Ride report by JOM / K-Dogg
Sunday, February 15, 2015 marked the 5th running of the Doc Hollywood Invitational. The Doc Hollywood Invitational is an 80 mile bicycle ride in Alachua and Marion Counties, held in honor of the greatest movie ever filmed in downtown Micanopy – Doc Hollywood! The ride is free. Why? Doctor’s orders.
The Doc is a drop ride, meaning no whinging; rather, support yourself, bring a fun attitude, and enjoy the day.
The first 40ish miles are neutral with a 2 x 2 paceline at 20 – 23mph. This is a primo chance for maximum wheel sucking, or in my case (JOM), maximum socializing.
K-Dogg explains the Doc
Today’s Doc Hollywood Cyclo-Fondo may be the start of a whole new style of bike racing. Imagine if all races commenced with 40 miles of civilized, chatty warm up, followed by a delightful half-hour picnic of soda pop, candy bars and bathroom visits.
The “race” part began on the outskirts of Williston, with the blessing of organizer Tim Hayes who was still chewing on a large chunk of beef jerky. “It’s chock full of protein” he explained. Something for everybody and totally free, except for it turns out, an excessive amount of punctured tubes and tires (tyres).
About that Weather
The meterologist blokes totally knackered the weather forecast. All week the prediction for Saturday was lows in the 20’s F, and a high temperature somewhere in the mid 50’s F. Rather, attendees were treated to glorious sunshine, with lows in the 50’s F and a high of about 68 F. Barring some headwind action, this was some pretty tasty weather. We pity those poor buggers in New England, enduring winter storms and all that.
On the start line of this event (remember, it is a “ride”, not a race) were ALL of the former “winners”. In chronological order:
- 2011 – JOM (Velobrew, pre Gravel Cyclist).
- 2012 – Ryan Saylor (Gearlink).
- 2013 – Blake Idziak (Top Gear).
- 2014 – Clayton Matthews aka Dr MSG (Cycle Logic).
As alluded to earlier, wheel sucking and conversation took place during the neutral part of the ride. But more important than that, was the 46 or so people who woke early, and made the drive to the event start in Micanopy. There were folks from all over Florida, with a strong contingent representing Daytona Beach and Ocala, including current National Cyclocross Champion (ages 30 – 34), Mr Ryan Woodall. Representing the ladies were The Fraulein of Cycle Logic and Pauline of Swift Cycle.
The tempo hovered around 22mph (around 35km/hr for we metric folks), stinging the legs of a few riders as the group traversed the undulating terrain. Regardless, a fun time was enjoyed by all before the obligatory store stop.
The “Ride” – Commentary by K-Dogg and JOM
The first short lime rock sector was led out by local sand master, Dr. Pain of Cycle Logic, ahead of approximately 40 enthusiasts. As others took the front at the next potholed sector, everyone fought for position, reminiscent of the chuck wagon races at the Calgary Stampede, but on expensive road machines not designed for this kind of abuse.
Early into the second dirt sector, Dr. Meshugganah aka Dr. MSG (Cycle Logic) and Sebastian Morfin, cranked the pace hard leaving most of the field gasping, flailing or pulling off with multiple punctures.
By the next section of pavement, only a dozen or so remained including five Cycle Logic riders: Dr. MSG, K-Dogg, The Belgian Diesel, The Fraulein and the Aussie Bastard (JOM) disguised in Gravel Cyclist kit.
Dr. MSG attacked in the exact same spot as last year, into a brisk headwind, taking Sebastian with him. With some gentle blocking from Team Cycle Logic, the gap opened and shrank as various individuals tried and failed to bridge solo.
As we approached the bustling metropolis of Raleigh, Florida, Randy Andy, Dave Severn, Bob Croslin and a bloke from Top Gear, worked the traffic and squirted away from our chase group to eventually bridge to the leaders – making six up the road. *
A large gap opened. There was no doubt Dr. MSG didn’t need our help, meaning we were content to torture the bloke wearing the Dogfish Brewing jersey hanging with us, by rotating slowly, if at all. Dave Severn came back to the group, victim of a Dr. MSG attack to the lead group. Following the event, Dr. MSG said, “I’ve no idea why these guys bridged, Andy was the only one who attempted to work, the rest just sat on Sebastian and I”.
Not far before the crossing of SR 121, we were joined by Keith Richards of Swift Cycle, Blake Idziak of Top Gear and Joel Rierson of Mellow Johnny’s. According to Keith, they’d burned some serious matches bridging to us.
However, the new additions to our group were doomed. Joel was highly motivated but his cheerleading fell on mostly deaf ears. He took extra exception to the Aussie Bastard (JOM) blocking for his team of one (covert Cycle Logic member). Can’t blame him but that’s racing. Eventually the gap was big enough to safely rotate just to get in some good exercise for the day.
Flemington, Florida and Beyond
Close to Flemington, JOM involuntarily disappeared off the back, citing a mechanical problem / dodgy chain screw up. At the Flemington corner, the group reeled in a fading Randy Andy and suffering companion. The lead group containing Dr. MSG was down to three, eerily like last year.
Up and over the rolling tar and gravel roads, Randy Andy vanished off the back. The poor lad was cooked.
Turning onto the final hilly lime rock sector, The Fraulein (on heavy, knobby CX tires) breathed a sigh of relief. “Now I know what to do” she said, then attacked viciously on one of the sector’s climbs, followed by cheerleader Joel, and held her advantage to the end three miles later, to finish 4th overall – the highest place for a woman finisher in the event’s history. The Fraulein is a powerhouse!
The remnants of the Cycle Logic group included the Belgian Diesel and K-Dogg, and one other bloke. At the finish, K-Dogg, found one final kick to secure 6th place (3 off the no money).
There was some confusion between the two leaders, Dr. MSG and Sebastian, as to where the actual finish line was. Event organizer Tim Hayes consulted with his committee, and ruled 2015 to be a shared victory, between by Dr. MSG (appropriately wearing the Gainesville World Champion Jersey) and Sebastian Morfin. Nice one lads!
It seems lady luck was absent for many of the real talent that showed up including:
Ryan Woodall (the 30-34 National CX Champ had two flats), Ryan Saylor, Eric Stubbs, Scott Pfaff aka Pfaff Daddy (two flats), David “Dito” Monismith (three flats), Alex Meucci, Justin Pfaff aka Pfaff Junior, Jim Phillips aka Jimbo and and at least a dozen more unknowns, who succumbed to flats or mechanicals. That’s a lot for a Cyclo-Fondo. Pfaff Junior’s loaner Go Pro camera fell off somewhere, but was retrieved after the Pfaffs backtracked the course in the car.
Will be coming out this week. Thanks to Rusty Dosh and Dr. Pain for their video contributions. JOM will produce the video in his copious spare time. In the meantime, LIKE the Gravel Cyclist Facebook Page <– shameless plug.
Heartbreaker Cycling Invitational Charity Ride
If you liked the Doc Hollywood ride, you’ll love this one. Coming March 1, check it out.
* If our report is a little off, please accept 1,000 of our most humble apologies.