12 Hard Ciders.

Another weekend, another race, although technically this weekend was another 4 races. Tour de Syracuse.

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Katherine, Emily and I packed up a van with 6 bikes, at least 10 wheels, and 2 coolers, plus our clothes. We will be on hire for other packing jobs soon as I think we have it down to an art by now. We packed, and unpacked, and re-packed about 5 times. Pros.

Tour de Syracuse is a 3-day, 4-race weekend held not right in Syracuse, but in the much more lovely apple-orchard-country-scape and less cityscape. Friday evening was the hill climb, ascending 1200 feet over 4 miles (conversion to metric: 365m in 6 km). We left from the lovely Beak & Skiff apple farm. I say lovely not only because it was, but because Emily and I found a great deal on hard cider. Buy 3, get 3 free. It’s Victoria Day Weekend, we will celebrate when we get home!

A long, downhill neutral start (that’s where the group stays together and if anything happens, like a flat for example, you will not be dropped), then a sharp right hand turn, and then up a hill. Katherine attacked immediately with a few other girls following. After being caught, I launched an attack which stayed away for the rest of the 3.5 km climb. Luckily the weather was not terribly warm, and we had a nice rain shower on our return ride. Katherine finished the climb in 2nd place and Emily in 5th!

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Saturday morning was an early start with a 17km Individual Time Trial. The promise of sun was in the sky and we kept dry for the rest of the day. Warm-up is crucial with a TT because it prepares the body physically and mentally for a solo riding experience. Often times, if you are TT’ing correctly, pain is embraced and pushing beyond the limits is just something you do.

A strong ride was put in by my teammate, Emily, finishing third. I pulled in at first place.

4 hours later…

Crit riding time. Basically attacked at the gun, I stayed away for half the time by myself, then hoping a teammate was bridging, was joined instead by another woman. I sprinted off around her with two laps to go, and had the opportunity and time to raise my arms in a victory salute. Katherine snagged third while Emily out sprinted another rider for fourth!

Puffed cheeks, victory arms.
Puffed cheeks, victory arms….sort of!

We knew lots of riders in the Men’s Cat 1/2, so we stayed and cheered. It’s fun to watch because you see the group go by every few minutes. The sound of wheels spinning, the wind whooshing past is also nice on a warm afternoon and if you’re lucky, some waterbottles will get tossed to you!

What better way to rest up for a road race then to watch the tail end of a classic Disney film, 101 Dalmatians, and a Ratatouille! Legs up, food in our bellies and we just chilled and watched tv.

Sunday’s road race would have us do two laps, with a hill climb in the middle. Emily sprinted off the front immediately after neutral finished and took two riders with her. Shortly, one of the riders didn’t stay away, but Emily did eventually getting a 10 minute gap on the peloton. Katherine and I rode at the front of a rather frustrating peloton. I say frustrating because no one would do any chasing or work. It was a really easy day for us, unfortunately. Katherine climbed brilliantly.
Emily finished in 2nd and I took third while Katherine sprinted for 4th!

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