Thursday, May 11

2023 PMBAR: Part Two

Riding up 5015, once again, I'm aware that Watts knows what is now happening... because we've done too many of these together.  I'm at stage three of my disjointed stages of PMBAR-related grief.  Denying that we took the wrong route.  Depressed when I allow the truth to settle in and realizing I've wasted yet another year.  Bargaining with myself thinking mebbe the other single speed teams will screw up somewhere else. 

I'm now in my anger stage.  I take my self-hate and turn over the pedals with all this rage that I'm now allowing to coarse freely through my veins.  He's staying a constant distance behind me, in his way letting me know that he can ride this pace, but doesn't really want to... or I'm just reading too much into things. 

We get to the top of Yellow Gap and we're greeted with grilled cheese and Coke (thanks, Nico).  In my mind, we just had these two out-and-backs (playing away from our weaknesses) to the top of the world and then my way homer that I'd planned. Out on Laurel, my phone started blowing up, because I forgot to put it in airplane mode.  At my age, I assume someone died, and there's little I can do about it here... so I ignore it.  Good thing, as I would find out later, it was the campground telling me I only reserved one night and mebbe we should leave?  Doh.  Glad I avoided additional sads and stress.  Bonus Oreos at the Laurel check point and filtered water (only spilled one full bottle this time) at the top of the Pilot/Slate check point.  In my head, we were all but done. 

That said, I knew Watts was feeling that way he does when he doesn't really know how much there is left, and he doesn't ask me because I don't really know miles or time because my brain doesn't operate in those margins, so "some doldrums to pavement to an ouchy to more walking to some undulation terrain to Clawhammer..."

Pretty sure his brain sparks back up at the concept of coasting down Clawhammer, but it also grasps the "back up to Hot Dog Gap" part... and all that stuff in between could be heaven or absolute hell and asking me for more information will just results in an made-up onomatopoeia word jumble.

But I'm happy now.  I've gone into my final stage of grief, acceptance.  I've screwed the pooch.  We've lost.  It's almost over.  I'm glad Watts isn't close enough to me when I keep breaking out in song (when I can breathe).

I warned you I'd get back to this.

To be honest, win, lose or whatever, it's been an absolute smashing day in the woods with my frand.  I don't care if we get beat with a better route (again).  I got to ride my bike in the Pisgah in good company, and we dodged a serious weather bullet and ended up with fantastic weather and the best trail conditions you could ask for... and still plenty of time once we finish to drink all the beer we could until they turn the lights off on us.  I couldn't be in a better mood (well, mebbe if I thought we were winning).

We catch up to fellow single speeders Scott and Todd, and you could tell they were going at a four checkpoints/eight and a half hours into the day pace.  Watts started turning the pedals as if the force of The Quickening was drawing him to our undeniable dismal destiny. 

"There can only be one... or in our case, two... but later we can have nine after six."

We are up to Hot Dog Gap before we know it, and one final run down Lower Back to the finish where Eric and all the lavish celebrations awaited us.

"How did it go out there?"

"Pretty sure I gave up the win with a bad route... again."

Eric had a twinkle in his eye that I didn't want to believe... I think he's telling me that we won... but...

"Go get cleaned up and get back for beer and burritos."

I choose to not share with Watts what I think I saw because why get his hopes up for nothing because of course it's nothing.

Well, apparently and mebbe for the first time ever, I read Eric's facial expressions correctly.

Look, we did a thing.  First single speed, ninth overall.

And that was that... aside from the sitting around until midnight drinking beer and going over tales of glory on all parts.

Gawdammit, what a great day.   Thanks, frand.

2nd place Cinderbloch and Hamburgers behind me planning his next year's revenge.  Et tu, Hamburgers?

Noting this for mine own future packless PMBAR reference:

6 packs of Clif Blocks (5 consumed)
2 large bottles of Carborocket (consumed)
1 large bottle water with Nuun (consumed)
1 large bottle water (2/3 consumed)
1/2 toasted cheese (4/5 consumed)
1/2 Coke (toddler sized)
2 Oreos (destroyed)
1 Sawyer filter  

Not sure how I did it, but even with some useable space given up to the phone, I still had room for all my food and new for me this year, a water filter.  I didn't enjoy using it, I didn't like spilling two (or was it three?) bottles, but the water tasted like water.  The only thing in my jersey pockets was the Clif Blocks and a Pisgah Map... which I didn't have to carry because I had the Pisgah Avenza map on my phone, but I like the paper map for big picture stuff AND really pinpointing CP locations.

That was for me when I try to figure out what I did last year that worked, but if you bothered reading it, kudos.


Anonymous said...

Gongrats! You deserve it. Now you are happy for the rest of the year.......

Paul Shin said...

Wondering how you fit all that (drinks and nutrition) on the bike. Maybe a bike check blog post? :)

dicky said...


Not much to tell. I had two large bottles on my bike and all the Clif Blocks in two jersey pockets. All my required gear/stuff fit inside my Nuclear Sunrise Titan Tank (top tube purse) along with the filter, passport, phone, and some Nuun tabs. I have my mini tool in the steer tube, inner tube on the saddle with an Awesome Strap (with a CO2 & tire lever), plugger and CO2 mounted to the bottle cage and another plugger tucked under the Super 8 strap on the top tube.

TBH: I'm not sure normal humans can get around the forest with the amount of liquid and nutrition I use.

Paul Shin said...

Oh, thanks. I was thinking you had 4 large bottles and 1/2 can of coke on the bike. But I see you refilled along the way. Nice win.

Anonymous said...

You can go on and admit it. The squishy fork were the difference.