We needed absolutely zero convincing to get out of Michigan and onto the sun-soaked highways and by-ways of the Belgian Waffle Ride.
A simple swipe of your Weather Channel App will remind you that you are living in a frigid, unpredictable biosphere of disappointment. Has not yet sprung, and even the tantalizingly upbeat prospects of the last week of the month bring up a profound sense of distrust; we won’t be fooled again. It’s an experience that’s foreign to Californians, who, we should point out, don’t have these worries. Most of them don’t even have a weather app.
Danny, Al, and Sean all headed west last week to get in a few days of sun and fun and waffles, joining Dave Zabriskie and a few other knuckleheads for some pre-riding of the infamous Belgian Waffle Ride. It’s an event that grown into a bit of a rollicking circus-in-spandex, which is really everything you could ask for in a bike race. It’s hard, it’s fun, and it’s seriously laid-back. Whatever you want out of your non-motorized recreation, you should be pretty pumped at the BWR.
On Friday, the dudes got in a nice #CHUNKY recon roll, complete with 4,000 feet of climbing and tacos! If there’s one thing you can count on the 3T Q+M crew to get right, it’s nutrition. The pre-ride confirmed everything we’d known after previous editions of the race; you’re going to want road tires, except for the times when you don’t. The course is mostly pavement, but the dirt you do hit is rocky and rough, but it’s usually not enough to make The Big Difference….unless it does.
Well, on race day, what usually didn’t did, at least for Danny and Sean. Both flatted not once but twice, and if you do the math, that’s four flats inside an hour. Danny bagged it, hitched a ride to a place he could get fixed up, and then rolled out for some sunny training miles. There ain’t no bad day in California.
Meanwhile, Sean’s lifetime of good deeds, selflessness, and unique blend of piety and humility offered him some reward. With two empty CO2 canisters clicking in his back pocket, he cut a rather forlorn figure until he little found a brand new Co2 just laying on the ground. What glorious luck, right? Counting his blessings and muttering words of thanks to a dozen deities, he aired up and finished up, albeit cutting a lonely furrow through the tired masses of dropped riders.
Al had no such issues and was hanging tough through the opening salvo of climbs with the leaders and sitting both present and correct with, you know, 100 miles to go. 133 miles is a really, really long way, especially when the bulk of your time this winter has been spent in the cold winter climes of Michigan. All those Zwift miles paid off with a top thirty finish and all sort of virtual trophies.
Even with the technical difficulties, Sean was able to rampage through the field and come in 39th overall. That’s a Herculean effort and shows he’s the man with the plan for Barry-Roubaix this weekend.
We had oodles of fun, and if you want to see what it looked, sounded, smelt and felt like to be there, we highly recommend you check out the Cycletips gallery from the race.
Get them full results right here.