I wanted to follow up - I was typing on my iPad with tired hands yesterday.
The Soggy Bottom was an amazing experience. You do a fantastic job of leading dedicated volunteers. While riding up from Cooper Landing with George behind me, he let me know I was moving along just fine and he didnít react to my occasional frustrations with mud and rocks. I especially commend the guys at the Devilís Pass Cabin. I had a strong push up from the trailhead and I was rearing to head off by myself, expecting I wouldnít ride downhill as fast as Billy and he would catch up to me. Without actually refusing to let me go, they were very clear it was not a good idea and led a tired woman to make the wise decision to wait. We were given the option to nap before we left or wait until morning to head down; they made sure we had enough food and warm clothes before we left. When we headed out back to Hope, the sweeper crew were amazing. At no point did it seem they were impatient with the pace; in fact we had a few laughs. Michael asked me several times if I was doing alright, if I needed anything. I felt safe but I was left to ride my own race and fight my own demons. I won that fight.
In hindsight I know how easily my very tired arms could have steered me off the trail, right over the side and down a steep ravine. It would have been hours before anyone realized I hadnít made it back to Hope. Your cabin checkpoint volunteers insisted they talk to you before I headed out alone, but I had already made the decision to stay; and I know what you would have said Ė wait. It easily could have turned into a Mt Marathon situation.
The option of having Dan as a ghost rider for that last leg was a key factor in deciding to sign up. When he got injured I figured my chances of finishing were minimal at best. Your guidance, your crew, and the spirit of that whole event inspired me to keep my head straight in the face of fear and fatigue. It was a strong ride and successful race for me regardless of my finishing time.
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