Sunday, March 30, 2008


It was a last minute decision to do Copper, but I called Markham at 7am and tagged along to get a ride with the Masters Men. I was super curious about the course and it was enough motivation to get me to the start line. I had heard crazy stories about the climb, the road surface and the descent, so I figured I'd love it and I did.

It was warm out and after my usual 10 minute warm-up, we stood at the start line for a half hour for a classic velo promo delay. I was in the front for once, which was nice and actually talked to people, which I usually avoid. We began and the course was indeed bumpy. I was worried I would lose my water bottles, but they stayed in there. Unfortunately, I couldn't take my hands off the bars long enough to get a drink until mile I-don't-even-know. Within 2 miles the climb began and I was just grabbing wheels and staying towards the front. I got to the top with 5 others and I looked back and there was no one. I was at my max for a while, but I always forget to look back, so I never know when people fall off. All I knew is that by mile 6, we were out of sight. The we hit some flats for a while and everyone worked hard and rotated through. They wanted to get away, so we didn't let up. I was working way harder than I wanted to, but I didn't have much choice, they were on a mission and we got away and stayed away. I anxiously awaited the descent... I was looking for a break from being anaerobic. It finally came and it was a blast. The road wasn't as bad as everyone said, but your body does feel tingly after the descent for sure. Then it was more flats and rollers with a short steep hill to come to the start/finish. Again, they were pushing the pace and I was getting toasty. Jess was at the start cheering like crazy, which was awesome! I felt pretty good recovering on the short break of smooth pavement. Lap 2, we hit the hill again and it was good until it wasn't. I got though the steep stuff, but as it flattened out, I started thinking it was time to go at my own pace if I ever wanted to walk again. So, I fell off at the end of the hill and got a break, breathed deeply, felt ok about it and then buried my head for 14 miles to the finish. It wasn't very windy, but when you're by yourself for that long, you feel it. I can't complain, though, I sort of liked it. I rarely ride alone and I was happy to be with myself. The descent was certainly more enjoyable alone and even in the flats I caught some old guys. I never let up and crossed the finish line with a happy 6th place. A minute later, 3 girls came in together and I was psyched to have not been caught by them. They had been working together the whole time and if the race had been another mile I might not have stayed away. This race is a keeper... it made my top 5 list for sure! It also shook my headset loose, so beware...

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