This is a little late in getting posted because (1) beer, (2) tired, and (3) driving home sucks.
|Rachel and Cynthia|
Despite a horrible night’s sleep, I woke up the final morning of racing to mixed feelings of relief and excitement.
Everything that happened after the race started is a complete blur, but I’ll do my best to recall what I can.
photo by Gary Hoenhe
My outfit for the day consisted of a jetpack strapped to my Camelbak. Why? Because FUN. There weren’t a whole lot of other folks sporting fancy duds though. One guy was wearing his finest pair of underwear, and the Angry Single Speeder was wearing his shiny silver suit.
|Chris, Buck, and Dicky|
I chose to join the singlespeed clan for Stage 7 because I knew they were going out to do the 26-mile loop at a leisurely pace that would include lots of rest stops. At about mile 3, we made our first stop, at which point it was declared that we were officially off of Boy Scout property. PBR was coming from everywhere.
At that point, I declined a sip because I still wanted to be able to put forth a decent effort in the east coast rocks segment (2.5 miles of it). I’m not sure if we stopped anymore before we got to it, but I do remember arriving at it and wishing I’d had more time to get ready – it came up really fast.
For the final time during the week, I time-trialed the crap out of the east coast rocks segment. At about halfway through, my legs threatened to quit, and I was panting like a dog. But I kept pushing through, hoping that my effort would be enough to keep me locked in second (there’s no prize for being the first loser, but second place to an Olympian is f-ing sweet).
|Done with the racing part|
photo by Rachel Brown
Finishing that segment felt good – mostly because I got to stop and take in some air. I also took in an extraordinary amount of insects. But it felt good because I was done racing for the week. I waited a few minutes for the SS posse to catch back up (they knew that I was racing that section and had kindly stood aside to let me go ahead of them).
When we got rolling again, I realized immediately that my legs were cooked. WELL DONE cooked.
For the rest of the ride, which included lots of well-timed breaks. I was happy as pie in singletrack and on down-hills, and a miserable zombie-like creature on all of the roads and climbs.
At one of the stops (about halfway through the course and at the bottom of the enduro), the SSers chose to remove their tracking devices and leave them behind to throw off the race promoters. They were being tracked because last year’s antics had kept them out in the woods awhile. We all had some fig newtons and carried on ourway.
|At the bottom of the enduro segment - goodbye spot trackers.|
Photo by Rachel Brown
The rest of the ride, I fluctuated between getting dropped by them on hills, hanging with them in singletrack, and ripping past (some of) them on downhills (thanks to the FS). Yeah, that’s right. I totally cheated by having gears and using them on this ride. For a little while, I tried not to shift, but I was all out of willpower, and that granny gear was just too sweet to ignore.
|Taking a break to enjoy the view...|
except that the view was behind them.
The second to the last stop of the day was at the rocky spectator heckle stop. I was provided with lots of delicious recovery fluids there after 2 failed attempts to ride up the rocks. If I’d had ANY power left, I’d probably have been able to ride that, no sweat. But I was lucky to be turning the cranks at that point. This was the first race I’ve ever been in where Coke had no effect on me.
The last stop of the day was a group pee break about .25 miles before the finish line.
We rolled through the finish line nice and slow. I handed in my enduro timing chip, and felt a gigantic sense of relief. I was done!
I did a quick soak in the pond and went back to the lodge to clean up and prep for Stage 8.
Yeah, the final stage was a 16-person derby around the pond. Each lap meant eating a food item (donut, then pretzel, then whoopie pie). We started Le Mans style on one side of camp headquarters, but when we ran to grab our bikes, they were all over the place – it took me a while to figure out that mine was in a tree (I could barely reach the front wheel).
This race was completely absurd. I found myself getting proposed to while eating a pretzel (he was down on one knee and everything), I received my only injury of the week (a bruised tail bone from getting crashed into while I was eating my pretzel, I watched while people had air let out of their tires (I somehow escaped this misfortune because I was DFL), and when my “fiancé” left his clothes on one side of the pond so he could swim across to the finish line, I put them on over my kit and rode to the finish looking rad in his sweaty clothes.
|The Lower Eagle Crew (minus Kaarin and Lawrence)|
Photo taken by our pal Walking (spelling?) from Panama
By the end of those shenanigans, I was officially toast, and rather than party til the wee hours of the morning like many folks did, I attempted to sleep…
…we were on the road the next day shortly after 8am.
So, you’re probably wondering if I’d do it again.
The answer is unequivocally, YES – I’m signing up as soon as I can for TSEpic 2015.