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Tuesday, August 21

Breck Epic 2012: Stages Three and Four

Stage Three:

Peter had been complaining about all the farting his three bunkmates had been doing at night. That wasn't the only thing that stunk on day three.

A few miles into the race, I noticed that my crank was shifting back and forth a few millimeters with every pedal stroke. A quick tug with an 8mm and I was quickly aware that something was not right down there. Figuring that it has been that way for two days now, I did my best to ignore it.

Coming down the rocky descent on Little French where I had flatted in 2010, I repeated my unpleasant, less than graceful performance. Peter rolled up on the scene in disgust.

"Show-off."

Peter stood aside as I threw in a tube and hit it with a CO2. That was when I noticed the sidewall tear.

I released the CO2, booted the tire in a most awesome manner, and blew a second CO2. We rolled into the aid station moments later, and I resupplied with a preloaded Awesome Strap of goodness. We rolled up the next climb a ways before noticing that I had pinch flatted my tube on the way down to the aid station. Meh. I was almost running completely flat once again.

Peter opted to lay down and relax while I headed back down the mountain on a flat to get a new tire and tube.

photo cred: Peter Keiller

Back at the aid station, the neutral support hooked me the hell up. I headed back up to where Peter was sunning himself, and he got his shit together to join me for the hike to the false top of the pass. Upon our arrival, we found our chilled-by-a-gradual-descent friend from the day before. Out of water and dizzy, we gave what we could and headed up to the real top of the pass.

Up and down and up and down again into the third aid station where the course went up, up, up. Peter was dragging a bit, but near the finish he saw some riders up ahead. Knowing what I was thinking, he said "Go and get 'em."

We reeled them in and triumphantly secured our third consecutive podium spot.


Stage Four:

I can never remember what this stage entails until I get out in it. Sammiched between the mighty Guyot and Wheeler Stages, this one flies under the radar. I don't know why. It's hard as fuck.

It was made harder when Peter broke his seatpost.

This was not a surprise to Peter. He knew it was bent when he started the race. That's why he had a back up... in his bike box... back at the condo.

Word of a broken saddle came to me as others who had incorrectly witnessed his situation further down the hike-a-bike rolled into my happy place of rest.

photo cred: Rob Lochner

I began disassembling trumpet girl's bike thinking I just needed a saddle for Peter...

photo cred: Rob Lochner

only to find out that it was his post that was not longer serviceable. When Peter finally arrived at the top, I got a first hand look see.

photo cred: Rob Lochner

What was left of his post was down in the frame. We tried to get it out, but our best efforts were to no avail.

We descended to the field below.

photo cred: Rob Lochner

I had an idea. I pulled my stem off and tried to get the carbon steer tube expander plug free from my bike. I was about two thirds of the way done when Peter proclaimed the stubby portion of his post was now out of his frame thanks to some wizardry with an 8mm allen key (the same one he was carrying around for his ever loosening crank). He inserted the remaining top portion back into the bike to dirt jumper height, I reassembled my cockpit, and we rode on towards the second aid station.

Luckily, the neutral support had an extra post, so we were somewhat back in the game. Up the long, long, long climb I had totally forgotten about and eventually back down to the finish to another glorious podium appearance.

photo cred: Rob Lochner

Later that night, I ordered the special beer at the Breckenridge Brewery

photo cred: Rob Lochner

It wasn't very special.

Speaking of special...

Single speed stage racers around the world rejoice

3 comments:

dave bell said...

I like the beer can holder.

SammyPants said...

...as long as it's fitted with a gyroscope so the beer doesn't spill while decending Farlow Gap.

SaSaSandie said...

Best strap idea bar none