The best race of the year… Hands down!
It may not be the most flashy, have huge payouts or many categories but it’s the best race you’ll do in Texas all year. This race is put on by the Big Pig Cancer Foundation, a local charity dedicated to helping cyclists stricken by Cancer in Texas. It’s 6 hours in benefit of the charity on the flowy, rooty and climby trails at Tyler State Park.
The Big Pigs put on a first class event with the highlight being the 6 switchbacks up the “Stairway to Bacon” where they cheer you on and give you bacon at the top! The rest of the trail is strewn with motivating signs from race team members and the final long drag is lined with motivating signs from cancer survivors and loved ones who lost their battle (Champion’s Climb).
I had a great day on the bike, having my nutrition and hydration strategy dialed in from earlier success and failures. I was riding a demo Scott Spark, one that I had never been on, as my Giant Anthem is in the shop for suspension rebuilds after some hard miles. Thankfully I copied my fit exactly and besides a few component unfamiliarities it performed well most of the time.
I finished 7th out of the 60+ Geared Open Male racers, completing 6 laps with the top 3 managing 7. My body is still adapting to this level of effort every week and I did spend over 20 minutes of the 6:18 elapsed time off the bike. That is something I feel will improve with time and effort and allow me to get in that final lap that alludes me in the future.
Make sure you check out the Big Pig Cancer Foundation and find out how you can get involved. They raised $7500 from this race and cooked 52lbs of Bacon!