|This is what 5th place looks like|
This year the temps were in the 80's and limited wind; couldn't ask for better conditions.
For the last three years, I have raced three different classes: 2 person male open (2nd place), 2 person co-ed (3rd place) and the ultra competitive 3 person co-ed (5th). This year I teamed up with my usual female counter-part in Liz, but we added Alex to the mix this year and teamed up for the 3 person co-ed.
Now, I can honestly say that I knew we would finish pretty high up because of our make-up. Lipstick
|My wife loves my clash|
Now, I look over the numbers in every category, not just the one I am in. I know what teams are going to be there until the end and the ones who will decide when to call it quits. I know from the past races, that the 3 person co-ed is a very competitive class. Super fast women and men, so we were not going to have an easy task at all. Now everyone on our team is 45+ years old and the teams that finished 1-4 are all in there 20's and early 30's; not hard to do the math here now is it?
|Just good times with my friend Matty O' from AFC|
I was extremely happy with how I rode. It was the best Bakers I have had, at least from a consistency stand point. My lap times were very close and got faster as the day went on-38:18, 38:17, 38:54, 37:43, 37:29, 40:13 and 46:35 which was a slow lap just to ensure a 5th place finish. I ended up doing a double night lap for Alex because he wasn't to keen with riding at night. All good. We finished in 5th place with 19 laps for the day and the Ritchey rode amazing. The farm is littered with roots, ruts and rocks everywhere and the bike handled it without a whimper. It was the first Bakers that I didn't come away feeling like I had just been beaten in the streets of downtown Baltimore and left for dead. The Bontrager RXL (dt swiss hubs) were super fast-no joke. I felt fast and the wheels certainly helped in that arena. I was passing geared guys all over the place and my frien Mark Stahl said he had trouble catching back up to me (he is fast) on his geared rig. He finally gave up. I had it geared at a smart 32x17 this year-perfect. I did throw a chain a couple of times, still not sure what caused it, but no big deal.
The team as a whole was spot on every lap as well. These types of races, especially near the end require a bit of strategy in order to keep pace, so it is great to have a team that you know how fast they are and when you can expect them in to the timing tent. It was a good fit this year and everyone was very excited to be there and just keep churning out laps. Liz was her usual, consistent self and is a great competitor. I am lucky to have her as a friend and team mate. It was also cool to finally get to race with Alex and not against him. Spending all the time running didn't hurt his riding abilities at all.
This year saw a lot of crashes, some on the "eeeks" scale, but everyone was alright in the end. I came away unscathed. My wacky nutrition for the race was: saltines, peanut m&m's, water and Heed. I felt great all day. No soreness, no fatigue, no cramps…perfect.
If you have never tried a race such as the Bakers Dozen, think about it. You will make some lifelong friends and you may just have a bit of fun to boot.