My goal going into this year's Nightmare was to try and complete the ride in less then 10.5 hours. This would better last year's time by 12 minutes. My training up until this point had been perfect and I was having some really good sensations in my legs. But like any cyclist, I was still insecure about my training and hoped I had done enough.
Well, I think I did. My total time was 10 hours and 10 minutes. I shattered my old PR by almost 35 minutes! From the moment we set out I could tell it was going to be a good day. Less then five miles into the ride me and three other guys from Mason Dixon Velo (last year's winner Shawn Beeler, Andy Johnson, and Barry Klien) got a great gap on the field. I managed to hang with these cool cats until about mile 40 when they turned on the afterburners and I knew it was time to let them go. This meant I would be spending the next 137 miles on my own.
But not entirely on my own. I had my awesome support crew - Matt (@mattapperson on Twitter) and Alanna Apperson - who are my brother-in-law and sister. They kept me well supplied with the fuel I needed at all times. Without their amazing support the ride I put in would not have been possible! Gratzi you guys!
The first 100 miles rolled by in just 5 hours and 36 minutes - my fastest 100 mile time to date. After that the rest of the day just seems like a blur. All told I was stopped only three minutes (only for traffic lights and nature breaks) also making this one of the longest days I've spent on the bike without stopping. I took food while still rolling from the side of the road as needed. My longest "stop" came at a traffic light and lasted about 90 seconds.
By the end of the day I claimed fourth place. Although two spots lower than last year I still set a new PR on the Nightmare course. I want to give a major thank you to all the volunteers on the Nightmare route. Although I didn't see them hardly at all, without their tireless efforts such a great ride wouldn't be possible. Also, a big thank you goes out to Mike Ridgeway, the Nightmare director, for organizing this wonderful ride every year for the last 16 years. Be sure to check out the website at www.dreamrideprojects.org.
With Nightmare officially behind me it means that the racing season has begun for me. Next up I head out to Boulder Colorado for some altitude training to get ready for the CX season. Well technically it's for my brother's wedding but I like to think it's a training camp ;-)
After a week in Boulder I come back and less then two weeks later the CX season kicks off in Trexlertown PA at the Nittany Lion cross. If you're in the area be sure to stop by and cheer me on. I'll be once again flying the RGM Watches/Richard Sachs colors this year.
Thanks again to all the people who will make this season possible and who have already helped out thus far!
Thanks for reading!