Video to come (like you expected anything less…)
First of all, we did it. The whole thing. 105 miles. Cutoff time for “finishing credit” was 10 hours. We rolled in at 9:59:33. I’m not kidding. That was ten fun-filled hours on the bike in 87 degree temps, 20mph headwinds, 22% humidity and sun. Oh, that sun.
And we were the lucky ones. The SAG vans rode by several times with folks who couldn’t finish. One of the race officials said, “yeah, we had a higher than average number of people who DNFd (Did Not Finish).” He attributed it to the headwinds.
I calculated that I consumed about three gallons of fluid throughout the day. That’s one-and-a-half 100 ounce camelbacks + twelve refills of the 20 ounce bottles on the bike. Water, electrolyte supplements, Hammer™ Perpetuem, HEED, Gatorade. And salt. Lots of salt tablets. And salty snacks. “Hey, you gonna eat that pretzel?”
There was a 1600′ climb from -282 ft below sea level to 1,293 above (for you locals, that’s a few hundred feet taller than the ride to Thatcher Park). Over a span of about seven miles. Took 65 minutes to go up (at high noon – and, hey, what happened to that wind?) and only 7 to go down. Wheee. Fingers went numb from the vibration of the pavement while gripping handlebars.
Along the way, we passed Badwater (“Old [Badwater], keep on rollin. Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin on me…”) Try NOT singing this along the way. I dare you. (joke (c) 2008, Jim Darling). Ashford Mills (another rest stop) and turned at the top of Jubilee Pass. Which, is not named after the Friendly’s Jubilee Roll ice cream cake. I asked. I was delirious.
So that’s it for now. Stay tuned for the highlight video and then, my friends, this little project is done. Hope you enjoyed watching. I know I had a lot of fun making it.
I will leave you, for now, with this one last thought that echoed in my mind for 105 miles. It’s a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Wind, Sand, and Stars. It was shared with me by Adventurecorps, the (excellent) company that managed this event.
“But you, by the grace of an ordeal in the night which stripped you of all that was not intrinsic, you discovered a mysterious creature born of yourself. Great was this creature, and never shall you forget him.”
I certainly won’t.