Alright so I spose it is time I write about the race I rode on Sunday down in Gunnison Colorado. I took off Saturday afternoon and made the 4.5 hour drive down past the Collegiate Peaks, over Monarch Pass, and into Gunnison. I got into town signed up for the race and headed out to Hartman Rocks where the race was to camp on BLM land. It was quite windy but I got the tent set up and braced down with rocks and settled in.
I had to be up at 5 and get things around so I could get warmed up and ready for the race which started at 7am sharp. I awoke to cloudy skies and some wind. It was pretty cold in the low 40s and the threat of rain that came out of no where. As I was getting the bike ready it started to sprinkle and I thought oh hell what did I get myself into now. However, as we started the sprinkles subsided and the sun burned through about 30 minutes to a hour into the race.
The course stared with a steep uphill on one of the dirt roads for about 2-3 miles then we hit some awesome single track. After that it was back onto a ridiculous climb called Top of the World. More downhill single track after that and then more climbing. This repeated itself quite a bit and I was just concentrating on pacing myself and not getting carried away. The big dawgs were long gone and I was settling in nicely. I let quite a few people by and ended up catching most of them later in the race and most of them were actually only signed up for 1 lap. As I reached the half way point on the first lap I was feeling a bit tight but the legs were starting to loosin up. The later part of the first lap took a toll on me as there were some steep loose sections where you had to push the bike up, though I am sure there were some people who were able to make it up without a problem.
After coming down the last downhill and back to the parking lot I was pretty wasted. However, I was set on going out for my second lap no matter what because I signed up for it and I was going to finish it if I had to crawl back. I talked to a kid from Telluride who was kind enough to ask me if I needed anything and we chatted a bit. He said he thought about taking another lap but thought better of it. Tons of people were talking about how hard the first lap was and they couldn't imagine doing another. I didn't let that discourage me though and the kind fellow from Telluride wished me luck and I was off.
The first climb killed me but I maintained a steady pace and got it done. The first part of the second lap was going pretty well as I was riding with another guy and we were working together quite well until about 14 miles in when I got a flat tire and lost pace. This is where the bad news set in. I was getting the tire changed without to many problems and a guy by the name of Brad stopped and asked me if everything was good and I said yup no worries. He continued on and I was left there to change my tire. Turns out my CO2 pump broke and I had no way to get enough air in my tire so that I could ride it. This led me to start the 3 mile trek to the half way point aide station where I hoped I could get some help with air for my tire. About 2 miles into the walk completely exhausted Dave the event coordinator caught up to me as he was sweeping the course and asked what was up since he saw my foot prints and new I had been walking for a while. I told him what had gone on and he hooked me up with some air and asked me if I wanted to finish. I said "Hell yes" but if I get another flat I am screwed. He said no problem cause I will be behind you a ways picking up markers so keep on trucking. I gladly did cause quiting just isn't in my blood.
I ended up catching up to Brad about another 5 miles down trail as he got a flat as well. We rode the last 14 miles together completely exhausted. By the time we got to the line between 9 and 9.5 hours after the start Brad's two friends were there to cheer us to the finish. I was completely happy even in last position that I had finished the race. I would have finished in about 8 hours if I didn't have the mechanical issues but that's alright. I saw quite a few people out there who didn't get to finish because of things like broken derailleurs and even broke swingarms on frames. One of Brad's friends was one of the unlucky ones who broke their rear derailleur.
Even though I was trashed I made the drive home. After a shower my head hit the pillow and I was out for the night. I woke up yesterday with not much soreness but quite a bit of fatigue. It's a good sign to not have any soreness so I just need to keep riding. After two days of and getting all my stuff down around here I will be back on the bike tomorrow.
Off to Florida in a week and half so I need to get some good riding in and then take some good recovery during the vacation with the family and maybe a few runs just to maintain muscle strength.
We are going to have two reasons to celebrate in Florida. It is my parent's 30th Anniversary and I got news that my sister Leslie is getting married to her boyfriend now fiance Ryan. Congratulations to them and can't wait to see everyone in Florida!