Waging a War

We should just skip riding the Big Mick and go ride trails. The night before the Big Mick, Wayne and I met some friends to ride some trails in The Hills. I’ve ridden a couple before but was most pleasantly surprised by how amazing they were. Enough to make me want to make the trip to see my parents more often! It’s actually pretty incredible and exciting how much mountain biking seems to be developing in the hills. 

Wayne I got to Lead pretty late because we did the ride, everyone in my room was already in bed so no one was willing to help me contemplate which shoes to wear on the ride (it’s rough being a girl). I might have woken them up, but they said they would gladly pay me back in the morning when they woke up at 4:30 to start riding. For some reason I have a problem anytime I have to set an alarm with a 4 in it, banking on that I would be able to ride fast, Wayne and I decided to set out closer to 8. Which was a great plan, until we showed up at the start to learn that the Sag Wagon that was taking all the drop bags had already left. Womp womp. Luckily I could consolidate my camelbak, and overnight bag into my gear bag and ride that way. It definitely made me regret packing 2 pairs of shoes…. 

It took me a while to get into a groove especially focusing on the thought that I was going to be on my bike all day. Then I stopped and started focusing on the fact that I’d get to eat Dew Drop when I was done. That helped. Wayne and I

He loves it when I take his picture 

went back and forth pulling and cruised into the first aid station and thankfully found a car headed to Edgemont and unloaded our bags. We probably should have gotten their names but our bags showed up at the end so it worked out. Breakfast was wrapping up so I mainly just stuck to eating watermelon and pineapple. There is so much food on this ride that you really have to watch it or else it’s really easy to over eat. It’s like the Rag Ride in Iowa, except with food instead of booze. 

Wayne and I made bets on where we would meet up with the rest of the crew and I thought it would be closer to the lunch station but he thought it would be before. I like the section of the trail that goes between Rochford and Hill City, it’s tucked away from a lot of roads and you go through 3 tunnels which we also talked about how funny it would be to wait and scare someone but sinceeveryone we knew was in front of us we kept going. We caught up with Molly, Barb, Eric, Laura and Jessie at the aid station in Hill City. I ate some more oranges and then Wayne decided to hang back with them and I took off. It’s only about 15 miles between that one and the lunch one but has a nice little climb in it. Nothing too steep just gradual and steady. The lunch station is about 54 miles into the ride and I was just under 4 hours in ride time. Perfect. I saw Abe here and seeing the line for lunch food and the bathroom decided to keep going. Especially because the next aid station is always the best. 

Between lunch and the next aid station always seems to be the hardest for me. I can only relate it to being a sophomore, where the new has worn off and you’re just stuck but can’t get out of there fast enough. The trail is more exposed and you start to creep into more of the prairie and the wind can be pretty nasty. I just kept pushing and it helped that there was always someone in front of me to focus on and work on catching. I cruised into Denise’s aid station and once again was not disappointed in the slightest bit. So many delectable treats! The rest of the group was here so talked to them while I ate some peanut m&ms. Did I say some? I meant too many. You know that feeling when you don’t feel full and then all of a sudden you do. I hit that point pretty fast. Welp, nothing to do but keep riding I suppose and hopefully I don’t cramp. Those little buggers just sat in my stomach like brick. For those of you who have caught onto the fact that my stomach isn’t made out of any robust material, but more like Chantilly lace. I’m guessing you know what happens next. With about 20 miles left I threw up on the trail. What’s most impressive is that I didn’t even stop riding, and I’m pretty amazed that I didn’t crash. Once that was gone I felt immensely better and was able to keep pushing. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, no snakes, no more puke, no mechanical issues. I got to the 100 mile mark at 6:57, which I was hoping to be under 7 hours. Unfortunately not realizing the course was 109 miles I still had a ways to go. I finished right at 7:38 and only had Mary there to meet me, it helped that she was driving the course and not riding. After refilling my water and joking around with her for a bit decided there wasn’t much else to do but keep riding.

Everyone made it!

I began doubling back, which was great because A.) everyone I passed going in thought I was a huge bad ass because they thought I was going back up to Lead and B.) I could tell everyone they were going the wrong way. I passed everyone in the group again and when I reached Molly, Eric, Laura and Jessie turned around to go back to Edgemont with them. It was nice getting some added miles in, while being able to catch up and talk to those guys. 

One day Mary will ride a bike.

That night I made my family go to Dew Drop, not so much made them but told them that’s where I was eating and they could join if they wanted to, which why anyone would say no I’m not sure. I placed my order and since Mary was meeting us there I added her order into mine. My mom went after me and informed the waitress that “it’s okay, she biked 140 miles today.” Then asked me what Mary wanted, I informed her I ordered for her too, “Oh! I thought all that food was for you!” 

I finished the day with 140 miles and about 3600 feet of climbing. I laid in bed later that night and thought about how my body felt like it had been through a war. I realized that I’m waging a war with Leadville and every day I train I’m preparing my body for the battle.

This past week I did my first training ride at Leadville with 36 miles and 3800 feet of climbing. I’m also signing up for the Leadville 50 which is 50 miles and about 7,000 feet of climbing. It’s going to be awesome. 

I hope they have corn dogs in Leadville!

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