July 14, 2020 - Woke up late and didn't eat. No mass start and barely any riders for the first 50 miles Friend crashed, he's ok Still set a PR average speed for that many miles
I have done Cache Gran Fondo in Logan utah for the past 4 years.
Covid has forced me to work from home a lot which has meant that for the first time in 4 years I have actually been able to stick to a training plan.
I use TrainerRoad and it's been amazing to watch my progress this year compared to other years because of the extra time I have not having to commute to and from work, and being more flexible with where I get my workout in throughout the day.
Over the past 4 years I have done the 50 mile course once, the 75 mile course once, and the 100 mile course twice now.
This year we opted for the 100 mile course which ends up being 104 miles and 3500 feet of climbing which is very mangeable.
I didn't wake up early enough to have a proper breakfast, which meant that I was playing catchup from the start. I was there to ride with my friend, who hasn't had as much time on the bike this year, so I wasn't too worried about being able to get some nutrition in during the first part of the race.
In past years the mass start is one of the most fun aspects of the race as you jump from group to group and close gaps to get further up the road. I've never had the fitness to actually race this and it ends up being more of a fun group ride more than anything.
The race is actually a UCI Gran Fondo qualifier so there are loads of fast people out there. However, this year the race portion was cancelled so it was just people out for a ride. They opened up the ride over 2 days, with no more than 40 people setting off at once. There were supposed to be 30 people setting off at the 6 AM start time we had chosen, but when we got to the start line there was barely anyone there. It ended up being just the 2 of us and we only saw 3 other riders total in the first 50 miles. We caught a few people after the second aid station and formed a tight little group of 5 or 6 riders that would take pulls which was nice to have a break out of the wind since I had been on the front most of the day up until that point. Eventually the group thinned out and it was just the 2 of us again after the 3rd rest stop about 80 miles in.
We got to mile 102 when my frined crashed hard. He had a slow leak in his front wheel that he didn't want to change since we were so close to the finish and he ended up wiping out on some gravel in a corner. We waited for neutral support to come with some first aid and while he got patched up I replaced the tube on his front wheel and got his bike back in order so we could ride to the finish.
Honestly, if it had been me I probably wouldn't have ridden to the finish. Both wheels went out of true enough that no matter how wide I made the brakes, they would rub at some point. But he's always the optimist and said it would be fine and we rode the last 2 miles to the finish at a slower than usual pace.
We finished the race averaging 18.2 MPH for the race, and that's a PR pace for me which is awesome.
Total elapsed time was slower than some others because we had 30-45 minutes of wait time after the crash.
I missed the race feel of a mass start and bridging between groups, but it was a nice change to solo rides around my local area.
I am excited for next year and want to build a crit bike to get involved more in my local race scene!