This out of Michael Barrys diary posted on Velonews about Tour of Qatar. I couldn't describe a Chequamegon start any better.
"The race begins before it starts. To ensure we are well positioned for a furious race into a blowing wind, we line up 20 minutes before the start to get a good spot on the grid. Even though the race doesn’t officially start until we reach the zero-kilometer banner on the outskirts of town the peloton pushes and shoves behind the commissaires’ cars — which regulate the speed — for the best spots at the front. The panic borders on ridiculous; with 140 kilometers to go, and the race not yet officially started, we push each other for position as though we are in the last kilometers. "
Monday, February 2, 2009
Winter Death March is the name coined to the epic dirt road loops done in the coldest months of the year. Typically we take off from Clarkston and head North to the hilly dirt roads of Northern Oakland County. It's almost like a massive set of rolling groomed trails expanding 100's of miles. All the way from White Lake to Holly and over to Metamora on down to Rochester Hills with barely any traffic. I have countless memories of exploring these roads dating back over 15 years ago. I'm not sure where I got the idea that it was OK to ride huge miles in such conditions. I seem to remember some of the earliest rides with Don Cameron and Dave Luzcynski which is where I learned the skills of extended winter riding. Through the years, I've shared agonizing winter death marches with several people and have had some memorable experiences. Like the time Brew champ and I were out and I broke my frame! I scurried home on the cracked bike, built up a new frame, and met back up with him to finish the ride. Or the time Stewy bonked 20 miles from home and was almost in tears. We stuffed him full of Snickers bars and Coca-Cola and got him back home. They're always hard and I'm always ragged at the end of my rope when I get home. Only a couple more months and we'll back on dry dirt and hopefully I can say I survived another year of Classic Winter Death Marches. Let me know if you're ready!