Tour of the Battenkill

Better late than never. Here it goes.

Race goes off and I touch wheels with some dude and barely avoid taking us both out. Then I sit in behind the field for the easy flat riding up to the first dirt section, then start to move up. Between the first and second dirt sections, no one wanted to work and I found myself unwillingly on the front swapping pulls with a Hudson Furniture guy. I got fed up with no one else pulling through so I sat up to let the field gobble me up, but it didn't really work as everyone just slowed way down. The Hudson Furniture guy built a pretty good gap on everyone at that point -- maybe a minute, maybe more. I started having visions of him dancing away to a solo victory so I tried bridging up, which worked, except that the whole field came with me. We were all together heading into the second dirt section, Juniper Swamp Rd.

There's a steep dirt hill on Juniper Swamp where things finally started to get broken up. I crested in front with 2 Hudson Furniture guys, a Kissena guy, and a guy from Full Moon Vista. The five of us pushed hard on the subsequent downhill and formed a gap. We settled into a nice rotation. I never saw the main field again after that.

As the miles wore on, our group of 5 became 4 when the Full Moon guy fell off, I think somewhere on the new dirt section south of Greenwich. I was feeling good and taking hard pulls whenever my turn came up. One of the Hudson Furniture guys was next to fall off, and so we hit the hills of Meetinghouse Rd as a group of 3. Around the same time, the Kissena guy started falling behind and the remaining Hudson Furniture guy flatted. With 10 or so miles to go, I got into TT mode and started telling myself not to let anyone catch up. I was passing a lot of guys off the back of the earlier Cat 4 fields. I tried standing at one point on Stage Rd and was so wobbly I nearly wiped out. I also tried taking a drink but my hand was shaking so much I dropped my bottle. But I felt alright staying in the saddle. I stayed in the drops on the flats heading into Cambridge, passed some bigger groups that were struggling, looked back with 2k to go and knew I had the win at that point. I still pushed it in all the way to the line.

It was an amazing day and my favorite memory on the bike so far. Hanging around afterward, cheering on GLV and enjoying the warm weather made it that much better. And the chocolate milk they gave out may well be the best thing I'd ever tasted.