Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge Hill Climb

Warming up behind the buggy!

Last saturday (August 20th,) I had the pleasure of attending the Cypress Challenge, a fundraiser put on by Glotman-Simpson cycling to fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research. It was a huge success, for everyone involved (almost 400 competitors,) as over $120,000 was raised!! That’s a HUGE success! Being not only my first time climbing Cypress, but also my first attempt at RACING up a mountain, I wasn’t really sure how everything was going to pan out. But I can tell you this much: I had FUN!!! I love triathlons, don’t get me wrong, but there is something exciting about bike racing, especially the shorter, harder effort races.

Starting at the bottom near the highway, it was a neutral roll-out. We followed a BMW sponsor car for the first km on the flatter section, and once we hit the hill it was on!! I started out in the front, being a newbie to the cycling scene, and once the stronger guys started to push, they pretty much left me in the dust. I managed to stick with the front group for a while, which eventually strung out and broke into two groups. I rode in my group, but by about 1/3rd of the way up, I started to fall off the back. Riding solo for a while, pushing harder than I have in a long while up the hill, someone started to pass me. I thought, “oh damn, getting passed again….”

At the start; I’m just to the left of the guy standing, blue helmet, black/white jersey.

Then I realized it was a woman (Nik Vogler.)

Riding in my pack (that dropped me)

I’m sure many people have heard of the phrase “Getting Chicked.” I don’t think you’ll find it in any dictionary, but I’ve heard the definition as “When a dude busts a gut to pass a chick simply because she is a chick and then that chick dusts that dude later.” Well, this is where it got ugly. I’ve been chicked before, I’m not ashamed to say, and in this situation it was a pure cyclist, so I by no means felt compelled to fake an injury and drop out because I was getting passed. But, that being said, deep down (I think inside every man) there’s this neolithic machismo instinct that prevents us from completely succumbing to the fact that we’re getting ‘chicked.’ So, as the definition entails, I started to turn myself inside-out to keep up. Boy did it hurt, I tagged onto her wheel and gave it everything I had!! Alas, once my ‘gut was bust,’ I just couldn’t hang on anymore. I’m pretty sure she was increasing her power, cause not only did I get chicked, but she also caught, and passed, the two groups ahead of me (I was close enough to watch her slowly go through both.)

Nearing the top (solo, cursing myself yet again for putting myself through this torture,) I really started to crank out everything I had left as the pack behind was quickly bearing down on me. Thinking the climb would was never going to end, I rounded the final corner, and the finish was in sight!! Crossing, I was spent, but happy;  coming off a few weeks of heavy racing and training, a 25th overall placing (not bad for a triathlete;) haha) in a time of 38:24. Meeting with a group of friends, it was a crazy fast descent!! I set a new max speed PB on the way down, at 86.3 km/hr. They made an awesome Cypress Challenge Video, I even managed to sneak into it at 1:25, riding at the front.

Spending the rest of the day in the Kits beach area, hanging out with lots of different friends, it was the best way I can think of spending a hot summer day. Finishing the day off with an amazing burrito from Las Margaritas (which I have to make a positive mention, as they actually allowed me to bring my race bike INSIDE the restaurant while we ate, as I had nowhere else to put it.) Great service, even better food, and the best company!

This week has seen some pretty good training, all of which is a build-up to the next big race, Ironman 70.3 Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, on Oct. 2nd. The next few weeks will be INSANE, as the World Police and Fire Games is happening right now in New York, and I’ve taken on a lot of extra shifts to support the guys who are going over there to compete. We have a lot of outstanding athletes heading over, and I’m sure they’ll be bringing home some gold:)

Enjoy the summer heat (finally,) happy training and racing!!

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