Haymarket Bicycles recently announced the return of the Winter Bike League, 2012 edition, to MABRA's off-season traininig program. Recognizing that the word "epic" is the most over-used adjective to describe everything from a six-hour race along the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix to a really intense thirty minute roller workout in a bike-bloggers discomfort-cave, it will not be used to describe this training series. Instead, suffice to say that the HWBL is "really hard" and that, perhaps, is an understatement.
Dates for the event are January 15, February 5, and February 12, 2012 and everyone is invited. In fact, everyone can win prizes and everyone can get dropped! The time has been adjusted from last year to mitigate the potential for nostril-numbing cold and to allow those less-local to Haymarket than others a few extra minutes cuddle-time with the morning espresso.
As last year, the rides start from Haymarket Bicycles in Haymarket, VA and they will all cover between 65 and 80 miles. Jared Nieters, Shop Owner and League Overlord, has declared that the pace will be "brisk" as riders navigate the "varying terrain with open flat sections, dirt roads, and tough climbs." Cue sheets will be made available online and will be provided at the start of each ride.
You can find all the details and even become friends with this ride on The Facebook. Pre-ride smack-talking and vain boasting are, of course, welcome as long as you are able to live up to your own hype (or are equally gifted in the art of post-ride excuse making).
Nieters also makes the following disclaimers: everyone rides at their own risk because this is most definitely a "drop ride." As such, everyone must follow the rules of the road and not wear earphones during this "entirely unsanctioned ... glorified group ride." He warns participants that flat tires are "your own problem" and no one is allowed to complain about the conditions.
So, if you think you are ready to be the early-early-season hero, grab an extra tube and head out to Haymarket, VA to prove that January's got nothing on you.