Sometime in the beginning of the year i took part in a competition on happymtb and won a spot in the innaugural Stockholm Velothon. At the same time a lot of things had to line up for me to actually take part in a road race. I had to get a road bike. I had to get over my unfounded fear of being seen in lycra. I had to learn the lingo and the ettiquette. I had to see if i can survive 170km at race pace.
Things slowly started falling into place when my commuter mtb finaly cracked after 6 long years. I replaced it with a Kona Jake cx bike. So fenders and all i started doing more and more road riding, mostly to work, but occasionally as an addition to mountainbiking. September 13th was quickly approaching and i wasn’t even confident that i could sustain the 24km/h minimum average speed in order to not be disqualified. After the Megavalanche i pretty much clened my trail bike and just left it there and almost exclusively rode the Kona. I already had a decent level of endurance but no experience in riding in a bunch or timing food and water intake on such long rides. A couple of weeks before the start the fear of being too slow and publicly embarrasing myself culminated in a sustained 210km ride around lake Mälaren with one 3 min stop to refill my water bottles. That took 7h39min and surprisingly few moments where i wondered what i’m doing doing with my life. I was then sure i could make it round the 170km Velothon course.
But the excitement did not stop at just surviving. I was going to get to ride through central Stockholm, with 3000 other people, on roads, without having to weave between cars. That was a truly magnificent sight. I managed to ride the course, non stop (which probably contributed to my ok time) in 5h25min including the master start or 5h15min excluding it. Absolutely a time i can improve, but also something iä’m not particularly displeased with.
Of course i wanted to document the oportunity to ride through a car free central Stockholm. Expert tip: do not mount a gopro on your road bike if you plan on being remotely aero.