I guess someone is a tuff guy this morning
Guess who doesn't belong in this picture (I will give you a hint...the goofy one in the white glasses) - from l to r - Me, The Andy Express, Nat Ross and Katie Compton.
Personally my mental fortitude was a bit damaged from Stage 5, but I had a good feeling about the Squamish stage as I had ridden the course several times and Andy and I had spent 3 solid days riding in Squamish over Memorial Day weekend. The stage started with another road climb and I did my best to hang with the lead group, but my legs were simply not there. Andy had to settle back with me as we took our spot in the second group of riders. It sucks to ride back in this group when you know you have the ability to ride faster. Unfortunately after 5 days of riding the chicken legs were sucking for air, as were my lungs. I was actually feeling pretty good on my descending skills until we hit a new section of Psuedo Tsuga trail I had never rode. It was extremely steep, rooted and loose. The gal rider in front of me railed the section and I was trying to follow her line, but somewhere in the midst I fell off line and hit a hole. This sent me flying in my bars and then over them. I did a pretty good job of knocking myself silly, but I did an even better job of knocking the crap out of my bike. I managed to turn the handlebars around twice, ripping my front hydraulic brake line. AWESOME! No front brakes and the hardest descents still to come.
I believe that hose should be connected to my front brake
After a quick fix we were back on our way. The infamous nine mile hill and lava flow climb greeted us next. This beauty is a real bitch when you are fresh, but when you are tired it is down right evil. Thankfully I was able to muster some energy and I climb fairly respectively. Once we hit the rip we were flying. Trying to keep in mind I only had a rear brake. The rip consists of some great open double track descending with a few rock gardens thrown in for good measure. It was in one of these gardens that a rock flew up into my rear derailluer bending my chain and breaking a spoke on my rear wheel. Again - AWESOME! Our only course of action was to remove 7+ links from my chain, which essentially converted me to a 3 speed bike. The remainder of the ride was a good lesson in patience. I spent the better part of the Plunge running and coasting my bike. The unbelievable part was we were passing teams in this section. Riders were so sketched by the Plunges obstacles I was able to run by them.
That extra spoke was only going to slow me down!
Finishing the marathon stage
Stage 6 65km - 5:08:48 49th place - OUCH!