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Details: Category: Cycling | Published: 30 April 2012 | Created: 26 November 2014 | Hits: 5491
[Update: Ok. Bronte was a tough race. Almost 42km/h average for 64km.]

The Tour of Bronte is a race that runs through Bronte provincial park. It was a OCUP points race, but because registration was down, it was switched to a citizen race. This meant I was free to race any category I wanted. I changed from the "beginner" race to the "intermediate" race. There was no way I was doing the elite race.

The course for the race was 50% road and 50% hard packed gravel. Because of the crash last year that trashed my bike, I used my cross bike. I think because of the off road sections it is better suited as a cross race anyways but, I have a 22lbs cross bike. Nice solid alloy bike that is built like and handles like a tank. I've done Paris to Ancaster three times and nothing has broken on it. BUT, because it's so heavy, I tend to be pushing 20-30W more than everyone else.

I think this bike was both the right bike today for the course and the wrong bike. It was the right bike because the 30mm tires meant that I had not problems riding the off-road sections. Potholes and bad pavement were not an issue. Tight turns, slipping tires, whatever, and I was used to it because of "racing" cross. But, because it was heavier than the carbon rode bikes everyone else was riding, I was at a disadvantage because it was far harder to hold the wheel of anyone in front of me and on the paved sections, the weight of the wheels meant spinning up the thing was just harder.

Top that off with a race that also didn't roll out like I expected. It was more like a cross race. Normally, road races start slowly as everyone clips in and rolls up through the first lap. Within the first 1km, we were up to full speed and the entire pack was strung out. I guess racing with M2 types means working harder. It's what I want, but on my bike, it was harder to keep the pace. I lasted until lap two because I could not hold the wheel in front of me and fell off the back of the pack. In a sense, that has been my experience at any cross race I've done. I probably should invest in a carbon cross bike and deep dish carbon tubular wheels, but I think I should just not race anything without full pavement (or on a track - I love track racing).

After getting dropped of the main pack on the second lap, I rode at my pace and managed to hook up with others. We picked up some 10 guys as the race - or ride - then rolled on. Two Morning Glory guys decided to do all the work. Why I have no idea. That's master's racing I guess. Master's racers seem to be out to prove who is the strongest - even when they get dropped. No matter because I was more than happy to sit in the pack or on the back and let everyone else do the work. I ran out of gas (will power?) 200m from the finish while the group I rode with took off for the finish. Why anyone thinks it's require to sprint to the finish for 30th place I will never understand. It becomes a workout and a reason to not DNF - just chill, relax, and enjoy the ride. Sprint? Huh?

Riding with the faster group meant less crashes. I think there was only one guy that went down. However, given the bike I was riding I should either stayed home, or just rode in the first race.

Scratch off Tour of Bronte as a racing experience. Unless I get a new cross bike, I won't be back to this race next year. I can do the Donut Ride, go up Jane, and get dropped there for free....and stop for coffee and pastries at Grandma's Oven. Enuf said.