Reported by Martin. Jay Yost, Ryan Linne and I headed to Springfield (OH) to race Calvin's 12 hour race during the Urbana Grand Prix. We napped at a Super 8 and headed to the race start to set up coolers at 5:30 AM (4:30 AM CDT, yikes!). The race started promptly at 7, and a huge peloton initially kept a 24+ mph pace, made possible thanks to the mild weather (50-75 F, 5-10 mph wind). A PR day for sure.
I waited dutifully at 35 miles when racers needed a nature break and I didn't. (The culture at ultra-races used to be to wait a minute for leaders, rather than base the race on who does #1 fastest.) At 100 miles, I sped ahead of the pack because I needed some potty time, feeling fresh for a distance PR. When I dashed out of the port-a-potty, the lead group was gone. One man vs. 20 doing 24+ into the wind was a no-go. A quick mental calculation revealed that a PR doing solo TT was also a no-go. So I throttled back and put in two additional loops for a sub-10 hour, 200 mile training day. Dis would be proud. Mass start ultracycling seems to be less about attrition on the bike nowadays, and more about fast transitions through the pit stop, not my specialty, so - adieux!
Ryan had his own bad luck: he broke a spoke on his way out to the fourth 50 mile loop. He had to remove the tire and tube, remove the broken spoke parts, reassemble the wheel, reinflate, and wobble back to transition. There were very nice course marshalls and a repair shop on hand, but by the time it was all fixed, the lead group was of course 10+ miles away. He did a lone loop to get to 200 miles, and I found him in transition when I got back myself. I told him it's fine to call it a day, but he wanted at least to beat his course PR of 214 miles from the previous year. So he hopped onto the saddle with a smile, and completed three of the 7 mile loops one gets to do after the 50 mile loop is closed. That was good enough for third in age group - and Ryan did'n even ride the full time.
Jay stuck with the leaders, although he came 'unglued' (his technical term) around 160 miles. He rode through the low while the lead group began to fall apart. He became 'unglued' again as the afternoon warmed up to 75 F, but kept riding hard in the shorter 7 mile loops. He didn't argue with me when I told him to pour water on his head! In the meantime, the lead group had splintered to two riders at the front approaching 260+ miles, while the rest where behind at various distances, with Jay in 6th place overall doing over 250. He held that position despite dehydration, and won his age group.