Gravel Road Race in Ohio's Scenic Amish Country
Four KSD’ers (Kenny, Tim, Christine and Corianne) registered and raced/rode in the inaugural Amish Country Roubaix in Millersburg, OH. Christine and I used it as a training ride for the upcoming Mohican 100K. Numbers attached, pre-ride snacks eaten and we were ready to start warming up. Nervousness was setting into our stomachs. I mean people had their trainers out warming up - talk about HARDCORE! We decided to take a lap around the Holmes County fairgrounds, I hit the power button on my Garmin 305 and….the battery is dead! UGH, I had turned it on before we left the house and it was fully charged...was this going to be a sign for the ride? We hoped not, but it left us scrambling for something that we could have the time, mileage, etc. since neither of us had pre-ridden the trail. We weren’t going to take our phones for fear of wiping out and breaking them, but we both decided that was the best thing to do – so we ran the Strava app and we were ready to go.
Christine took her phone out that had stopped somewhere between the last stop and now…so she lost some miles, so I took mine out, took my glove off (silly touch screens!) We were at mile 28. We had a LONG way to go, and we knew at least one more bigger climb before the Holmes County trail. At that point I started singing to myself “I’m in over my head …” by Lit. I knew I had to get it out of my head before the next climb or I was done for! We found it, climbed it and were on our way back down some gravel descents. We made a turn and went right through someone’s farm. Waved to the horses and we were off again and up the final hill (we hoped!)
Once we saw the Holmes County trail we were greeted by some volunteers yelling for us, great job, keep it going! We made it to the 10 miles of flat.. a fist bump and we were off. Trying to make up some time, afterall the signs on the trail said “race today from 1-3..” it was at least 4 p.m. Passed some interesting characters on the trail, including two punk kids on bmx bikes who scared a rider and a horse..the rider was scolding the boys as we were riding by. We thought for sure we had missed the turn point – we had been riding forever! Christine pulled out the map, I pulled out my cell phone and it said 38.8 miles. We still had a ways to go! Finally we made the left turn onto the final road….and here comes the headwind. We rode side-by-side shaking our heads – and saying “you have GOT to be KIDDING me” and “come on wind!” Then we saw checkpoint M – we were ALMOST there – one mile to go! We turned onto the fairgrounds, there were only a few cars left, but the tent was still up – they were waiting for us! Then a dog comes up and bounces off Christine’s wheel and then hits my wheel. We stop for a second. I say “sorry” to the owners and we keep going. I’m like did that really just happen!? We get lined up side-by-side for a ‘photo’ finish. Kenny and Tim were waiting at the finish line! We were DONE! The guys from Soupcan and Ride On of Wooster did a GREAT job at organizing and providing SAG support (just glad we didn’t need it) and they even saved us two Amish made fry pies. We got some water and packed up and headed over to Bags – the local pub. We devoured some good food and a recovery beer.
In the end, we wanted to know how that compared with the 100K – I said at first, I’d ask Kenny…then I remembered he is NEVER a good judge of elevation, so we decided to ask Tim instead – fearing he would say – it was like the 45 miles of ACR, plus a full lap at Mohican. He said it was not like that, the roads at Mohican are not that steep – I sure hope so, we only have two SHORT months before that undertaking! Cheers to more training! ~Corianne Kocarek