Granogue 11k & Air Force Cycling Classic

10 Jun

Saturday bright and early we left the city to do the 11k trail run at Granogue. We wanted to do the 6hr mtb race but had to be down in DC later that day. I started out running with the lady and Jenn (who was doing the iron monkey) and quickly realized they didn’t appreciate my ‘lots of talking’ style of running so I went on ahead to annoy some other random people. Over all the run was a really good time. It was quite wet out there from the downpour we had all day Friday but kept me interested with the constant change of elevation. Both the lady and Andrew pick up 3rd place in their age groups to flash around in the car ride down to DC. It was weird being at a bike race and not racing bikes… but we wished everyone else who had just gotten their for the endurance MTB race good luck as we headed south.

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We got to DC in the afternoon and wanted to get out tourism on. We walked around for an hour or so then decided we needed to get in on their amazing bike share. We had a blast! Those bikes are tanks and even with a 3-speed internal rear wheel, some of the hills by Georgetown burned the legs. We then racked the bikes and food/beer at Pizzeria Paradiso Ate, drank a few, grabbed a sixer at 7-11, and relaxed in the hotel.

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Then next morning was the  Air Force Association Cycling Classic There is a 2-day pro race and a Grand-fondo type of charity ride Sunday morning.  I have never done a grand-fondo/charity ride like this before but since our company sponsors the event and its for a great cause I was sold.  Being the title sponsor meant we got to start on the front line in front of 2,000+ people.  Good news.  We go to the start line a bit late and squeezed in.  I noticed 30+ of us as the first few rows and 1 random over weight guy, decked out with a sweet TT bike,  aero helmet, arm/knee warmers?/aero gloves, and everything else you could think of to be a real tri-dork.  Of course he was lined up RIGHT next to me.  I knew what was going to happen before the whistle blew but I let it take its course. 

The start like any road event has people looking down unable to clip in.  ‘Tri-Guy’ was no exception.  Our companies 2nd in command was riding in the front with a motorbike leading us all out.  I then noticed ‘Tri-Guy’ go hard and wide to the left all the way to the curb (like they do in pro races so people cant get on they’re wheel) and take off.  Of course the motorbike wasn’t expecting a random guy to crush souls so early and ‘Tri-Guy’ ends up passing the motorbike within the first 500meters.  He proceeded to miss the first left turn and take us the wrong way, forcing us through some wild construction before looping back and jumping back in the ride.

We eventually got out of the swarm of people and to the ‘lead’ pack with some a couple TT guys off the front.  Once in the pack I realized I didn’t want to be there.  I don’t think Ive ever been SO sketched out on a bike in my life. Seriously.  Within 20minutes there were 3 crashes, one right next to me when I guy ran over a cone swerving right into me (lucky not not to go down), and the last one at speed (25+mph) when someone touched wheels or something and took it hard.  I was already weary before then and after that Andrew and I backed off and did our own thing.  I never realized that these events were actual races for some people.  Its all well and good minus the fact you have other people out for the first time trying to have a fun ride while guys are telling them to keep their line and over-taking them at 10+mph… After that we had a good time bullshitting, ringing our bells, and heckling the racers while at the same time keeping a solid pace of 21.4mph for 56miles (6laps of the course.)  We took a quick shower then headed back down to the course to watch the Mens Pro race.  2 weekends in a row of pro racing??!?  Amazing!

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VIP tent action with free food and a great view of the finish

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+ motorbike rides!

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