Mountain Bike Shenanigans

An Epic Adventure
March 31st, 2007

Two riders went. Two rode. They climbed and took tips from the pros. They showed the South Africans how to ride downhill fast and without using their brakes (and taught them something about good tubeless setups). One ended up being rescued from the side of the trail and was hospitalized. After two DNFs, one finished. Now it’s over what comes next remains open to debate.

March 28th, 2007

I am out of the race. Yesterday’s ride just exhausted any reserves I had left and I was running on fumes from just after the first water point. Although we made it over the last big climb, heavy traffic (which meant pushing rather than riding) and heavier legs made riding hellish.

Although we left waterpoint two, after about 50m it was clear that I was running on empty and turned back and dropped out. As one of the last competitors, it was a make or break decision and I decided to walk out rather than get med-evac’d again. Tyrrell rode a superb final section and finished in good time. I am finding it hard to come to terms with being out of the race. All I can think of are all those emotional clips of pro riders dropping out of Le Tour.

Back in the Game
March 27th, 2007

After yesterday’s diabolical stage, I was given permission to continue by the fantastic medical team here. Tyrrell and I dug deep again to finish in the heat and burning sun. We are now half way and have each burned somewhere in the region of 10,000 kcal per day. The riding today was very dusty desert singletrack and jeep track and burned the legs when trying to power through it or gave added danger to cornering on the 30mph+ descents. Massive thanks go out to the Chris King distributor here for sorting out my rear hub after the race and working well into the night to keep people riding.

March 26th, 2007

I dug deep today. Some where in the pain cave there was a determination to keep pushing or die trying. I don’t want to get too philosophical, but I found out a lot about myself and my mental toughness today. Unfortunately, as being stretchered into an ambulance and taken the last 30km of the race to hospital proved, my physical ability to cope with race pace in 40 degrees desert heat didn’t match.

Tyrrell earned legendary status for making it home under the 10 hour cut off. My time in hospital meant I missed dinner, so with another 6,600 kcal of spent energy coming largely from burning body fat today, I will be looking to get some serious carbs and protein on board tomorrow.

Tough Times
March 25th, 2007

Two days, 15 and a half hours riding, 4,900m climbing and about 235km into this race, deservedly called an Epic. The pros are now some 6 and a half hours ahead, but our work today moved us up from 351 to 310 in the general classification. It’s hot, hot, hot here and suffering is high on the agenda. Right then, time for a massage…

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