Been MIA for quite a while. Lots happening with Alchemist and Racers. Will have to catch up with most of that eventually.
But a couple things to mention. Leadville and Breck Epic.
Several years ago, I was done with Leadville. Too much craziness. Well, Dice was going for her tenth belt buckle, and so Stuart decided he would give it one last go too. But Stuart wouldn’t ride the Breck Epic with me unless I did Leadville too. The Epic starts the day after Leadville. Sounds like an awful idea. But what the hell.
Jenn’s 10th. Those are solid gold.
Alchemist actually fielded a fairly large Team for Leadville: Jenn, Ryn, Noel, Ken, Stuart, Rob S, Neil (and Team Alchemist Canada), Mark R, Bob W (yes, Bob, I’m borrowing you from Wolfpack), Dan R, Drew and me. We also were joined by honorary Alchemist members, Farrar, Alden, Mirek, and Hunter.
We were supported by an all-star crew that would make NASCAR pit-crews cry with envy. Jeff C (badass singlespeeder and fresh off nuptuals last weekend), Chris C (also badass and also doing the Breck Epic), Jon P (who narrowly missed the big belt buckle last year by 3 seconds, 3 SECONDS! and should have been riding with us this year, but somehow didn’t get chosen in the lottery to race. W-what?), Deb P (who already has her belt buckle and has crossed this race off her bucket list), Toni G (also already has her buckle, and also would rather help us through our suffering than race), David F (son of Farrar, great kid, fast mtb’er, and will be old enough next year to race LV), Steve M (Kili veteran and sub 9 guy who earned that b*tch “before they paved Columbine”), Kim R (who rocked the Alchemist support tent with her son Nathan, who is going pro next year).
Perfect conditions yesterday. No rain, hail, lightening, or swarms of locusts. The previous day’s rain made the course packed and tacky. It was the fastest course in history. Good day to go under 9 hours. We all went under 12 hours, six of us earning the big belt buckle for under 9. Drew at 8:06, Stu at 8:10, Ken at 8:12, Rob at 8:29, Dan at 8:46, me at 8:43, Noel at 9:42, Mark at 9:44, Neil at 10:49, Bob at 11:22. Outstanding. And yes, Dice earned her tenth buckle, which is so big you can’t bend over to tie your shoes when wearing it. She and Ryn rode in together at 11:14.
I’ll have to give more details another time. I need to sleep at some point, since we just finished stage 1 of the Breck Epic. Pennsylvania Gulch. 36 miles, 5500 ft of climbing. Stuart recovered spectacularly from yesterday. I . . did not.
Breck Epic Stage 1. Pennsylvania Gulch.
Stuart trying to figure out where the heck we are going. The paper map, as it turns out, is only helpful if you know how to read it. Unfortunately, neither Stuart, nor I, have that ability.
We started the stage at 10:10a. The actual race start was 8:30a. Being the loving and doting fiance that he is, Stuart wanted to see Dice get her tenth Buckle at awards this morning, so we started a smidge late. We finished last in our category. We also finished last overall. DFL, as some would call it. The course markings and aid stations are pulled after the last rider in the pack, so we had to navigate with my Garmin 500, and a paper map. We only got lost a couple times, when the Garmin would inexplicably lose track of us, and we couldn’t figure out where we were on the paper map. Ken, we could have used your Rand McNally sense of direction there today. When we finally caught up to the course sweeper, she was baffled how she could have missed us. It caused a storm of chatter on the crew radios, and eventually led to bets being placed on whether we would finish DFL. I’d like to blame the late start or getting lost or having to ride back to the car because I forgot the map for the DFL, but really, it was because I was sucking wind, and ass, today. It felt like riding at 16,000 ft on Kilimanjaro. I’m hoping the Albuterol and Flovent I called in for myself will help. I think a real night’s rest will help too.
With that in mind, more tomorrow.