Friday, September 20, 2013

Stage 4

 After feeling empty and lacking power all week, I got tired of it.  I grabbed a hot dog and  french fries at The Hob Nob Cafe, then picked up a giant pizza at Marco's on the way home along with some beer from Earth Fare.  I've been watching my diet, eating lots of veggies and less snack foods, but my body was hungry for some carbs and fat.... and that's what it got. 

This morning, on the way to the race, I picked up a dozen Bo Berry Biscuits for the volunteers and bought steak and cheese biscuit for myself.  It tasted great and stuck to my ribs!

I lined up at the back of the pack, not wanting to get caught up in the gravel road sprint.  I fell in behind some folks who were of the same mind and we took a steady warm up, up the gravel.  Left turn onto Spencer Gap and up the steepness to the single track.  I found my groove and was pleased that I was able to maintain my desired pace.   Crossing the top of Trace and dropping into the gnar on the other side, I stopped to let the Simril train cruise by and then rolled down again.  I was again pleased when I relaxed enough to ride almost everything. 

Down through the bottoms we came to a very confusing spot.  I saw markers in two directions and new where the route was supposed to go, but didn't know if the route had been altered by the race directors for some unknown to us, reason.  Pretty soon there was  a group of about 6 folks there, and everyone thought it best to follow the arrow to the left.  I went along with the crowd. 

By the time we reached aid station 1 it was obvious that we had made a mistake.  Nothing to do but keep riding, and so we did.  I kept my pace and tried not to think about anything except nutrition, pace and pedal stroke. 
 Down Lower Trace, across the river, through the campground, left up Wash Creek Rd,  cruising along with Dick and Hans,  more of the Dutch crew.  Super nice guys and strong.  We made it to rest stop 2 where the wife and kid handed me bottles with water and Coke.  Perfect,  the stop took no longer than 10 seconds.  We headed up Trace and I walked the steepest parts and rode what I could, knowing that I needed to save some for stage 5.  I was with about 3-4 other guys and Pua, who had gone the right way, passed us halfway up. 

Finally to the top of Trace, then down Spencer Gap to Wash Creek Rd. Hang a left on the gravel road that leads us to Bear Branch,  bomb down, then back to Wash Creek Campground. 

Todd informed us that he would be taking our average MPH, and adding 4 miles to our total time.  Everyone that I heard, agreed that was a fair way to go about it.  The only downside is that we missed Middle Fork and the super fun upper section of Fletcher Creek.  That's racin'.
A dip in the super cold creek to get the muscles primed for tomorrow, and we loaded up and headed home. 

One more day..... looks like it might rain!

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