Tuesday, August 23

Breck Epic '22: Stages One and Two (kinda?)

Gads.  Breck Epic.  Almost the same thing year after year yet always something different.

I only got into town the day before in time to pick up my registration stuff, build my bike, and ride over to the grocery store.

Thanks to Dahn's request for $20 worth of margarita mix, I only had room for six shitty breakfast burritos, two family size bags of tortellini, a jar of sauce, two cans of Pringles, a six pack of beer, a half gallon of milk, and some fried chicken.  It was a poorly executed meal plan, to say the least.

At least my bike was squared away... but not really.

Although I'd almost exclusively rode the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 since mid-June, and it had performed flawlessly the whole time, it was making a hell of a racket when I rode it around the parking lot behind the condo after I got it assembled.  Dammit.  Some Rock N Roll lube applied liberally to the bottom bracket/crank/whatnot interface seemed to quite things down.

Stage One: Pennsylvania Creek

How do I remember so little about the stages of the Breck Epic... at least as far as forward thinking familiarity goes?  I mean, when I see it, I go, "Oh yeah."  Otherwise... ? 

I had decided before this stage even started that I had a handful of what one might call "goals."

* Finish.  Last year's DNF/crash out really put me in a sad place.  I don't wanna revisit that experience.

* Stay healthy.  No overdoing it.  I don't wanna come home all beat up with cold sore and bruises.

* Gain some altitude fitness for the Shenandoah 100k without creating so much fatigue that I can't recover from it in two weeks.

* Enjoy some of the most excite trails in the USA.

I also decided that I was going to use my Wahoo data acquisition device to meter my efforts and also my ego.  I'm pretty sure that my lactate threshold sits somewhere in the low to mid 170s.  I'd allow myself a visit or two above that every day, but any big efforts to make a pass or clean a section had to be limited.  This would mean walking sometimes when I didn't feel like it, and keeping my place in a conga line (or giving it up) if it means I'd go anywhere close to my redline.

To be honest, I felt like my efforts on the day (or lack thereof) would have me solidly in the DFL position in the single speed field.  I've never tried to restrain myself in such a manner.  I'd resigned myself to accept whatever my suppressed ego would allow.  Somehow, after four hours and twenty nine minutes of "effort," I crossed the line in 10th outta 16 in the single speed field.

I laid my bike down in the grass and watched out for my fellow Charlotte riders to finish until the sky started to drizzle and sent me packing.  As soon as I picked my bike up and headed back to the condo, whatever noise from whatever bike part started up its cacophonic annoyance.  More lube should fix it, emmaright?

Stage Two: Colorado Trail

Unlike the night before Stage One, I pumped the beer brakes kinda hard the second night.  I'm aware of the detrimental effects of alcohol at altitude, and being that my priority is here is the riding first, the other shit second, I gotta do what I gotta do.

So I ended up sleeping like total ass BTW.

This is the stage that I crashed out on last year.  It was one of the worst wrecks I've ever had in recent memory, so this day was going to be a mental hurdle.  Nothing like a reminder that in twenty plus hours of riding, all it takes is a split second of bad judgement to end it all.  I got past the part of the course where I touched the floor last year, and I was greeted with some super bueno hero dirt all day long.  Granted, my bike was now making an insane duck sound at random moments that had me grabbing my cranks, wheel, or whatever else and giving it a good shake, pinch, or squeeze trying to find the culprit.  I guess I need "more lube."

And mebbe, just mebbe slow and steady is working for me as I ended up 9th on the day.

There was a threat of big rain and lightning up high above the tree line the next day and a possible reroute, delayed start, or mebbe even a cancelation of the Guyot day... my favorite day of the week.  So...

Time to drown sorrows and completely tear apart my bottom bracket and repack the bearings and swap out a pretty clapped out chain ring and..

Sleep in?  An update text was to be sent at 8:00AM the next morning.

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