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Thread: AES McDowell 60

  1. #1
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    AES McDowell 60

    I want to hear how the race went today!
    Did anyone make it back alive?

  2. #2
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    I think the theme for the day was DNF, at least for me and a few others that I was aware of. I think we had 29 or 30 brave riders out there this morning. Personally, I never felt good today, just couldn't get going, legs felt like concrete. The rain early on wasn't bad at all, I kinda enjoyed it. I started having GPS issues somewhere on Sonoran Trail, then my front derailleur started wreaking havoc on me so I was reduced to the little ring up front. Then to top it off my rear brake spring broke on the Long Loop, so no rear brakes. Thankfully when I rolled into the comp loop parking area Dag Nabitt had a ride coming, so I opted out. The rain clouds were super thick over Tom's Thumb & I'm glad I made the call. There were some finishers though - Turtlegerl crushed it!!
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

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    Not me. I made it 44 miles before old man winter sunk his fangs in me and I had to abort the mission.

  4. #4
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    Same here! I started an hour after you guys (driving thru the snow up north was slow rolling) and I still didn't believe the WX forecast of rain in the valley at that point. Doh! I felt great up until Sonoran/Dixie Mine where it started pouring buckets. Even in rain gear, I was shivering so hard I knew better than to commit to making the latter half of the loop. Bailed at the Comp loop but can still say it was a great day of riding for me. The highlights were seeing all these trails that I had no idea were down here (I'd always thought Phx was all concrete and crowds); seeing less than 10 people/hikers all day (due to rain?); fought off a BOBCAT; and the only taxi that could take me from FH to Bashas was a limo. Me and my muddy Mtb in a limo...hilarious! The guy felt so sorry for me that he basically charged me nada.

    To those of you who finished: RESPECT!! Back at Bashas, saw a few of you roll in trembling too but obviously with better than determination (and gear) than mine! Kudos!

    Part two of the loop today....
    .
    Get Outside!

  5. #5
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    Some pics...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AES McDowell 60-image.jpg  

    AES McDowell 60-img_1559.jpg  

    AES McDowell 60-img_1562-version-2.jpg  

    AES McDowell 60-img_1569-version-2.jpg  

    Last edited by Lakvoodoo; 12-16-2012 at 09:07 AM. Reason: Adding...
    .
    Get Outside!

  6. #6
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    By the time I made through the Comp loops at mile 34 and about 5 hours in, I was soaked to the bone, even with rain gear on. The worst were my toes - they were super cold already and with no way to warm them (although I did make sweet love to the hand dryer in the bathroom at the Comp loops) and probably another 4 hours to get back to Basha's and with temps dropping and even colder temps and higher winds on the top of Tom's Thumb, I decided to call in the Wife, who was gracious enough to save myself and freeskier. Hitting TT at around dusk did not sound like a good idea. It was a great day otherwise. It was damp, but I was unphased for a good 3.5 hours. Dropping down from Bell is when the weather go pretty nasty, and I got super soaked.

    Got a few nice snaps on the day. We didn't see the tops of the McDowells all day.


    From Gateway looking up Bell Pass. It's there somewhere.


    freeskier coming down Sunrise.


    Sonoran HAB.


    The other side of Bell Pass, from Prospector.


    Tail buddy out for a drink.


    It got nasty out there.


    Low clouds all day.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  7. #7
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Wow, that was a tough day on the bike. Gotta say, I was as cold yesterday as I was in the AZT300 this spring...brutal. Rain gear is great, but feet and hands just got soaked. Plus the fact that I was soaking things from the inside w my own body heat. The closer I pedaled to the base of Toms, the more that the trail turned into a river. I pulled the plug at the base of Toms where a racers wife let me use her phone to call my wife. My phone got 3 drops of water on it and refused to work. I finally got picked up down on Happy Valley where I hung out with a security guard at a gated community.

    It's funny, seems like the most learning comes from failures as opposed to successes. Some lessons learned for me if I continue to do these silly single and multi-day races...
    1. Get waterproof gloves
    2. Get waterproof socks
    3. Bring a dry underlayer (in a zip lock)
    4. HTFU
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
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    I needed dry feet. They were absolutely soaked. My core was ok, as long as I kept moving. However with colder temps coming with the falling sun, I'm not sure my layers would have kept working. Dry socks would have been amazing! Donna and Jeff said that TT was really cold up there. It would have been even worse at about 5pm, when I would have probably finally made it there!
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  9. #9
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    results are up (AES Results | Arizona Endurance Series). I think I'm missing one finisher and a couple more DNFs. Let me know if you should be on the list.

    This was a real test of men/women and machines. First, it took a lot of guts to come out on a day that looked to be rainy. It took some kind of luck and lack of good judgement to finish when the day turned out worse than anyone guessed it would.

    Anyhow, much respect to those who made the attempt. There is always next year...

  10. #10
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    Even with the GPS in a baggie it died on me 2 1/2 hours into the ride, time for an RMA
    From AES McDowell 60 - DNF


    Pretty much sums up the day
    From AES McDowell 60 - DNF


    At least my bike was clean at the end
    From AES McDowell 60 - DNF
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dag Nabbit View Post
    I needed dry feet. They were absolutely soaked. My core was ok, as long as I kept moving. However with colder temps coming with the falling sun, I'm not sure my layers would have kept working. Dry socks would have been amazing! Donna and Jeff said that TT was really cold up there. It would have been even worse at about 5pm, when I would have probably finally made it there!
    Yeah, even though I could feel the air getting warmer coming down TT, the fact that I was no longer generating heat made me colder. Plus the trails were rivers by that point and the constant splashing of water on my feet kept them good and chilled. I would have given big dollars for goretex socks yesterday.

    That was quite an adventure. One I'm not anxious to repeat soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    Yeah, even though I could feel the air getting warmer coming down TT, the fact that I was no longer generating heat made me colder. Plus the trails were rivers by that point and the constant splashing of water on my feet kept them good and chilled. I would have given big dollars for goretex socks yesterday.

    That was quite an adventure. One I'm not anxious to repeat soon.

    Great job out there Jeff and Double Kudos to you for hammering it out despite the conditions. Not cool to see DNF after my name, but at least I tried. There is always next year.

    Kudos to all who attempted this yesterday and 2x kudos to those who finished.

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    That event put my shiny new Beargrease through the ringer. As soft as the trails were, I'm actually glad I was on a fatty (although the going was still slow as sin). Rain and wind were pretty darn annoying, but seeing as how I was in shorts (at least I brought a rain jacket), I figured it would be a good idea if I just kept guttin' it out to keep warm.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, Sonoran is the BEST piece of singletrack in the McDowells (for geared bikes). The soil was extra grippy when I rolled through there and the traction provided by the 4" rear tire made it even more enjoyable. The Tom's thumb climb was over before I knew it and the descent was a blast. On the descent, I just remember looking over the edge on the switchbacks and seeing nothing but cloud. It looked like if you fell, you'd just vanish into the abyss.

    All in all, a tough day on the bike, but it beats being cooped up in an office.

    Finish or not, hats off to all of those that showed up and rode.

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    What do you know? The McDowell's are being bathed in nice, warm sunshine today.

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    I'd been looking at the weather report all week hoping it would change. I don't do cold weather well. My heater is broken.

    I contemplated a no show, but didn't have it in me after some of my family back in MI basically told me to suck it up buttercup! John's (freeskier46) enthusiasm to ride in those conditions was also encouraging. We've all had days that it's fun to play in the rain right? Besides, it can't rain all day, right? lol

    I think the choice of riding gear was my make it or break it factor yesterday. By chance I ordered a pair of 3/4 length lycra leggings and a Smartwool beanie for under my helmet a few weeks ago. I also had my jersey, wool arm warmers, vest, jacket, thick moto gloves and wool socks. I also think my 5.10's keep my feet much warmer than the clipless shoes. Last, but not least, I bought a shower cap from Basha's about 20 minutes before the race. For style points of course.

    To get myself out there I reserved the option to turn left at the top of Prospector and cut the ride short with a Bell Pass descent.

    The weather at the start was actually decent. I left my jacket in my back pack and started out with the wool beanie, arm warmers and vest. Part way up Sunrise I was roasting. Off came the arm warmers, vest and beanie. I was quite comfortable for a while. The descent down Sunrise was beautiful! One hiker midway and a one group towards the bottom. I LOVE the Sunrise descent!

    It only seemed fitting to take a tour of Hidden Hills given the weather conditions. I just can't understand why I didn't get a response back from the dog walkers when I said hello as I cruised through their elite neighborhood on my muddy mountain bike rocking a shower cap!

    And then out to Sonoran. Sonoran is always a little discouraging. Out and over to Prospector, which for some demented reason I actually enjoy. I have cleaned it once. It wasn't yesterday though. This would be the beginning of "the mud". I hadn't seen anyone in while and now had a few people in sight. They all made a right at the top of Prospector and continued on ... so I did too. I was doing OK and figured I could always call a cab from the comp loops if need be. Then it started raining pretty good and I got really cold. On went the arm warmers, beanie and vest. Once I got moving again I was warm enough. Still had the jacket in reserve. Fingers weren't working all that great though.

    I finished the comp loop and headed to the water fountain. I'd been out of water for a while because I was too stubborn to stop and fill up at the bottom of Sunrise and only started with the bladder half full because I was planning to stop there. Duh! Filled my bladder about 3/4 and ate half my breakfast burrito in the bathroom because it was warmer in there. It was only about 12:15. That was encouraging. I was about 35 miles in. Still had enough time to finish before dark. Got cold while I was stopped and I put my jacket on. It's not vented and I usually roast in it. Not today. It was a little unnerving to have used my last warm resource. Had food. Had water. Back out into the rain. I could always call a cab from Tom's Thumb ...

    I get into a strange mode on these long rides. For me it's a semi delirious state where I lose track of time. It's a necessary evil otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd lose my mind ... or maybe I already have for doing these things in the first place. Anyway, I was just following the little line on my gps. Up on to Scenic. That was some slow going, slow moving, muddy climbing suckage.

    Somewhere on the way to the Tom's Thumb hike a bike I picked up a straggler. He thought he was dead last and that everyone else behind had bailed out. He was struggling too and it was nice to have some company. We never did end up in the Tom's Thumb parking lot so I never did call that cab.

    We limped our way to the top. When we crested over to the other side the wind was whipping up from that side of the mountain and the rain was coming down. I was now dangerously cold. I was beyond the opt out point. No cab to be called. Just gotta get down. The slippery mess down the switchbacks was actually kind of fun, but the cold made it hard to enjoy. Just gotta get down the mountain so I can start pedaling again and warm up!

    Once at the base, I made my way along the trail that was now a stream with river crossings that were almost up to my bottom bracket. I was just happy to be pedaling again! Not quite hypothermic anymore. It always takes longer to get back to the Basha's parking lot then you expect and yesterday was no different. So happy to finally hit the little bit of pavement to the finish!

    The McDowell 60 was my first big ride/race ever 3 years ago, so I was pretty determined to finish and I'm glad I did.

    Huge kudos to Caroline who spent the longest time out there. She was on her way to going over Tom's Thumb in the dark, if she hadn't been talked out of it. She is the most determined person on a bike that I know!




    Last edited by TurtleGerl; 12-16-2012 at 12:48 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleGerl View Post
    I get into a strange mode on these long rides. For me it's a semi delirious state where I lose track of time. It's a necessary evil otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd lose my mind ...
    That pretty much sums it up for me and how I handle the mental issues....I just let go and let the crazy come in and above all.....NEVER look at the clock....just keep turning the crank and follow the line!

    Having said that, I was a DNS yesterday. I've spent plenty of time in bad weather to now know what to do and what not to do should I find myself out there.....it's all part of the learning process.

    Awesome you finished this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by markphx View Post
    That event put my shiny new Beargrease through the ringer. As soft as the trails were, I'm actually glad I was on a fatty (although the going was still slow as sin). Rain and wind were pretty darn annoying, but seeing as how I was in shorts (at least I brought a rain jacket), I figured it would be a good idea if I just kept guttin' it out to keep warm.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, Sonoran is the BEST piece of singletrack in the McDowells (for geared bikes). The soil was extra grippy when I rolled through there and the traction provided by the 4" rear tire made it even more enjoyable. The Tom's thumb climb was over before I knew it and the descent was a blast. On the descent, I just remember looking over the edge on the switchbacks and seeing nothing but cloud. It looked like if you fell, you'd just vanish into the abyss.

    All in all, a tough day on the bike, but it beats being cooped up in an office.

    Finish or not, hats off to all of those that showed up and rode.
    The fatbike was probably a really good choice. I saw your unmistakeable monster truck-like tracks on the entire second half of the course. I kept thinking, "Mark made it through here - gotta keep going".

    As for Sonoran. You are just bonkers. That is the one of the crappiest bits of trail out there. Made for hikers. Death for singlespeeds.

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    I thought i was going to make it after the free coffee at the plush toy visitor center. Feeling toasty and warm i walked out feeling ready to go, only to have the wet American flag slap over me taking away what little heat I had.

    After climbing up the grin trail and getting to the top of Pemberton, i knew it wasn't in the cards when we couldn't even see the base of the Mcdowells. We decided to bail and head to my house to warm up. Seeing Turtlegerl barreling down the trail I thought to myself maybe i should continue and soilder on, but then realized i am no Turtlegerl.

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    That was my Ode to Turtlegerl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seandm View Post
    That was my Ode to Turtlegerl.

    Dang! I'm flattered!

    I was still over two hours behind the 1st ones in though.

    Reading about everyone's experiences out there I think the trick is to only look 10 feet ahead of you. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Just keep pedaling ...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleGerl View Post
    I'd been looking at the weather report all week hoping it would change. I don't do cold weather well. My heater is broken.

    I contemplated a no show, but didn't have it in me after some of my family back in MI basically told me to suck it up buttercup! John's (freeskier46) enthusiasm to ride in those conditions was also encouraging. We've all had days that it's fun to play in the rain right? Besides, it can't rain all day, right? lol

    I think the choice of riding gear was my make it or break it factor yesterday. By chance I ordered a pair of 3/4 length lycra leggings and a Smartwool beanie for under my helmet a few weeks ago. I also had my jersey, wool arm warmers, vest, jacket, thick moto gloves and wool socks. I also think my 5.10's keep my feet much warmer than the clipless shoes. Last, but not least, I bought a shower cap from Basha's about 20 minutes before the race. For style points of course.

    To get myself out there I reserved the option to turn left at the top of Prospector and cut the ride short with a Bell Pass descent.

    The weather at the start was actually decent. I left my jacket in my back pack and started out with the wool beanie, arm warmers and vest. Part way up Sunrise I was roasting. Off came the arm warmers, vest and beanie. I was quite comfortable for a while. The descent down Sunrise was beautiful! One hiker midway and a one group towards the bottom. I LOVE the Sunrise descent!

    It only seemed fitting to take a tour of Hidden Hills given the weather conditions. I just can't understand why I didn't get a response back from the dog walkers when I said hello as I cruised through their elite neighborhood on my muddy mountain bike rocking a shower cap!

    And then out to Sonoran. Sonoran is always a little discouraging. Out and over to Prospector, which for some demented reason I actually enjoy. I have cleaned it once. It wasn't yesterday though. This would be the beginning of "the mud". I hadn't seen anyone in while and now had a few people in sight. They all made a right at the top of Prospector and continued on ... so I did too. I was doing OK and figured I could always call a cab from the comp loops if need be. Then it started raining pretty good and I got really cold. On went the arm warmers, beanie and vest. Once I got moving again I was warm enough. Still had the jacket in reserve. Fingers weren't working all that great though.

    I finished the comp loop and headed to the water fountain. I'd been out of water for a while because I was too stubborn to stop and fill up at the bottom of Sunrise and only started with the bladder half full because I was planning to stop there. Duh! Filled my bladder about 3/4 and ate half my breakfast burrito in the bathroom because it was warmer in there. It was only about 12:15. That was encouraging. I was about 35 miles in. Still had enough time to finish before dark. Got cold while I was stopped and I put my jacket on. It's not vented and I usually roast in it. Not today. It was a little unnerving to have used my last warm resource. Had food. Had water. Back out into the rain. I could always call a cab from Tom's Thumb ...

    I get into a strange mode on these long rides. For me it's a semi delirious state where I lose track of time. It's a necessary evil otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd lose my mind ... or maybe I already have for doing these things in the first place. Anyway, I was just following the little line on my gps. Up on to Scenic. That was some slow going, slow moving, muddy climbing suckage.

    Somewhere on the way to the Tom's Thumb hike a bike I picked up a straggler. He thought he was dead last and that everyone else behind had bailed out. He was struggling too and it was nice to have some company. We never did end up in the Tom's Thumb parking lot so I never did call that cab.

    We limped our way to the top. When we crested over to the other side the wind was whipping up from that side of the mountain and the rain was coming down. I was now dangerously cold. I was beyond the opt out point. No cab to be called. Just gotta get down. The slippery mess down the switchbacks was actually kind of fun, but the cold made it hard to enjoy. Just gotta get down the mountain so I can start pedaling again and warm up!

    Once at the base, I made my way along the trail that was now a stream with river crossings that were almost up to my bottom bracket. I was just happy to be pedaling again! Not quite hypothermic anymore. It always takes longer to get back to the Basha's parking lot then you expect and yesterday was no different. So happy to finally hit the little bit of pavement to the finish!

    The McDowell 60 was my first big ride/race ever 3 years ago, so I was pretty determined to finish and I'm glad I did.

    Huge kudos to Caroline who spent the longest time out there. She was on her way to going over Tom's Thumb in the dark, if she hadn't been talked out of it. She is the most determined person on a bike that I know!




    WOW.

    I will keep this effort in mind the next time I get tired or sore on my 15 mile ride on a sunny day at Deem Hills. You are truly an inspiration. Awesome perseverance out there yesterday!! You also made some smart preparation decisions on clothing to keep you warm when it really mattered.
    -boom

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    WOW.

    I will keep this effort in mind the next time I get tired or sore on my 15 mile ride on a sunny day at Deem Hills. You are truly an inspiration. Awesome perseverance out there yesterday!! You also made some smart preparation decisions on clothing to keep you warm when it really mattered.

    Thanks!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    That pretty much sums it up for me and how I handle the mental issues....I just let go and let the crazy come in and above all.....NEVER look at the clock....just keep turning the crank and follow the line!

    Having said that, I was a DNS yesterday. I've spent plenty of time in bad weather to now know what to do and what not to do should I find myself out there.....it's all part of the learning process.

    Awesome you finished this!
    Thanks!

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    Glad everyone made it in safe and sound. I thought my friends who did WVC road ride in Goodyear were crazy animals, but those who did this are even crazier beasts. In a good way.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleGerl View Post
    I'd been looking at the weather report all week hoping it would change. I don't do cold weather well. My heater is broken.

    I contemplated a no show, but didn't have it in me after some of my family back in MI basically told me to suck it up buttercup! John's (freeskier46) enthusiasm to ride in those conditions was also encouraging. We've all had days that it's fun to play in the rain right? Besides, it can't rain all day, right? lol

    I think the choice of riding gear was my make it or break it factor yesterday. By chance I ordered a pair of 3/4 length lycra leggings and a Smartwool beanie for under my helmet a few weeks ago. I also had my jersey, wool arm warmers, vest, jacket, thick moto gloves and wool socks. I also think my 5.10's keep my feet much warmer than the clipless shoes. Last, but not least, I bought a shower cap from Basha's about 20 minutes before the race. For style points of course.

    To get myself out there I reserved the option to turn left at the top of Prospector and cut the ride short with a Bell Pass descent.

    The weather at the start was actually decent. I left my jacket in my back pack and started out with the wool beanie, arm warmers and vest. Part way up Sunrise I was roasting. Off came the arm warmers, vest and beanie. I was quite comfortable for a while. The descent down Sunrise was beautiful! One hiker midway and a one group towards the bottom. I LOVE the Sunrise descent!

    It only seemed fitting to take a tour of Hidden Hills given the weather conditions. I just can't understand why I didn't get a response back from the dog walkers when I said hello as I cruised through their elite neighborhood on my muddy mountain bike rocking a shower cap!

    And then out to Sonoran. Sonoran is always a little discouraging. Out and over to Prospector, which for some demented reason I actually enjoy. I have cleaned it once. It wasn't yesterday though. This would be the beginning of "the mud". I hadn't seen anyone in while and now had a few people in sight. They all made a right at the top of Prospector and continued on ... so I did too. I was doing OK and figured I could always call a cab from the comp loops if need be. Then it started raining pretty good and I got really cold. On went the arm warmers, beanie and vest. Once I got moving again I was warm enough. Still had the jacket in reserve. Fingers weren't working all that great though.

    I finished the comp loop and headed to the water fountain. I'd been out of water for a while because I was too stubborn to stop and fill up at the bottom of Sunrise and only started with the bladder half full because I was planning to stop there. Duh! Filled my bladder about 3/4 and ate half my breakfast burrito in the bathroom because it was warmer in there. It was only about 12:15. That was encouraging. I was about 35 miles in. Still had enough time to finish before dark. Got cold while I was stopped and I put my jacket on. It's not vented and I usually roast in it. Not today. It was a little unnerving to have used my last warm resource. Had food. Had water. Back out into the rain. I could always call a cab from Tom's Thumb ...

    I get into a strange mode on these long rides. For me it's a semi delirious state where I lose track of time. It's a necessary evil otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd lose my mind ... or maybe I already have for doing these things in the first place. Anyway, I was just following the little line on my gps. Up on to Scenic. That was some slow going, slow moving, muddy climbing suckage.

    Somewhere on the way to the Tom's Thumb hike a bike I picked up a straggler. He thought he was dead last and that everyone else behind had bailed out. He was struggling too and it was nice to have some company. We never did end up in the Tom's Thumb parking lot so I never did call that cab.

    We limped our way to the top. When we crested over to the other side the wind was whipping up from that side of the mountain and the rain was coming down. I was now dangerously cold. I was beyond the opt out point. No cab to be called. Just gotta get down. The slippery mess down the switchbacks was actually kind of fun, but the cold made it hard to enjoy. Just gotta get down the mountain so I can start pedaling again and warm up!

    Once at the base, I made my way along the trail that was now a stream with river crossings that were almost up to my bottom bracket. I was just happy to be pedaling again! Not quite hypothermic anymore. It always takes longer to get back to the Basha's parking lot then you expect and yesterday was no different. So happy to finally hit the little bit of pavement to the finish!

    The McDowell 60 was my first big ride/race ever 3 years ago, so I was pretty determined to finish and I'm glad I did.

    Huge kudos to Caroline who spent the longest time out there. She was on her way to going over Tom's Thumb in the dark, if she hadn't been talked out of it. She is the most determined person on a bike that I know!




    Post of the year.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

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