Grand Cycling Classic

The Grand Cycling Classic Challenge ride, challenges cyclists to do as many laps of the 6.25K course as possible in 2.5 hours. There are medals for finishing a certain amount of laps. Bronze for 4 laps, Silver for 8 laps and Gold for 12 laps. Twelve laps is 75K total (about 45 miles).

Matt Longest and I were out to get gold medals dang it. That meant we'd have to average 18.6 mph over the entire 2.5 hour stretch.

We did just a quick out and back for a few blocks to "warm up" and quickly found ourselves helping about 15 other riders and spectators scouring the pavement in front of VanAndel Arena for tacks. Someone had tossed a few handfuls out onto the course (a la Stage 15 of this year's Tour de France). Too bad for them, they were retarded and spread them out too early for us to find. Their plot to spoil the race, denied.

The day was cool, finally a perfect morning for a ride. I got a little warm later, but what a fantastic morning for the event. There were a lot of riders, maybe 14 or so Rapid Wheelmen. We were eager to get under way and before we knew it we were finding ourselves comfortably in the 20-21mph range.

By starting off strong, we knew we'd start to slow later, so we kept up our pace as long as sustainable. There were a few rollers through the city, one larger cobblestone hill - left up a hill, then up to the right. Laps 1-8 up the hill went smooth as butter. Felt really strong. For the first few laps up that hill, I found myself standing on the pedals pounding away, passing 5-9 people each time. The final laps there were tougher, I only granny geared it on the very last lap.

Overall, the course was awesome. It was fun to rip through downtown Grand Rapids without having to worry about traffic or pedestrians.

Oh....and HELL YES we got Gold medals!!!

 The scene from about half way up the pack.

The downtown route.

Lap stats. After lap 10 we knew we had the last 2 in the bag,
so we dialed our effort back a little.

Looking good in gold.

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