Race Recap: Barry Roubaix
I'm pretty sure the weather comparison between 2017 and 2018 was the main topic of nearly 10,000 conversations that happened between Friday and Saturday among participants and volunteers. If you rode it in 2017, you were exclaiming your appreciation for dry, near perfect conditions. If you didn't ride it in 2017, someone that did told you that is was one of the most miserable racing experiences they've ever had and how grateful they are for good weather.
With perfectly mild and near windless conditions, spirits were high, racing was so fast, and smiles were the visible emotion of the day. Some showed up to race fast and the rest of us showed up to experience a gravel event with over 3,000 participants in a town that accommodated us like their favorite nomadic neighbors. It's quite remarkable to show up to an event, park your car, ride in the event, hang out downtown, grab food, chat with new and old friends, and head for home without even noticing one thing out of place. The BR Organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and the City of Hastings made the event entirely seamless for the participants, which is extremely hard to do as an event organizer. I'm sure there were some issues to be dealt with that exhausted everyone involved, but kudos for such a great job. Thank you for taking on the hard work of putting on an event like this. I think a lot of organizers can learn a lot about making sure all the details are dialed in to ensure participants can have the best experience possible to help soften the blow of expensive entry fees. The age old value proposition at play.
Team NL had a great turn out with about 10 athletes riding a wide variety of categories with different goals, which all were met. Some wanted to hit time goals, some wanted to race the long race and stay with the lead group as long as they could, and the rest of us just wanted to spend the day enjoying the ride. One thing is for sure, we walked away in awe of the winners of many of the top categories. The mens 62-mile winner finished with a 22mph average, and about a dozen or more others finished with mph averages over 21mph. The top male singlespeed racer finished with just under 21mph, which is just bonkers. The ladies crushed it too with speeds over 20mph.
Great job to everyone that showed up, had fun, and worked hard to have the race they desired. We all were excited to be out racing and hanging out together. The TNL tribe is strong and excited to kick off our racing season.