Saturday, June 09, 2012

Raid de Charlevoix pix

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the start for the 75 km race. It was the last time we saw any of these riders all day!

Saturday was a perfect day for a marathon bike Raid. A Raid is a mountain bike marathon, typically a long distance back country point-to-point ride and not a race of several laps of a technical course.  

We did not achieve our goal of coming in last place, since pretty sure we tied for last - damn that dude and his flat tire slowing him down!

In this case it was the 2ieme Raid de Charlevoix at (aka near) La Malbaie, and it was 75 km and 6 hours of fun. This six-hours-to-finish time put me solidly in last place! There was also a 50 km and a 25 km, but fool that I am I went for the big one. 
I didn't dawdle or anything, but the fact I am old, fat, and slow (which also describes my full suspension mtn bike), contributed to my resounding lack of success. 
Actually I tied for last place, which was better than arriving alone at the finish as they were disassembling it! The other guy had a flat and I passed him as he fixed it, then he passed me, then I caught him. And that is how a dramatic fight for last place takes place!  
Other dramatic fights during the race including making the cutoff at 1:50 with 30 seconds to spare (or they shunt you over to the 50 km course cuz you'd be too slow for the 75 km). and when I was doing the climb to the Col de Bossu I was being followed by the quad that follows the last place rider to pick up the bones after the wolves and bears have had their way with me when cardiac failure occurs.  I called him "the spectre of death" but it also meant that the 5 people behind me had dropped out of the race. I was in no risk of dropping out, just of being friggin' slow in the uphill.  

The climb up to Col du Bossu looks minor in this photo, but it lasted 9 km!

It was a great experience, the trails were mainly forest roads big (boring but generally fast) and small (more interesting, but generally uphill or or in bad shape) through some really nice terrain. The land where the race took place is in ZECs or Pourvoires which are generally used for either forestry or hunting/fishing or it seems recreational Quad driving - sometimes with one's wife and her tiny dog on the back!).  
The Raid adds another economic-generating tourism activity to these forests, hills and lakes, which the many and vast and distant Quebec regions need. And the Charlevoix is so very lovely, but is a bit far away.

Ravito food stop #2. un Gros merci to the many volunteers that make this and all races possible

in the Charlevoix backcountry the hills get big

This chemin forestier had great views, and then it is the 300m climb to Col du Bossu

The only asphalt of the day was about 3 km before the finish line.

The podium was empty by the time we got there.

Mont Grand Fonds at sunset friday night.

Early Saturday morning and the campers are getting ready, and notice the blue sky!

Starting in last place meant we passed a few (very few!) riders.

The descent after col de Bossu starts now!

Deep in the Charlevoisienne backcountry we passed this rider with mechanical problems

These quads were following the last riders on the course. Oh, that's us.

Lots of mud, and almost no blood =  a very good day for a mountain bike ride.

The last stop before leaving montreal is to pick up some Patisserie Villeray baklava, the best!

The paved road from la Malbaie to Mont Grand Fonds has great scenery and mostly great asphalt.

What is this thing on the front of the bike?

Lots of great scenery goes flying by

Biking through the bush gives me the greens


At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Remi said...

I'm actually the guy that you had that epic battle with (and I'm pretty sure you cut the line before me in the end)!

Actually it was not my first flat when you overtook me, it was my second one of the day (same tire), plus I broke my chain around 5km before that, so it was not the best day for me, especially because the instant you stop, a massive cloud of mosquitos and black flies turn into massive attack mode! I'll let you imagine what my legs, arms and neck look like today.

Anyway I stumbled upon your blog while looking for pictures, I'm so glad I found your story! And congratulations for the pictures, those are really nice!

See you on the trails!


At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Don W said...

The winner is the person who had the most fun. Sounds likes lots of winning .

Don W.


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