It doesn’t take huge efforts of consideration to melt someone’s beaten down heart at the 7h mark. Jeff Neilson held my bike up for 10 seconds and said I was doing great. It almost felt like that was what kept me going. The prior lap I had Gordon Lightfoot in mind from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: Does any one know where the love of God goes/when the waves turn the minutes to hours? - except instead of waves it was hills. You know, brains get full of funny things out there. I tried to replace it with Crazy Larry's eternal wisdom: when it hurts just think of me (Larry) singing Matthew Wilder's: Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride/Nobody's gonna slow me down/Oh-no, oh-no, I got to keep on moving. Aside from musical interludes; the Ger was always great at pointing out the main trick is to keep moving.
Tracie and Michelle were so cheerful every lap. The pit row had people speaking each time that sometimes were a blur, and sometimes made sense when I was more coherent. Craig Marshall, bless you for that 10 second push on the start of the last lap. It means absolutely nothing in the "assistance to a racer" type of negative connotation, but absolutely everything in terms of lifting a spirit. I saw you breathing hard from doing it to everyone. So awesome. I got a little grouchy to a guy with a cropped silver beard who called a pretty aggressive pass when I was going mach speed, so I hereby offer an apology. I wasn't trying to hold up trail, and later he did pass. But passing to me is "can I pass" unless you're definitely, demonstrably, faster at that point, and on that downhill, it wasn't the case. So when you're 5m behind, you don't just boss someone off the trail. Police can say "stop and put your hands in the air" with authority, and you do it. Cops are different. When guys who it probably actually mattered to passed (Luke, Stappy, Erfle/Bunnin) etc. they give notice and aren't stressed at all. I'll be nice too, but maybe we should all be nice about passing - and it'd all be easier if an attempt to walk over/through me wasn't made when the two Spin Sisters simultaneously dismounted right in front of me on the hill. Sorry, but there's the little side tangent.
Course was just a smidge short of 10km, with 283m of climbing, so 12 laps is ~120k and 3,400m of climbing – that makes a tough day on a mountain bike. Results are here.
Also Solstice results from yesterday are here.
Cindy did excellent on her 4 laps and was chipper post race. She rode almost all of the course and is now an official mountain biker. It makes me so happy to see her accomplishments, all while beaming smiles.
Also here's a subsequent edit - it didn't dawn on me until Craig pointed out (let's put it this way, not a lot is dawning on me in the 8h out there or the post race stupor!) that he and I were the only two who did both races with the Sunday solo. We like riding, and we like riding lots! That's cool. Craig you always motivate me to ride morebetter ; )