I thought I’d add a short blog on a short portion of the Steaming Nostril race this past weekend. As mentioned in my previous blog post, each previous year of the Steaming Nostril has had an epic component, whether it was the cold -20C temperatures from 2014, or the nearly-unrideable slushy rail trail from 2013. The 2016 version added a new component of adventure with “The Longest Kilometre”.
It started innocently enough. A dirt farmer’s road approaching a barn. Friendly course marshalls who encouraged us along the way. Then a right hand turn around a barn to a downhill full of thick, sticky mud and deep ruts. I chose to enter the fat bike category, so I was able to ride this downhill, but others weren’t so lucky on cyclocross bikes. My choice to ride, however, wasn’t the best. By the time I reach the bottom, my bike had accumulated so much mud, the wheels wouldn’t spin. I spent a couple minutes pulling mud off my bike by the handful. This was followed by some soft grass that was barely rideable. Then a narrow bridge across a creek (read: hike-a-bike), then some more soft grass along the Conestogo River and another hike-a-bike bridge before…. the Climb.
I’ve ridden the mud chutes at P2A and climbed the Martin road hill in the same event each year, but nothing compares to this mud wall. Blogs and Facebook posts have quoted the following:
- “Run-up of doom” – Barry Cox
- “… and then there was a mud cliff climb. I could barely make it up. Had a few pushes and with the help of a few trees was at the top pretty much spent.” Jeff Shikaze
- “… that gigantic mud hill. Getting up that hill was tough. You were constantly sliding, trying to carry/hold your bike in place and grabbing trees etc to help yourself up.” Chris Pippy
- “Soul-crushing-boot-destroying-mud-sucking-hill-climbing-farm-bogging-slip-sliding-tree-grabing-thigh-cramping-vimy-ridge-reenacting-horror show.” – Alain Francq
- “I get to the bottom of the mud climb and I can see Oliver at the top! I am thinking “awesome, I caught Oliver!”, but then I realize this hill is one hell of a bitch and I’m not anywhere near Oliver.” – Mike Edmonds
- “Tears were in my eyes. I had no idea how I was going to make it to the top.” Ana Maria Bogatan
I’m sure there will be more quotes online, but to end this post, I’ll link to the Strava segment that someone has added. Notice that the top finishers in the race were also the fastest through this Longest Kilometre. Fastest times were 5-6 minutes. My time was over 16 minutes. For one kilometre!
Oh and here are some photos of the hill climb by the organizers, Cycle Waterloo:
Got more quotes about this part of the race? Add a comment below!