He’s like a broken record. Ken took 1st, again. He’s got so many leader’s jerseys now that he asks for size small to give to Max and Luke.
Today was the Aqueduct stage. Mike billed it as perhaps the hardest stage on the list. It was full of steep, hard climbs. We went all the way to Keystone and back. I can hardly stomach the goo and the Accelerade anymore. The longest stage as far as time in the saddle (or walking your ass up the hill in my case) goes. But some of the descents were . . . . Drew told me that I am not allowed to use the words “sweet” or “flowy” anymore. Overuse of these adjectives has rendered them bland and mushy. Rather, he suggest “butterysmoothaliscious”. So, some of the descents were butterysmoothaliscious, which was certainly welcome since I had to lock out my fork to keep it from smushing down to nothing. They were rippin’ and fast. And the trees flew by like an Ewok forest. The trail was buffed and you could ride it like you were on rails (how’s that for an over-used analogy?). Though there was one descent that scared the crap out of me. I dismounted when I saw the line of other riders walking down it. It was steep, loose, and there was no good line. Half way down, I hear a bike skidding toward me. One of the German riders was surfing down the middle to the trail. One of my fellow walkers said “Crazy Germans”. Crazy German, indeed. Crazy and fearless. And boy, could SHE handle a bike.
I’ll have a bonified rigid fork tomorrow since Jenn is coming up from Boulder and bringing it with her. Thanks, Jenn!
Ken has been riding most of the stages going back and forth with Wendy Lyall (of Leadville fame). If you don’t know who she is, just skip on down to the next paragraph. In any case, she has been avoiding the awards ceremonies, even though (or especially because) she has been making the podium. She finally decided to attend, and when she was called up by Mike, she hesitated. Mike’s response? “What did you think would happen?” I’m happy to report that there was no felony charge this time.
After the ride, we got bacon cheeseburgers from Empire burger and ate them while we soaked in the river. Nothing like a big, greasy wad of meat while your nuts are being chilled in crisp, Giardia-filled water to lift your spirits.
Wheeler is tomorrow. This is the stage that almost broke me last year. The hike over Wheeler is long and painful. Last year we hiked up via a skinny, rocky line in the mountain and summited 13,000 feet, only to see a bunch of cars up there. You can drive up here? And we took a mother-grabbin’ overgrown goat path? At least this time, I’m so used to walking with my bike, it won’t be that much different than all the other stages. It ends on the Peaks trail which is like a kick in the groin. The Empire bacon cheeseburger saved me last year. I might need to dip into the well again tomorrow.