Sausage Suit ITT pb Cannondale - Race Recap

Well if you hadn't heard of the Sausage Suit ITT, I can give you a very brief synopsis.... It is a 15+km lap of singletrack, with no mass start.  Riders are released every 30 seconds by the most energetic start you can imagine.  With Janet calling down the time for you, "5, 4, 3, 2, Go!",  you are ready to hit the trails for 1 or 2 laps of the most fun you can legally have on a bike..

Dan Marshall from Substance Projects hosts the event at Dufferin Forest, which is our home trails, so that does give some of us a bit of an advantage.  But like always at the end of the day, it is meant to be a fun day on your bike in the forest.

We lucked out with weather, it wasn't snowing!  It was bloody cold hovering around 8 degrees or so.  But with that being said, it was the perfect temperature to ride in. 

There was no set start order, so you strategically placed yourself on when and who you wanted to start around.  In our little grouping, Colin from #teamcolin, Johnny, Chris then I went.  Johnny was the carrot, riding the orange Heckler.  We were all set to do the double sausage, or 2 laps of the course.

Colin was off, Johnny was off, then Chris, then I.  I really didn't expect to catch Chris or Johnny for a while if at all.  If Chris wasn't held up in the start loop, I probably wouldn't have seen him for a long time.  But that little hold up allowed me to catch him, and the two of us turned the race into a really quick paced ride.  Which I think made it a lot more fun, and with us chatting the whole time, made us not really think of the pain that was to come.  We caught up to Colin just at the start of Ken's trail, riding the race on a single speed, that man is a machine!  He did have a bad crash, but thankfully was okay!

Chris and I had our next goal to try and catch up to Johnny.  That took us a while before we even started seeing him.  The really nice thing about a 30 second stagger start, is that you realize how long it takes to make up a gap on someone.  When you start seeing the person ahead of you, and not seeing the gap shrink it really does mess with you a bit. 

We hit the switchback climb then the wheel hill climb and finally had brought the gap to Johnny down.  We then had a 3 person Team Van Go train going through the Trail to Nowhere and the Lollipop.  I think the pass of the day for us was over one of the larger logs, a rider stopped by the log and the three of us all rode over it.  Like yellow and grey lemmings we continued on.  Over the course of the Lollipop we slowly lost our third member of the train.

Chris and I finished the first lap in 55 minutes, setting out for the second lap.  Other than a few stumbles on both our parts, we tried to keep the pace somewhat the same.  The legs were tired, don't get me wrong, and the climbs hurt just that little bit more.  We did continue to catch and pass people on the second lap which was nice.  But we also continued to chat the whole time, just as a deterrent from the pain. 

We continued the second lap, pushing just enough, we hit the top of the Wheel Hill, knowing this was the spot that you can let it all go.  There were no more major hills, and just a lot of fun and flow.  Then the Gorilla Hill, the last major push on the whole lap.  And who was out there with probably one of the best cowbells ever, Mr. Brian.  Wearing the safety vest, and clanging the bell like no tomorrow.

Climbing that hill, and seeing a gorilla in the forest just sort of wraps up the whole Sausage Suit experience. 

We finished the second lap in 57 minutes, which was pretty respectable if I do say so myself.  

What did I learn from the Sausage Suit... How much fun a race is riding with someone, getting pushed the whole time, how much fun Substance Projects races are, how much I enjoy the fall biking, and how much fun it is to bike in general. 

Oh and I guess getting on the podium isn't that bad either, but the best part of that is the sweet "medal".

Thanks again to Dan and Substance Projects, and everyone else who came out and helped the awesome day.  To all of the sponsors, if it wasn't for them either, we wouldn't be able to ride and race.

This race should be on every one's radar for next year, if not to race it, just to ride it.  The trails are in amazing shape, and the atmosphere around the event is so relaxed and fun.

Race Results:


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