Saturday, April 16, thousands of riders lined the streets of Downtown Hastings awaiting their time to begin the Barry-Roubaix Gravel Road Challenge. It was a year of shedding layers, battling the heat and trying to see through the dust storm! In the words of WSI rider Jeff Cachero, it was a “hot, dusty mess!”
Riders picked their poison with routes at 22 miles, 36 miles and 62 miles. The majority of WSI riders opted for the 36 mile route, while a few brave souls (Matt Wright) ventured out for the 62 mile “killer” course. Some (Dwight) even decided to race on a fat bike. The common theme for all riders was the dust. It has been awhile since riders had seen dry, warmer weather at Barry-Roubaix, but Spring showed up, finally, for 2016!
Scott Bridges came in with an exciting ending. Rounding the corner and eyes on the prize, the rider to his inside touched his bars, was unable to make the turn as sharp as needed, and crashed into the barriers. In the midst of it the rider’s foot, or something, got tangled in his spokes. Knowing he had an injured bike, he coasted through the finish not wanting to risk pedaling. He held a strong 3rd place finish for his age group and 20th overall for the 36-miler. The crashed rider crossed the finish on foot, bike over his shoulders with a crowd cheering him on.
Katie Bridges moved up to the 36 miler for the first time this year and enjoyed the sights and scenery, despite Scott telling her she needs to pedal faster, while Kevin Bridges and Charles Elder set new PRs for themselves on the course.
David Goff and Jeff Cachero have vowed that this race has motivate them to work and train harder.
Overall, Barry-Roubaix and the town of Hastings do an amazing job at putting on a great event. Every year, regardless of times, PRs and conditions, it is a great start to the race season with fellow cycling friends form around the area. As Kelli Kramer put it, “I didn’t place this year, but I had fun anyway!” Jack Miner and his duck-calling dad even made a surprise appearance cheering on his old teammates.