Yesterday I raced the Lowell 50 gravel grinder with my dad. Initially I was not planning on doing this race, but when I heard my dad say he wanted to do it I was instantly in too! His longest ride of the year was last weekend (he raced 36 miles at Barry-Roubaix and had a blast) so my plan was to pace him for 50 miles at the Lowell race.
When we arrived at the race venue it was cold. I think temps were in the low-30's and my dad asked, "why are we doing this again?" I had to remind him that it was his idea :-) Once we started going I warmed up pretty quickly, except for my feet. By the midway point they were completely frozen.
Despite the cold temps and frozen feet, I had a ton of fun. And I couldn't be more proud of my dad. It was his birthday and at the age of 57 he managed to ride 50 miles in 3:12:00 on a mountain bike. I paced him but he didn't get much benefit from drafting behind me as his version of drafting is having a few bike lengths between my rear wheel and his front wheel :-)
The best part was when we reached mile 45 and I was able to tell my dad that we only had 5 miles to go. As we crossed the finish line we bumped fists, found Scott, threw our bikes in the truck and took off with the heat blasting. Usually I stick around talking about the race, but we had to start the birthday/race celebrations :-)
Usually I forget races really quickly, regardless of whether they are good or bad. Mostly because I'm completely oxygen deprived and because I'm already planning for my next training session, race etc. This race was different though. I'm not forgetting it anytime soon. My dad has to have surgery at the end of April that will keep him off a bike for a good 8 weeks. I'm already telling him that he has to have a speedy recovery because he's just getting started with racing. Before he knows it I'm going to start making him do intervals...ha ha!
Now it's time for a long day on my bike. I think I'm heading out on my Mukluk, complete with frame bag filled with girl scout cookies. I'm pretty sure that my legs are going to be a bit tired today. Just because I rode with my dad yesterday does not mean that the race was a walk in the park. I basically did a tempo/steady state interval for 3 hours, complete with wind and a few soft/muddy roads. I was just as happy as my dad to see the finish line!