Sunday, July 06, 2008

BC Bike Race Stage 4 - Climb, Flat, Hammer, Blow Up

A 4:30am wake up call greeted us this morning as we would need to take two ferries this morning to get to the race start in Earls Cove. The geography of British Columbia is amazingly beautiful, but does prove a bit of a logistic inconvenience for the racers.

The support wagon

Catching a few zzzz's on the ferry ride

The Andy Express prior to stage 4 - "All Aboard"
Let's get it on!

Similar to many ferry terminals in Washington once off the boat the only way to go is up. An up is what greeted us. The start was a vertical road climb that dumped us into double track fire road climbing. Unfortunately when the fire roads started my legs didn't. They definitely lacked the spunkiness of the previous day and I was hoping they would warm up after 15km. The first single track descent was beautiful, but I was having difficulty finding a smooth line. The less attractive line was bumpier and I had two instances where my chain was jumping off the big ring. It didn't cause huge time stops, but it definitely took me out of my rhythm. The misfortunes didn't stop with the chain jumps as I flatted my rear tire coming out of a stream crossing. After a quick assessment of the damages Andy sprang into action and we fixed the flat. Although the flat only took 5-7 minutes to fix it occurred at a section that teams were carrying huge momentum and the continuous stream of riders passing us was a bit difficult for the PMA (positive mental attitude).

Once on the trail again I purchased a one-way ticket on the Andy Express and over the next 60 minutes we would drop the hammer and pass close to 30 teams. Ultimately I would pay the price and the little chicken legs blew up with around 10k to go. There was no more HP to lay down and I went into survival mode merely trying to stay upright for the final 1-track section. At 2k from the finish line I rounded a right corner and did not see the large tree hanging over the trail. The tree hit me square on the helmet and I hit the ground seeing stars. After a quick assessment of the noggin, helmet and balance I hobbled the remaining K's to the finish line.

Knuckles - eat that Obama!

Hmmm, looks like someone is cranky!

Stage 4 - 60k 4:17:20 33rd place

Image links
Beautiful BC
Aerial view of the start
Riding BC Style

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