I check out my newly acquired "road bike" in the daylight. The rear tire has gone flat. Maybe it's a sign from Dog.
The weather forecast. 100% chance of shit. Should make things interesting.
We start the first timed stage rolling out from the church in a light drizzle. Light rain coat and a GoreTex cap. Too humid and the coat comes off, the hat remains in an effort to keep the drops of my all too important glasses.
The sequence of events that followed are as muddy as the trails we rode. The drizzle turning into a downpour. Climbing against a river and feeling the water pushing me back.
photo cred: TomiWalking and peeing as I push my bike up a climb. Giving my gel to a shelled-looking Carp only to have him blast by me minutes later as he charges into the final descent. Coming down Hankey and into the finish nipping a fellow single speeder in a very pointless sprint. More rain, party pace to North River... more rain. A stage I can't remember very well at all and end at the reservoir. I think we're done. I jump in the water and clean up. Then I'm told we still have to trail ride Narrowback and some other trail back to the car. I'm deflated but whatever. This is le Tour. Viva and all that.
Beer, dinner, fix the flat tire and install a bottle cage on my prospective road bike, beer, fireworks. I notice that Chad has pulled the smart card. He's gone to bed. It's only 9:30PM. I applaud his brilliance and power myself down for the night.
Wake up, head to breakfast in the Creeper Van. I sit next to Carp and see that he's trying to rally some volunteers.
"You going to need help?"
And just like that, I'm bailing on another road stage. To be honest, road biking just isn't my thing. Helping? More gratifying being able to assist others in the making of great bike race. Immensely.
A myriad of duties are assigned, and Tomi and I do whatever is asked of us. The racers are treated to a lovely day, and maybe I'm a little jealous, but just a little. Except when we're helping riders off the back fix flats. Not that jealous. Easier to drink beer and help than to drink beer and race road bikes.
photo cred: Jennifer WSometimes breaking down an aid station involves emptying Coke cans filled with wine.
Get back and prep for the time trial at Rocktown. Carp suggests a pre-lap due to the very slick conditions (srsly). I quickly realize I'm probably two beers too deep to be doing this safely.
photo cred; Jennifer WPre-lap done, sit down, drink beer, watch others start, head back early to shower and get things ready for dinner that night.
Beer, dinner, beer... I think a pretty late night again. Don't remember, but when Ralph asks me if I want to go to breakfast the next morning, I can only open one eye and hear half the things he says.
"No. No food for me. Thank you."