Monday, August 21

'17 Breck Epic: Stage One

Let's skip past all the preamble bullshit.  Let's just assume that I flew into Colorado at the last possible minute, checked in, bought beer, made bad decisions, and woke up Sunday morning as ready for the first stage of the Breck Epic as I ever was before... which is not really.

photo cred: Ffej Knar
Dropping off my aid bags at 7:15AM... as I will have to do every day... because... Breck.

Stage One: Pennsylvania Creek – 35 (yeah, right) miles, 6000′ of climbing

I've got two goals this year.

Finish the Breck Epic for the seventh time.

Drink a beer at every aid station.

As stupid as the second goal may be, it's mine.  A reminder that I'm only here to have fun.  A carrot that will always be dangling out there.  A reward for some effort made. Stupid people have stupid goals.

Stage 1 begins, and the pros are crushing the "neutral" start.  I'm somewhere in no man's land, between the haves and have nots.

I get off the pavement and once we get into the meat of the real climbing, I can see Yuri Hauswald just up ahead of me.  Terrible.  I can remember "racing" against him at a past Breck Epic.  He was always just ahead... yet out of touch.  And then gone.  I don't want to be tempted to try to hang on to him.  That's not the agenda.  He's smart.  Excellent long gamer.  I'll be flying too close to the sun. 

photo cred: Timothy Faust
I back off.

And then I'm at Aid Station 1.  My first beer.

The volunteer grabs my drop bag and asks if I need anything.

"Just my beer."

"Your what?"

*looks in bag*


And so it begins.

I drink my beer and watch a few single speeders go by.  Oh well.  I'm not here for that.  Lifestyling.  Let the race go on without me or my self-inflated ego.

Get back on the bike.  Move on to Aid Station 2.

photo cred: Breck Epic media team
Another volunteer looks into my bag as they grab it off the ground.

"What do you need?"

"Beer and bacon."

*looks in bag"


I'm standing there watching riders come and go.  It's interesting seeing people come through... in their own... ummmm... particular idiom, sir.

Then Jeremy comes along.  We both did the single speed class of the Breck Epic five years ago, all staying in the Pittsburgh Frat House.  I ask him if he wants a swig of my beer.

He does.

I ask if he wants to ride the rest of the day together.

He does.

We ride the remainder of the stage as a couple.  Coming down the final descent, we get caught behind a rider who just refuses to let us get by.  Someone comes up hot on my right side, and I let them know, "It doesn't matter.  She's not gonna let us around."

And then an elevated feature comes up that shortcuts a switchback.  I think about it, but considering I just fell off the side of a very innocuous bridge fifteen minutes ago, I decide it's not worth it.

The rider behind me?  They go for it.

And she nailed it.  Passing Jeremy, the slow rider and myself quite handily.  Meh.

Eventually, the oblivious "racer" lets Jeremy and myself by, and we get to the finish together.

High fives abound.

I seek out the rider who impressed the ever loving shit out of me with her pass.  I see the kit from behind and roll up behind her, smacking her on the shoulder.

"Nice job."

She turns around.

It's Katie Fucking Compton.


We have a nice chat.  She understood that Jeremy and I were trying to not be dicks, because we coulda made an aggressive pass many times, but chose not to go for it.  Being a woman, she could make the move and not be considered a bag of shit.  It was an interesting conversation about men and women and racing and courtesy and dickhead men and oblivious people.

She also had nice eyes and she suggested maybe I try riding a normal bike.  For fun.

Back at the condo, I spend way too much time trying to figure out why my bike (which I never rode after I got it all put back together for the race) was making such an awful noise.  Not able to figure it out, I just started in with the beer... because sorrows and drowning and whatnot.


Anonymous said...

Nice eyes??? Man you are gonna feel what its like to get passed when you gits home.

dicky said...

I just thought she'd have shark eyes... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When she comes after ya, she doesn’t seem to be livin’ until she bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then – aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’

Anonymous said...

You may be an alcoholic. Maybe.

dicky said...

Maybe. Prolly not. I can go without and not really feel like something's wrong. Kinda like coffee. Or sleep.

But not bike riding tho. Addicted.

Anonymous said...

Dicky's not an alcoholic, he's a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings.