1. Kingston Snophy

The third race in 2016.

My fourth year racing.

My 28th mountain bike race.

My fourth time on a fatbike.

Ugh. Kingston isn’t really that far from Toronto, but when you have to drive there, compete in a bike race, and drive home, in one day, it sure feels like it.  With a start time of 11AM, registration an hour earlier, and a two and a half hour drive to get there, February 6th was an early morning.  To make matters worse, I was tired from a pre-race sleepless night, and week of horrible sleep.  I just wasn’t in the race vibe.  And, for a bit if icing on the Pity Party cake, I was unsure about the conditions (MY condition, and the condition of the COURSE).

I did not feel like racing.

But I never feel like racing on the morning of a race.

The drive to Kingston was snowy, foggy, rainy, and all around crappy. Not the kind of weather you want on race day, and not the kind of weather you want while driving on the busiest highway in North America. And because of the weather, the drive was painfully slow, which just added to the stress. When I was still about an hour away, and knew I was going to be late, I realized it just didn’t matter.  I like to start a race on time, but if I missed the official start, it didn’t really matter–I was going to ride my bike. Standing on the podium is never really an option for me, so all I ever want to do is ride as hard as I can, and have fun.

I made it to the race 25 minutes before the start time.  While changing into my race kit, I wolfed down some chicken risotto, guzzled some Endurafuel, selected what I hoped would be the right gloves, and talked to as many people as possible about my tire pressure. Then, I ignored whatever they said because there wasn’t time to change the pressure.  Also, I don’t have a proper tire pressure gauge, so I kept my tires at the same psi from the last race.  I’m wasn’t even sure what it was. I know that proper tire pressure on fat bikes depends on the conditions, and I’ve been told that a difference as small as 0.5psi has a big impact, but I still don’t get it, so I figured it really wouldn’t matter.

There were two different races (a 3 hour race, and a 1.5 hour race–I rode the 1.5 hour) and there was a mass start for both at 11:00.  Dan Marshall blew the starting horn, but I was still at my van!  I jumped out, clipped in, booked it to the start, and saw the tail end of all 45 riders in front of me.  Yay.

Other blogs have a report of the race, so I have one too.  Here it is.

Race Report:  Kingston Snophy (February 6, 2016)

After a short climb of about 200 meters, the group bunched up at the entrance to the barn–yes the race went through a barn–and instead of unclipping from my pedals, I nailed a sweet trackstand.  Despite the worry, the race was off to a good start.

We got out of the barn, and I realized I never really warmed up.  Actually, I didn’t warm up at all. I didn’t even crouch to stretch my legs while putting on my shoes–and I had just sat cramped in my car for over three hours.  My legs were tight, and my lungs were more tight. Shit.

The first 30 minutes of every ride are a killer for me, but with no stretching or warm up, very strong wind, and a temperature hovering under zero, the Snophy was going to kill me before I hit my first lap.

There was only one thing to do:  Ride.

So I rode. My tires were soooo squishy, my lungs felt like they were actually getting smaller, and I felt like I just couldn’t get my bike moving, but I kept pedalling.

There wasn’t much snow on the trails, and there was even some slushy mud, there was a bit of ice, and a huge portion of the course was completely dry.

So I kept pedalling.

By the end of the race, I had pedalled through 4 laps of the course (even though the first 7 riders did 5 laps).  I placed 8th overall (out of 20), and 6th in the 35-49 age category (out of 8).  I missed the cut off time for an additional lap was by about 2 minutes.

I feel good about the race.  Here’s why:

  • I passed a rider coming out of the barn on a really tight turn;
  • On the final lap, the race photographer (Ted Anderton from Apex Photography) snapped a cool picture of me getting some boss air on a jump (even though when I landed my feet unclipped from my pedals, I hit a patch of ice, and felt the familiar “oof” as my bike and body met the frozen ground);
  • I passed a few riders who usually beat me;
  • Near the end of each lap, there was a steep climb, and I did it each time; and
  • I managed to stay on my bike on all but one of the icey patches (see above re: “boss air”) .

I never feel like racing, but I always love the way I feel after the race.

2016-kingston-Snophy-45NRTH-Ontario-fat-bike-race-series-team-colin.jpgThe Kingston Snophy was even cooler because it was the day before my 44th birthday. On Facebook the next day, I posted a picture of my jump, along with the following

“Today I’m 44.  Yesterday, I was forty awesome. Final lap of the Kingston Snophy Fat Bike race. There was a photographer. There was a jump line.  There was air.  Boom. Happy Birthday Team Colin”

The Kingston Snophy.

The third race in 2016.

My fourth year racing.

My 28th mountain bike race.

My fourth time on a fatbike.

My first blog.


3 thoughts on “1. Kingston Snophy

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