Monday, August 28

'17 Breck Epic: Stage Six

Stage 6 – Gold Dust – 30 miles, 4800 of climbing


Mebbe too much good beer last night.

Nah.  Never a thing.

A stout climb (no doubt) right out of the gate.  Starting in waves of ten riders, I once again know that we will be climbing with slower people.  Just one more disadvantage of too much time spent "lifestyling" at the aid stations.  Mebbe the only disadvantage.  That and not being able to take advantage of a weak moment in front of me and slipping into an "honorable" top ten SS finish on a stage?


I go for the hole shot to the trail and get it, Jeremy right behind me.  It doesn't matter.  In no time, we're in the back of the group that started a minute ahead of us... and hey!  It's being led by the verbally abusive coed duo team!  And I thought it would be boring.

They won't move over and he won't shut up.  A group of about eight of us are treated to a painfully slow climb filled with "encouragement" and "praise."  They won't move over, and there's nowhere to pass. 

"Slow ride.  Take it easy."

I think singing is a great way to take out one's frustrations.

We finally pop out of the trail, and as many of us that can run from the situation, we do that.  Just so strange.  I didn't think you could talk to a significant other like that since The Jeffersons went off the air.

Anyways, Jeremy and I move and shake and bake our way around a ton of riders, hit the long gravel road to Boreas Pass, and I put my head down and climb like Trump's approval rating (according to his presidential tweets).

photo cred: Michael Kane
I get to the top and pull over for my second-to-last aid station beer.   While waiting for Jeremy, I join Tracy and Amber for a donut.

photo cred: Tracy T
Jeremy gets there, and we're in no hurry. I either wanna be in front of the one-sided argument coed duo team or way behind.  They come through and our choice is made.

On to the descent down Gold Dust, which is probably okay at the top but then turns into a swoopy pedal-fest that is none too single speed friendly and Bob Saffell is on my wheel and full of glee making my 190RPM efforts seem ridiculous and then it gets chunky and I drop him because he's the whole other end of the spectrum from the angry couple and I feel there's too much bouncing around on the emotion train.

I catch back up to Jeremy, and then begin the doldrums before the climb up the backside of Boreas Pass.  Once again, head down, just wanna put it behind me... and get back to the aid station.

I get there.  Hooray for me.  Beer.  Donut holes.  Jeremy shows up.  Jordan Carr tells us that if we're going to hang out, we should help with beer hand ups.  We acquiesce his request.

photo cred Ffej Knar
After we finish our beers (and mebbe a few unfinished hand ups) we roll out towards the end of the week.  Mostly descending with one tiny climb that's always kicks my dick.  Jeremy dusts me on the chunk gnar, and I lose sight of him. 

Is he gonna cross the finish line without me?


Pop out of the woods at the ice rink parking lot and there he is.

He really does like me.

He musta circled "yes."

We roll in together.

Hooray and high fives and all that.

I see many folks strolling around with PBRs in hand.

"Where come from?"


Meh.  Just Coke.

Canada Tim hooks me up with a yummy and then it's time to hide at the condo and avoid a premature fail of Stage 7.

Eat.  Pack.  Bored.

Head into town.  Some wanna eat.  I wanna not eat.

Order a beer that comes with a bonus beer and then someone pays for the whole round.  Off towards the closing awards banquet.  Make it as far as the Ergon tent, and then margaritas with Vince and Dan.  Close things down and then into the place where we need to behave.  I vow not to throw anything, and end up at a table with Vince, Dan, April and Matt.  Order a beer, skip the food, order another beer that comes with another spare (how does this happen?), and then mebbe get talked into keeping the only female single speed competitor company on the podium.

photo cred: Eddie Clark
As if that was gonna go down somehow differently.

Leave the party (alone?), head back to the condo to drop off the finisher belt buckle, the printed off portrait, and whatever other baggage I collected and head off into the night looking for Stage 7.

And even with a phone and Google maps and many texts from impatient friends and promoter types, I wander around downtown Breck for what seems like an eternity.  Probably just a half hour tho.

Get to the party, some dancing happens... mebbe some shots?

Ghost out early because somehow my 1:00PM Saturday flight got changed to a 10:00AM flight the day before.

Which was a good thing.  It had to have been.  I'm not blind in one eye when I board the plane.

Some brief follow up tomorrow, where I am now, and where I'm headed Wednesday.


jay said...

I'm convinced that a pressurized cabin forces the alcohol back into the bloodstream and makes the hangover better and worse at the same time.


Dick - what gear you end up running at Breck? I'm looking at a 32/22 for the 100. Thoughts?

dicky said...

32X20. It's what I've almost always used there (aside from year one and my anemic year).