missed the break.

That is a fine film of dirt on the artist's face, and that was after the rain/snow had washed a lot of it away
I was still trying to get all the dirt out of my ears and eyelashes hours after the race.

T-dub won her race, outsprinting the only other girl who stuck with her at the line. They lapped most of the rest of the field. Time for an upgrade.

Can you tell who took the pull through the dirt section each lap?

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