Thursday, August 22

Breck Epic '19: Stage Four

There has been plenty of past discussion about a "wedding" on Stage Five, somewhere above 12,000 feet on Wheeler Pass.  I'd been asked to "officiate" the proceedings by Scott and Jess.

"But what if Chris and I are still in contention for a podium?"

And that was the question I (we) faced.

After Stage Three, we were almost thirty minutes ahead of fourth place.  The entire six team field had now dwindled to five.  We had a very legitimate chance at staying on the podium until the end of the week.


At some point, Chris gave me that kinda look and gentle nudge that suggested that I knew what the right thing to do was and that was that.  I knew the biggest challenge in getting the wedding party up to the windy and generally cold Wheeler Pass together would be the wave starts.  Ten riders at a time, all based on the previous day's finish.

We'd be all over the hike-a-bike approach to the top of the mountain.  Some people might be waiting for awhile up there in their racing underwears.

I ask Chris what he thinks about asking Breck Epic promoter Mike Mac if he could stage us all in the same corral.

"Da doi."

I ask Mike, and being the magnanimous promoter that he is, he says, "Of course.  Let's do it."

So Chris and I begin Stage Four with the built-in apathy of knowing that we will almost certainly drop off the podium the following day after the nuptials.

I always forget and somewhat underestimate the difficulty of the Aqueduct Stage.  My brain says it's easy.  It's not.  My brain says it's boring.  It's not.

It was eventful in its own way.  The scary exposed switchbacks where I feel like I can fall all the way down into the neighborhood below.  Both of our bikes creaking merciless from the woes of the week.  Me wrecking Chris below the aqueduct section because I'm plain stupid.  My memory messing up the order of the climbs (and number of aid stations).  That one super long descent that I always forget but intensely enjoy as one of the best of the best.

photo cred Ffej Knar
Dropping layers mid-stage because I do what I do... and burrito.

And despite all our apathetic efforts and our unavoidable upcoming Stage Five deep dive into the pack, we still finish the day holding on to our third place overall by close to seventeen minutes.

And I ended up seeing a fox taking a shit on the way over to the rider meeting that night, the last one we'd "need" to attend due to podiums and whatnot (assuming everything goes according to plan).

Speaking of taking a shit, sorry not sorry, but I'm holding on to Stage Five AKA The Wedding Stage until Monday. Nobody reads blerhgs on Friday unless they're super constipated, and I don't wanna think about people taking strained poops while reading about the blessed occasion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More commentary on the Fox please. Was he sidetracked while heading to the riders meeting as well? Did he make you stay and talk to him like a child does when making boo-boo? Did he inspect it for size and consistency after finishing?

-you know who