Paris to Ancaster 2016
Paris to Ancaster Race Report
I almost don’t know what to write about for this race report. Things went too well for me at Paris to Ancaster that I don’t think it will make for an exciting blog. There are none of the Cat. 4 failures that normally fill my race reports for you to laugh at (example 1, example 2). Instead, you’ll just get to read about how the weather was perfect, how my legs felt strong, and how I stayed on top of my nutrition.
The Weather was Perfect
You probably could not have asked for better weather for a bike race. Sure, some crazy people would have preferred rain to make Paris to Ancaster even more epic but good weather just makes it more enjoyable for everyone. Cool and overcast at the start, the sun did come out and warm things up to the mid-teens. Meaning that you could eventually strip off some layers if you felt like it.
Even without rain, there was still mud in the legendary mud shoots. Rather than the soupy, ankle deep slop of previous editions of Paris to Ancaster, the mud was thick and sticky. Going down the Powerline Mud Shoot was more like riding (or walking) through peanut butter with globs of mud sticking to your shoes and building up on your frame.
My Legs Felt Really Good
My legs felt fantastic so I pushed them. There were a number of times where I thought I was going to hard and would end up regretting it when I blow up 10 kilometers from the finish, but that never game. I kept pushing hard and my legs kept responding.
I was shocked at the pace I was able to keep. I found a couple of guys who seemed to be riding at a similar pace and we spent sometime working together. Sharing the work with others was a lot better than the long solo drag of my previous Paris to Ancaster attempt (read about it here).
I was flying, I even got into TT mode with invisible aero bars, and probably could have gone under 3 hours if it was not for a saboteur who, for some reason, cut down a bunch of trees across one of the rail trails leading to a traffic jam. What kind of person sabotages an event? That was the only damper on an otherwise perfect day.
In the end I smashed my previous personal record. With 10 kilometers to go, I realized I had 2 and a half hours to play with to beat my PR. No sweat. I refilled a water bottle just in case because I didn’t want to throw it all away so close to the end. I navigated the last two mud shoots, unfortunately on foot due to traffic. And pressed on to the Martin Street Hill.
Okay, so the Martin Street Hill was another damper on my day. I had really hoped to ride up it but that dream was smashed when I was grinding too much thinking I was out of gears. Unfortunately I didn’t realize I still had my 32 to shift into and walked the steepest part of the climb. But some encouragement, and a push, got me going again once the incline flattened out a bit.
I Stayed on top of my Nutrition
If you read the report on my Paris to Ancaster attempt in 2012, you would know that I had a miserable time because I experienced the dreaded bonk. So for 2016, I knew I would achieve my goal of setting a new PR if I just stayed on top of my nutrition. I was smart and ate before I needed to, consuming calories at regular intervals. A couple Clif Bars, Hammer Nutrition bars, and Endurance Tap gels got me through the ride.
That’s a wrap on another fantastic edition of Paris to Ancaster. 2016 marked the 23rd edition of Ontario’s Spring Classic and I’m looking forward to many more. Congratulations to the youngster’s who took home the wins this year. And I’m looking forward to coming back with a new goal to beat!