Meredith Wins at Barry-Roubaix
This is a good story so with Meredith's permission, I post it here:
My husband and I showed up 9:30 AM narrowly missing a highway trooper who gave in to only getting the guy behind us as we are speeding to the start of the Barry-Roubaix from our friend’s house in Perry Michigan. It was sitcom material for sure. My husband has never done a bike race before let alone a gravel bike race. We got to a park 1/2 mile from the start of the race. We did our unloading, checking the bikes, eating the last of the oatmeal, etc... We entered this ring set up by the race for warm-up. Hundreds of nervous riders were getting ready for a mass start. I decided it was time to go meet the 150 other women in Wave 13 doing the 36 mile race. Lo and behold I saw a familiar set of faces, Katherine and Amanda. Both were beaming and were so excited for what was going to happen. I could barely contain my nerves. Amanda exclaimed to anyone who would listen “This is my first gravel race!” The race announcer caught her glee in his mic to the masses. Katherine was so Zen about it, Whatever happens happens, we are just training, soaking it in….I could barely hear them because all I could hear were the voices of my race friends in my head, “Get on the podium!!” I knew I had more serious goals then my smiling friends. We moved up closer to the start line and Immediately a swarm of women take off as I just watch. Damn! I kicked into gear. We had about 2 miles of pavement and then the gravel. There was lots of weaving and passing and yelling “on your left”. This went on for a couple more miles before I saw the remnants of the first pile up. As I was rubbernecking while passing, two very serious women hopped on their bikes and took off like bandits. I followed. I didn’t know if I could hold on but thought I should take advantage of the train ride. After awhile I started feeling bad for them. I realized they were the front contenders and were very angry about their situation. So I decided that I would help them catch whoever they were chasing. They were younger than me and thought I could benefit from this. When I finally die I figured they would be dropping me further up the road. After watching and riding behind them for awhile they start looking at me…like who are you, what are you doing and are you going to help. They weren’t very nice. They were mad and serious. I pull through and help their cause but I wasn’t willing to kill myself for them. They weren’t very nice. After awhile we were in a rotation and they seemed relieved to have help. I never actually envisioned I would end up top 10 because of this. We head down a hill, Sager Road, that become instantly like a mountain bike path with big sand pits and deep ruts. That’s where I lost it…twice. First time I put my foot down. I was like Damn! Stumble, stumble, click, click, struggle “Ok, Ok I got it.” Then I encountered huge deep sand pit. My tiny 32mm tubulars laughed at me. Bam down. I watched the girls like Michigan deer just dance up the path away from me. Obviously they had been here before. There was a guy behind me who yelled, “Are you OK?” I was surprised by the kindness. “Get up you can do it!” I looked around, and struggled to get my foot out of the pedal. I stood up and started walking, then running and said to myself “I can clip in, come on..” I take a stab at it. It works then I was off navigating more sand pits and deep ruts with my cheerleader behind me. Wish I knew who that was. Anyway towards the end of that craziness, I came across a strong gal so smiley and happy to be racing on a nice day saying “Hi” to the local racers as she passes. I asked her how old she was. She was in her late 30’s. I said, “Well we can work together” she laughed and was in. I think we worked together for the last 10 miles or so. We had another gal latch on for a long while trying to get first in her division. The whole time I was just watching my heart rate making sure to not work too hard to then have my legs seize up at the end. She and I came in together yelling at the wall of guys in front of us to either move faster or get out of the way. Lol. I didn’t even believe we had a chance for podium. It was finally over and I had fun recounting our experience. We ended up talking to a guy who believed we were with the top 10. I hobbled over to a guy at the Newton Timing Tent and he was the one who said that I came in first for my division and 5 minutes faster than #2 gal. I was excited and ready to drink a Founders beer. I found my husband, we got cleaned up and went to the podium party. While talking with the folks there I found out that I would get a podium spot for being 8th overall. I ended up with two medals, a couple beer trophies and a set of gravel tires. I was satisfied with my efforts after this winter of healing from a November cervical disc injury and getting ready for a fun day racing at the “biggest gravel race in the US”. That’s my story I’m sticking to it.
4/22/2018 09:41:51 pm
Way to go MG.
4/23/2018 10:21:24 am
Mr. Armstrong Weren’t you banned from commiunicating with all bike racers
4/23/2018 07:55:25 am
Next time, don't cover the team brand. We pay you a lot of money to promote our brand.
4/23/2018 10:15:34 am
Lol you are lucky I even put it on
4/23/2018 12:01:59 pm
Don't get lippy MG.
4/23/2018 02:38:23 pm
Hey, I want to renegotiate my contract to include lippy and assy.
Rolling, rolling, rolling
4/23/2018 02:43:14 pm
With this win, you have leverage so a renegotiation may be in order.
4/23/2018 03:25:03 pm
4/23/2018 06:58:41 pm
Did you get drunk on our beer? We only make high end stuff so we are honored you would drink our brew. Thank you and we will contact you soon about a sponsorship.
4/24/2018 09:19:41 am
Bwahaha I’m loving these comments. Ya if you want I can send you a video of me latching on to the shoulder of the gal next to me as I step up in 2nd podium moment. Would be awesome sponsorship moment.
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