One month ago Shenandoah Mountain Touring hosted the second annual
Virginia’s Rough Roubaix. The alarm went off bright and early at 4:20 so that I
could get to Barry’s house so we could all carpool down to Harrisonburg together.
A few hours later we were ready to roll at Westover Park in Harrisonburg. I was riding my brand new Niner RLT 9
and was excited to see how it handled on the gravel roads of Virginia and West Virginia.
Chris Scott paced us out of Harrisonburg and onto the gravel roads towards Stokesville. I stayed up front early knowing that when the
lead group accelerated I would get dropped eventually. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was riding when at around mile 12
Jeremiah Bishop went by me in his way to catch the lead group. I hung on his wheel for a way and then he went up a hill like it wasn’t there.
I rode the rest of the way solo to Stokesville. There I picked up a group of three other riders and we climbed up and over into West Virginia.
The climb into West Virginia is long but never that steep. It is followed by an ripping descent that had switchbacks, potholes, washboard road and more.
The Niner RLT9 handled like a champ on the rough roads. I was especially happy with the Stan’s Iron Cross rims and the Schwalbe Sanny Slicks I had setup tubeless. I flew down the mountain without fear of flatting and the low pressures I was able to run kept the ride from being too rough.
After the descent back into West Virginia I got dropped out of the pace line I was in and soloed into the second aid stations.
I left the aid station with two other riders and we headed up Route 33. The cramps started in earnest as we climbed back into Virginia.
As we created the pass, I could see the two riders ahead of me but was always just a few hundred yards away and was never able to catch either rider. I soloed all they way back into Harrisonburg expecting a fairly easy descent back into town.
But it wasn’t so easy. In the final 15 miles Chris decided we needed to climb a few nasty hills on the way back into town.
I rolled back into Westover Park just a few minutes over my 6 hours goal. I was surprised to only see a few people at the park and was even more surprised to find out I finished 5th in the 90-mile classic route!
Chris Scott and Shenandoah Mountain Touring put on an amazing day of racing in the Shenandoah Mountains and I can’t wait
to go back and race again next year.