These are the only words Wayne knows when it comes to mountain biking (and getting women) so I knew he was a good pick to help me with the Big Mick 100. One of the guys at the shop asked me why I was doing the race before the race, he posed the question, “You wouldn’t run a marathon before a marathon would you?” I replied, “Well, I didn’t really even run before the last marathon so…”. But the Big Mick isn’t at elevation and no really big climbs. I basically wanted to know that I could in fact ride 100 miles on my mountain bike. Because I’ve always thought it would be boring to go that far. My dad drove us (Barb, Wayne and I) up to Lead the night before. I had packed all the food that I wanted to eat and try out on the ride only to leave it all in the Van. 100 miles on Gatorade, why not? Actually there were real food stations I just didn’t think my stomach would handle it. Jokes on me I could have been eating bananas, turkey sandwiches, and skittles this whole time I’ve been training.
Wayne and I planned on leaving about 7 from start. I loaded up on coffee and right when we were about to take off Wayne pushed down and his chain snapped. Whomp whomp. Well I was ready to call it a day, but luckily Wayne knew how to fix it. It made me realize there are many mechanical things I need to learn before Leadville. We rode together most of the first half but he took off on a hill climb around mile 45 and then I caught up with him at lunch, mile 55. We took about 10 minutes to eat and recharge. Wayne asked if I wanted to go for the last half in 2:30. I said sure, why not. We took turns pulling each other and finished the last half in 2:45. Not bad.
We finished in H-town with a ride time of 7:11 and a total time of 7:30. And I felt really good after. So good in fact that after I ate a burger and waited for Barb to come in I then rode up Battle Mountain, mainly to get the distance and elevation gain (1.55 miles and 1,034 ft). I finished 2 minutes slower than the previous time when I was fresh and went up with Wayne. I told my family at dinner that and someone asked why I was slower this time. I thought maybe it was the previous 100 miles I had ridden, but it’s just a guess.
The rest of the week I took pretty easy, I still rode but left my Garmin and heart rate monitor at home. I took a nice digger over a water bar and slid down the trail leaving a nice scrap on my arm, and it made my white grips super dirty (I knew I should have left the plastic on).
|The one at the bottom is the “official” race map|
I’m actually up at Leadville right now. I came up earlier today to ride miles 40-60. From Twin Lakes to the Columbine Mine Aide station and then back. I swear part of the challenge of Leadville is actually finding what trail you are suppose to be on. Both of my Godparents regularly use GIS in their jobs and I have not inherited either of their ability to decipher maps, not even a little. I stopped by the Race shop and got directions and a map. Then I stopped by the forest service office and got more maps. It seemed pretty straight forward, you get on a county road and follow that up. Looks are deceiving. I started going and after about a mile ran into a “T” in the road. The right had a closed gate with a “No Trespassing” sign and the left seemed to go back to the highway. So I turned around figuring that I had missed a turn off. I end up taking a really torn up logging trail. I become a diva and threw my bike down (not really, it’s carbon so even in my rage I set it down nicely) and walked off streaming together lines of gibberish till I couldn’t see my bike anymore. I realized I probably needed to eat something so I did and then I called the race shop for better directions. They told me the one I was on previously was the right one, so figuring I missed something, like a portal, I back tracked again.
|I know how this ends….|
|Don’t worry mom, I opened it.|
|Angel in disguise?|
Nope nothing appeared. I didn’t want to go through the shut gate (even though it wasn’t locked) because I’ve seen enough Westerners to know that my dad and brother would have to saddle up and save me and what with Frank being in China and my dad heading to Oregon with Mary, I knew I’d be on my own. I’d probably develop Stockholm Syndrome and no one would ever hear from me again. So I went left. I noticed a guy in a field on my way (and maybe it was the mace I was carrying) but felt ballsey enough to ask him for directions. I started chatting with him and he offered me a beer. Which I thought about not taking but then realized it would probably make me feel better about my situation what with it being carbs and I had it during the marathon and nothing bad happened. I sat down and started drinking. I forgot about the whole I have a low tolerance and now I’m at 11,000 feet. So I felt really good after that beer. We must have chatted for about 30 minutes before he sent me on my way. (Don’t worry about the picture, I was feeling so good I told him all about the blog and he was cool with me taking pictures) I was just a little bit off the trail. I was glad that I was on the bike and wouldn’t have to drive for a while, and then contemplated what mile it would be acceptable to shotgun a beer (the jury’s still out on that one). I did the Columbine Climb. It’s not bad till mile 46 and then it sucks. A lot. It’s super steep and the road is littered with rocks. Turning around wasn’t really a cake walk either. I’m not sure how it’s going to go bombing down the mountain at about 25mph when there are so many other riders around. But I’m glad I did it, I’m going have to mentally prepare for that section. I think I’ll do the climb again on Wednesday (now that I actually know where I’m going). Tomorrow I’m going to try and ride the route for about 6-8 hours but we’ll see.
After Leadville a bunch of us from the shop are heading up to Curt Gowdy (to get rowdy) to go mountain biking because I share my birthday with another guy in the shop and then we are doing a birthday cruiser ride in Denver on Saturday. I will debuting my new cruiser called “Little Boy Blue” it’s the best find ever, I got it for $40. If you’re in the area it will probably be worth your time!