Monday, August 19

Breck Epic '19: Stage One

I hate traveling. Love being places. Hate getting there.

There is close to zero stoke until I am on the ground, on site, bike and bags in hand.

Then I can start to sink into a sense of relief.

photo cred: Chris M
I got my shit properly dialed about a half hour after getting to Breckenridge.  Grocery shopping done an hour later, which consisted of buying what looked good at the time and a couple twelve packs to get me through (most of) the week.

Racer meeting, see a few old friends, back to the condo, settle in for the first night of restless sleep.

Wake up.  Eat breakfast, coffee, morning constitutionals... grab our bikes to head out the door... Chris has a flat.

Which means "we have a flat."

This is duo racing in its purest form.

There had been some debate regarding the potential weather, what to wear, what to carry, what to stash in the aid bags.  Between the wardrobe hemming and hawing and the last minute addition of sealant and air, we were just a little late (meaning not super early) to the start line.  We're hundreds of riders back from the front when we arrive.  Where we belong or not, we'll know soon enough.

Start with a paved climb, and Chris and I weave our way up through the pack.  We get a little stymied (as expected) on the first descent, and then things begin to thin out.  We keep a pretty solid pace, and as we get closer to the first aid station, the rain begins.  I stop on a long gravel descent, pull out my Shakedry jacket... and quickly figure out that I shoved my pullover hooded coat in my pocket, the much easier on/off full-zip stashed in an (some?) aid bag ahead.  Chris flies by me as I take off my helmet and don my GORE.

We're at the aid station together, and we take the time to kinda check in on each other.  We both seem in fair spirits despite the continuing drizzle... but from there, we quietly fall apart in our own separate, particular... ummm... idioms.

The rain slows down... I take the jacket off.  Chris is still just vested... fully damp.

Doesn't matter.  The rain starts back up again as we climb up Little French Gulch and the temps drop and the jacket goes back on and the hope fades away.

The quiet sadness notches back up considerably.

Mebbe we shoulda been talking about it.  Personally, it might have helped to know that I wasn't alone.  My feet and hands are going uncomfortably numb.  The shivers are starting to take over.  On top of all that, my drooper post is becoming sentient, deciding when it wants to stay up and when it just floats between drooped and high post.  I'm a shit show of large proportions going up and especially coming down.

It began to feel like it was never gonna end.

But then it did.

Fake rage.

We rode quietly back to the condo, disrobing on the landing between the second and third floor to minimize contamination of our living quarters.

The day was a success, in terms of our ability to stick together and ride through adversity.  It was also a bit of a fail, as our self-care was at a sad minimum, under-dressed and nowhere close to properly fed and hydrated for most of the day.  Personally, I drank about a half a bottle and ate a couple gummy things over the almost four and a half hours on the course.

Oh, and somehow we ended up taking the second step on the Duo Men 100+ podium for the day.  Six minutes back from first, two ahead of third, and out of a total of six teams.

Ummmm... okay?

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