Hellbender Post-Mortem

Hellbender started about 11:30 AM, and I foolishly took off on the first climb.  I had a brief moment of glory as I led the pack to the top, and then completely lost it as the pack passed me like I was going backwards.  I then proceeded to grind along, through a series of rolling hills that never really let me get my wind back.  Finally one of the other guys who had been dropped (actually, Patrick says we should refer to this as “joining the chase group”) caught up with me, and we proceeded to take turns drafting for the next 15 miles or so.  Bert, my new riding buddy, was a bit slower on the climbs, but faster on descents and level ground, so we worked out pretty well.

When we got to the big climb at mile 20, I gained quite a bit on Bert, and after all the work (max heart rate: 186), I was unwilling to give up any ground.  So I kept riding alone for a few miles, until we got to another big descent.  All of a sudden, there was Bert, along with another chase group member he’d picked up.  The three of us worked together for the last few miles, and then I pulled ahead in a sprint at the end.  I wound up finishing well behind Don and Cody, the only others from Cape Bicycle in the race, but at 34 out of a field of 40, it was a major improvement over my Lanterne Rouge performance in the Hillsboro Roubaix.

Accordingly, I have awarded myself this trophy:

9 Responses to “Hellbender Post-Mortem”

  1. [...] About 5 miles into the race, when I had clearly joined my own private chase group, and I was hurting pretty bad, I briefly thought of quitting. Of course, then what would you do? Turn around and ride back ignominiously? Then I realized that all you’d have to do is stop and let the air out of a tire and claim you had a flat. Of course, this was a passing fancy, and I got my wind and my gumption back, and as previously mentioned, I was NOT LAST. [...]

  2. Reno says:

    That is the best trophy *ever*. Congratulations on not finishing last!

  3. Allen says:

    Thanks. I was quietly proud. Well, not _that_ quietly.

  4. Gerry says:

    Congratulations! You finished and got a great trophy. Who knows what you will do next. I never realized that you had the competition gene.

  5. Cabell says:

    It wasn’t quiet at all, really.

    I need a trophy like that for my mud wrestling match–something like: “She didn’t go down easy.”

  6. Allen says:

    I think we may have identified a burgeoning market opportunity in “self-esteem-preserving trophies.”

  7. Reno says:

    Huh… I put in a graphic but it didn’t post. Here’s the link:


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