Feature image by David Kutcipal-www.303cycling.com
The Amanda’s (as some people call us for some reason) lined up at the starting line confused, scared, nervous, scared, cold, scared, and lacking a proper warm up. If you look up the Boulder Roubaix you can find a video of a guy crashing in a terrible jumble mess at the finish line, a race report describing it as a “blood bath”, and a lot of confusion on what kind of bike/wheels/tires/psi/tubes/deodorant to use if you dared race it. Because of all of these uncertainties we decided on where we would eat after the race and that was about it.
From the start our group went out fast. Within the first couple of miles we faced orange cones jumping at us, flying water bottles, wild dogs, and a very nervous group of riders that were making jerky movements. The most comfortable place to ride was right next to or behind each other. The pace was difficult to predict. We would go slow on the paved straight aways and then speed up going onto the dirt. The faster a rider went on the dirt, the more jarring this was to the body. By the end of the race hands, knees, hips and backs were sore. There was a constant death grip on the handle bars in hopes of not being flung off the saddle when a good line could not be chosen and the only option was to hit another pothole in the dirt. Thank goodness for our Rudy Project glasses that kept all the dirt and rocks out of our eyes.
Towards the end of the first lap, Amanda Bye dropped off the back of the peloton. She had just caught up using every bit of energy that was available and then another sprint started. There was nothing left and she was dropped. After a few minutes, there was no one around her to even chase. By the end of the first lap, she caught up with Tiffany Brissette. This was Tiffany’s first race and she was doing well. They kept each other company for the remainder of the race and used each other to paceline.
Amanda Cyr tried in vain to keep with the peloton through the set of 3 hills on the back side of the first lap but snapped like a Slim Jim on the last one. Several thoughts kept her going while trying to catch back up to the main group. “Top 30 and the team gets points, keep them in your eye sight as pace motivation, squirrel, finishing at all would be great, why did I wear so many dang layers, what is for lunch” were just some of the mental themes for the second lap.
Coming through the finishline, both Amanda’s felt a strong sense of accomplishment. There would not be a podium finish that day but the race was completed and team points were earned. The postrace meal coupled with talks about the next race reminded them that this is what makes racing so addicting.