This year was different, both Adam and I had the time, and more importantly 'permission' to go this year. We drove down Thurs. night and stayed at a local hotel. The next morning I dropped Adam off at the Canyonlands turn-off so he could go Time Trail the course with Kenny and Brad (yes riding it twice in two days is crazy, or at least requires amazing strength and determination). I meanwhile worked visiting clients and potential clients.
I got out to the camping area Friday and looked down the Horsetheif switchbacks to see Kenny and Brad just starting the climb. From the speed they were going and the rocking of their bodies over the bikes I could tell it was a hard effort, especially after 98 miles.
After a trip to town for water and supplies we came back to more riders and then Kenny and Eldon cooked up Brats for the group, which steadily grew as the evening wore on. At 6 a.m. I got out of my uncomfortable sleeping arrangements in the back of the Subi and got ready to ride. There were alot of us and the group started drifting off up the Mineral Bottom road around 6:30 to start our day in the saddle.
I met quite a few riders along the trail which is part of the allure of this event I think. You get to ride along with so many people and learn about them a little. It's amazing there are so many good riders that live around Utah County that I've never met. It reminds me that we have a strong group and that more unification is needed to protect our trails and promote the sport.
During the day I felt pretty good , fatigued at times, but never fully blown. The second half of the day I rode with Chris and KC primiarly and they were strong as ever, but kept me encouraged. Despite the fact they were both on Single Speeds the hills didn't slow them down. Chris cleaned everything I think and KC was amazing but had a few steep sections where she had to get off, but so did most SSers. I think they have me convinced to convert one of my rides to SS, just so I can get stronger. Personally I think my lungs would explode. I was happy to clean all the hard climbs in granny gear. At least I made it.
At the top of Hard Scrabble we re-grouped one final time and once we had enough rest and water Chris/KC and I took off ahead of the group. I was ready to be done and too tired to have any more conversations, so we rode off along the river to the bottom of Horsethief Switchbacks. I knew from my observation of Kenny and Brad that this was going to be a tough 30 minutes, it lived up to those expecations. I was fried and it showed. Chris was gone pretty quick and KC clipped along simply because she had to on the single gear. I floated around my bottom three gears depending on the severity of the grade and kept turning the pedals over determined not to stop. 11 Hours 43 minutes total time (with all the stops) 10,870 calories burned, 100 miles. Once was enough, can't imagine doing it back to back. Perhaps next year once my feable mind has had time to forget how demanding it was.
At the top after a quick solar shower, gatorade, pickle, cookie, etc. Others still finishing below, sun setting, beautiful day!