Stage 2: Can we climb some more please? (And after that, can we descend forever and ever?)
Written By: Liz Chabot Allen
Our Canadian bunkmates tell me that today’s stage is the hardest of the week.
I believe them.
If we weren’t climbing up gravel roads for extended periods of time, we were riding some of the most amazingly rocky, trails I’ve ever seen or descending the longest, steepest hills in the history of ever and ever.
We started out on gravel road that seemed to go on forever (10 miles, maybe?), and when we finally hit singletrack, I was pretty relieved. It’s all kind of a blur, but there are some things I do remember clearly…
…at the top of one of the really long climbs, we had a long section of super technical singletrack with an amazing view. I really enjoyed that section.
The enduro segments were particularly painful for me today. I was basically holding on for dear life and trying not to get too out of control. I wouldn’t say that I ‘raced’ them, but I scanned in at each one for my participation points.
Another notable moment today was climbing up Stillhouse Hollow (the final torturous climb of the day) and nearly running over a rattlesnake. I screamed, panicked, and then called back to the guy behind me to let him know to look out for it.
Then final stretch of the race was pretty uneventful. We came back through the muddy section along the stream that was part of yesterday’s TT (not a fun section), and the finish area was pretty quiet (probably because the fast people had finished hours before).
The first thing I did was make a recovery smoothie and head down to the stream for an icy soak. The second thing was take a shower (a cold one because even thought the boiler is fixed, it won’t stay lit long enough to heath the water). Then I laid in bed with my legs elevated while eating corn chips and trying not to choke to death because I just couldn’t be bothered to sit up to eat. And I finally got around to torturing myself with the foam roller of death and tidying up my bike (not a whole lot though because tomorrow is enduro day).
I just got finished with a thanksgiving dinner complete with apple pie, and I’m skipping out on the award ceremony because beer yoga is more important.
So how did I do?
I’m not sure where today left me in the grand scheme of things (overall placing), but I finished in 8th place (still out of 16) with a time of 5:09:07, I was 5th in the east coast rocks segment, and I somehow managed 7th for enduro despite my death grip on the brakes.