here to read a description of the race.
The wind was the huge story of this year's race. I don't think I've ever cycled on such a windy day! Cyclists were faced with a south wind of 25-40mph. And of course when you are pedaling into the wind, that makes the resulting net wind speed worse. My face was red and raw from wind burn!
(ABOVE: Sean Orta from Bartlesville led our group. I could only keep pace with him for the first 6 miles. BELOW: Race the Rail nearly became Race the Rain!)
I needed to average about 20mph over 32 miles to beat the train, and I thought I had zero chance after the half way point. My average speed was only 13mph at mile 16!
I began the race with a group of eight cyclists, but I couldn't even hold 15mph with them due to the wind. I got dropped from the group, and my speed dipped to only 11mph riding solo. I caught on with the next group which rode about 14mph.
But the same wind which killed us rewarded us on the return trip.
To have a chance to beat the train, I knew I needed to average a ridiculous pace of near 30mph for the last half.
So what happened? I averaged 30.3mph and I beat the train by only 50 yards! I was the second to last person who beat the train. I did it!
(BELOW: More pictures and results. Note: the bar graph of my average speed tells the story: 13mph going south, 30.3mph going north!)