The Deer Hunter: A warrior's Battenkill tale.

Had to miss Tour of Battenkill this year.    Other commitments. Not enough training anyway.  Blah blah whining.  And enough about me.   Way better we talk about the guys who were there.  

One warrior's tale in particular..

Battenkill Full Time Score:  Trojan warrior 1 - Whitetail deer 0.
Our Flandria Cafe-Bikeworks-Flandria Master's team is lucky to have our own 'Spartacus':  Jay Trojan:   Jay's got a great 'warrior' surname that's only matched by his toughness and aggression on the bike.

Jay drove out to America's 'spring classic'  in Cambridge NY to fly the Flandria Cafe flag.  He had designs on a class win... and the form to pull it off!    He was already strong in January, trained hard through all the cold this tough winter.  And got stronger through the spring.   Intervals.   Leading up the northern RI climbs on tough group weekend rides.  Lean, ripped, flying.

Better he tells you his tale...    (Disclaimer jongens:  Don't try this at home!!)

"Why can’t I have a race without a story? BATTENKILL: Started the day totally stress free, carbed up, well hydrated, confident and just really peaceful and calm."

"So this year I line up in the front row, ride easy for a few miles and no one wants to lead until we take a left to the covered bridge. Then we get moving and my chain comes off out of nowhere. Like in cross, I move my derailleur and get it back on, maybe 3 seconds of working it, too long I guess because one guy decides to pass me on the right (I’m already all the way over) he hits the soft shoulder, panics, loses control and comes back at me and we both go down. Doing about 20 MPH very (luckily) for me no one hits me or runs over my bike."

"Got scraped up and a very sore left side hip, but I hop right up looking back to avoid any other collision."
"They say that a deer smiles at every man...
all a man can do is smile back"  

Spartacus Trojan Maximus.  4/15/2013
"Everyone goes by clear. I see my water bottle in the road, grab it, pick my bike up put the chain on and begin the chase. I can’t believe what just happened - ironically a half mile earlier than last year’s upset. "

"Ohhh I’m MAD, and I realize I don’t have my cell phone any longer nor do I have my prescription sunglasses and my little clip on mirror also gone but I chase and chase. I’m gassed and now realizing this might be another let down but I refuse, more anger comes and I just keep thinking go just a little harder than the front guy and I’ll catch them.... and I did it!! I latched onto the back just before the Juniper Swamp hill, with enough time to recover a little. My feelings are hurt, my side hurts my hand hurts, I’m scraped up... but I’m back with them.

"But that's not all...would you believe at about 25 to 30 miles in, I’m sitting in towards the back, enjoying the slipstreams as we ride along a wooded area on a dirt section.  Suddenly, we see 2 deer on our left, clearly spooked by all the bikes going by.   Now they're running with us, about 10 yards in the woods.  And I just knew."
"Sure enough it happened it what seemed like slow motion..and yet so fast.  The guys were calling out as I did.. “DEER!!”... just like if it were glass in the road or a pot-hole."

"I just knew it was me, and sure enough as it hopped along same speed as us (slight incline 14 to 17mph luckily) it made a cut and a second hop and BAM!!... Direct hit!"

"I don’t know how I didn’t get knocked out.  I have no idea how I went down, but man, it HURT! I think it was head to head and body to body because I thought my jaw was broken, very similar to being sucker punched. Lip all cut inside, swollen face and now my right side hip and body really hurts. No idea where the deer went. And off goes the pack again, disappearing up the road."
This is the last thing Jay saw before impact...  (cafe studio re-creation - simulation)

"By now I’m ready to throw my bike in the ditch and wait for the wheel vehicle but I pick it up and get chasing again. The second time it was easier. So much pain on both sides now, I don’t think about the legs or breathing much."

"As I finally catch back on, some of the guys that witnessed the deer crash were amazed. Rightly so, because now they believe I’m a damn warrior too!"

"Once I got back on I moved up to the front and stayed tucked in and stayed with them on all the hills. More luck is coming but this time it’s not so good, we made it to paved roads and with only 3 miles to go a second group catches us with different numbers, and so they proceed to pass but can’t...or don’t?"

"They stayed with us and now we ride in with this massive group of 30 or so fighting for position. Well that’s when my warrior mentality evaporated. I was hurting and just could not fight, I just could not chance going down again and had to settle for holding my line and watched a few guys sneak past on the left just before the line. Who cares at that point right?"
"I’m fine.  They found my phone so you see, all in all I was very lucky. The phone gets mailed out tomorrow. There were plenty of crashes much worse in other groups; the guy that hit me broke his collar bone, so I guess i did have good luck... maybe in some weird way?"
"Who gets hit by a deer? How did no one else get taken out by it or by me and my bike? The collision happened so fast, I never had a second to react. I have no idea how I landed, just WHAM...found myself on the ground and with my jaw and side hurting."
"I drove home with an ice pack on each side tight to my hips, held in place by my seat belt. What a beating! The funny part is, the ride or race itself doesn’t seem to have taken much of a toll."

"One other funny thing...I had 2 gu pacs on my right side but I guess they popped in the first crash so later in the race when I reached back for some fuel my glove practically stayed in the pouch. It almost would not let go of my glove? What the hell! So I just chewed on the finger tips of my gloves! 
(hahaha.. I made up “the chewing part.” The GU packs did pop though. What a mess!!)"

Now THAT, cafesupporters, is a flahute.    Zeker!

I'm predicting Jay is going to slay a lot of other gladiators at Quabbin road race.   Maximus style.   


  1. Jay, glad you survived...and 15th. Nice job! I stumbled on this page after doing a google search to see if anyone mentioned what happened to the guy that got hit by a deer. I was in your field and right next to you on the right. I saw the deer dart from the woods and braked hard (screaming "deer" over and over). The deer tapped my front wheel but I stayed upright. You really took the full blow. After all that happened at Battenkill, hope the rest of your season remains incident free.

  2. my dad's a beast!! came home and continued riding his bike!


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