Wednesday, May 30

il Giro: Hearts and Farts

I've got to finish day one on a 2.8 front tire with a tube in it.  I think with a rigid fork, it's a bit like riding a basketball down the mountain.  Suffice to say, I descend with even more trepidation than normal.  I manage to get through it all, fortunate that at the second sag stop, I was able to down about a pound of guacamole to make up for missing out on the food the first time.  Back at my car, a quick creek bath, drive up to the secret parking spot, load my gear into a truck, ride my bike down to the secret camping spot.

Once my stuff meets me there, I commence with the tent set up.  Knowing that once my place to sleep is established, I need to grab a beer and start sorting out my tire issues.  What follows is a mult-beer, what else could go wrong, plenty of helping hands, and a new valve core that wasn't mine own kinda fix.  A fine dinner, followed by fire and beer and stomping around the swampy property in flip flops ending with a campfire sing-a-long until it was just Carp, Buck, and I at the fire.  Buck might have talked me into a sad dad leftover burger patty from the cooler... at 1:30 AM.

I might have dreamt that tho.

Up early and covered in mud from knees to toes, blueberry pancakes for breakfast to turn that frown upside down.  Slowly get dressed and ready.  Ride out from camp... and up.

I get a lesson from Sam about this high mountain we're riding on and then a mostly downhill stage that hugs a cribbed-in trail down most of the way.  I think... ?  Who can remember?

Live through that and we're all the way back down at the reservoir where we started from yesterday, so now I know relatively where we are on the planet... and that we need to go all the way back up and over Mount Jeebuscripessummabitch.  Knowing that my only advantage here is going up, I make good time.  I can hear Carp and Buck behind me a couple switchbacks below.  I pick up the pace so mebbe they won't catch me riding back down to the finish in camp.

I barely make it.

It's the little things.

I do much less stomping in the mud after dark this time.  I've located the safe passages around the wet spots, the campfire pit has been moved so it no longer saddles the spring runoff, dessert meat is cooked in the hot embers, and I'm pretty sure we made it to bed much earlier than 1:30 AM this time around.

The next day, we're up super early.  il Giro needs to move to another location.  I load my shit into a truck, and always taking all the opportunities I see, I've secured a seat so I won't have to pedal up four miles to the secret parking spot.  Along the way, four skitchers grab the truck and only one of them has their front wheel destroyed in a manner that one might imagine might happen when four people are holding on to the sides of a pickup going up an incredibly narrow gravel road on the side of a mountain.

Drive down to the new camp spot, prep things for the day.  Roll out from camp, climb, climb a lot more...

From here, things are blurry between days three and four.  I know I took a few sprint points... mostly because they go five deep and only three people cared enough to try, leaving scraps for those that climbed up behind them with a little gusto.  We had two rains come in on us pretty hard, but at fortuitous moments when 90% of the riders were able to dodge 95% of the precipitation.

photo cred: Coco
I had at least one stage that played more to my skillset, but at least three or four that didn't.  I also remember day three going a little long and for a brief moment, I thought mebbe they would cut it short in the interest of getting us back before dark.

They didn't but we still did so okay.

Anyways, the memories are mostly a twisted jumble of confusion.  One hose shower, two creek baths, numerous keg beers, no personal items lost, one tire sacrificed to the flat gods, so much incredible trail, new faces, old friends, good times, and lessons learned (soon to be forgot).

I missed this moment because I was on the road and headed home before 5:00PM, less than fifteen minutes after rolling back into camp.  I need to figure out a better plan or at least get a travel partner for the next Grand Tour I attend.

Before I left the hotel Friday morning, I'd grabbed a scrap of paper and a pen and tossed it in my bag so I could take notes.  I'd thrown my camera in my duffel bag so I could capture images of il Giro as well.  I did neither.  I was either too busy having a good time (or getting ready to) that I never bothered. 

I'm 100% positive that I left out something between twenty to thirty good stories...

Regardless, dog bless il Giro.  Dog bless.

1 comment:

TJ Morton said...

My new favorite t-shirt and pins to go on every hat I own! :)