Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Part Two: Taken it easy...

After missing my feed in Montpelier and having to stop for 3 minutes to grab neutral I left with Denny toward Geneva Summit. As we rolled out Denny told me he was done that he was cramping and it was all over. I took the hint and dropped him to catch some riders. As I rolled toward the climb I was surprised how much easier it was this year without having to navigate the construction. The summit didn't seem like much of a challenge and I managed to grab on the back of three relay riders. I sat on the back of the group just trying to make sure I saved enough energy for the climb up Salt Creek. I did take two short pulls to try and not be a complete wheel sucker. I did forget how long the road is from the turn onto 89 until the Salt Creek feed which shouldn't have been an issue other then my bladder now being full. We finally rounded the corner and I could see the feedzone. Just to show I wasn't a complete jerk I rode up past the three riders that just pulled me 25 miles and thanked them for letting me sit on their wheels. I then stopped at the feedzone to fuel up. I don't know why, but at this point I found myself talking to one of the volunteers. After a few minutes I realized what I was doing and left. 6 minutes had gone by at this stop! What was I thinking! Finally after a cat 5 group came racing by and dropped a few guys I started up the climb.

Just after the feedzone my wife passed by and then stopped at a pull-out asked if I was okay. I said I was fine (really I was ticked about missing the feed but what can you do?) and just kept riding.

At this point I'm starting to worry, I found myself just spinning up the climb with no ability to push the watts. My quads were just on fire and didn't have any climb in them. I stood up a couple of times to recover but it didn't seem to help. At this point I really started to worry since I was barely at the half way mark and had lost my legs. It took my 24 minutes to make the climb at a snail's pace of 9.9 mph average. Not good. Finally I started the DH, but as soon as I turned north I was greeted by a swirling wind. I managed to find a guy to work with for a while but was unable to take good pulls and he dropped me. Finally a tandem came by and along with 5 other people I jumped on the back and rode it into Afton.

I came into Afton with a full bladder again. How was this possible? Last year dehydration was sapping my legs and now I'm taking too much fluid? I stopped instead of grabbing and going and asked the crew why they missed me. I guess they got caught in construction and missed me by 15 minutes. I swapped bottles, ate a banana, grabbed more clif chews and half a peanut butter sandwich and left Afton since I didn't want to miss the tandem.

Right after leaving I realized I forgot to hit the port-a-potty. I figured I'd just wait another hour until Alpine and would be fine. For the next hour it was all I could think about. I should have just gone into a convenience store and gone but I didn't want to stop. After about 45 minutes of riding alone I was seriously just going to pull off and run behind a barn when two tandems pulling about 30 riders came by. Wow, I wasn't going to miss this! I jumped on the back and between picking more riders up and everyone taking a pull I only had to take one pull in the 15 miles I rode in the group. It was heaven until about 5 miles out of Alpine when my legs just couldn't take the speed we were climbing.

I finally decided I'd had enough and dropped off the back. I rode the last 5 miles into Alpine alone and broken. At Alpine I went straight to the port-a-potty. I took the last couple of sport legs I had, more chews, swapped out the bottles and left in a hurry as one of the tandems was pulling out that had dropped me.

I was finally starting the last leg of the race.

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