I sweat buckets walking to dinner. Every time I'm out of the shade, the sun just feels like its assaulting me it's so strong. I'm feeling decently put together, although two of the Mexicans were standing in the sun wearing dark colored sweatshirts and chatting which was a stark contrast to me lying in the grass in the shade dripping my bottle on my head.
We woke up for a solid breakfast, then took busses to the start. I've never had this happen before - you know when you're searching for 10 minutes every stage race morning for your bike somewhere in the racks of 550 bikes? Well today I was walking toward the racks, and I'm like 15 yards out and I see #10 three rows in clear as day. Amazing! Did a little warmup in the shade, but exposed sun was already stinking hot.
I've stuck to second group. I consider it a win/win. There's some 50 year old Italian guy on a 18lb carbon hardtail that drills it off the start on the gravel roads, then can't do singletrack. It's like the perfect launch.
The trails today are in the old forests so plenty of shade. Nearly all technical singletrack. Rooty, rocky, but swoopy and flowy too. It's like I'd died and gone to heaven. The Pivot eats that stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hour after hour, this was just amazing riding. I had a completely awesome day. Open throttle all day. Food went in so easy. Kept drinking. Kept passing* - probably 75 people!
I'd negotiate, and people I knew would let me by. Some didn't. One guy told me to not bother cause it was a hike a bike section... I passed in the rough, and said there wasn't any hike a bike in BCBR ; )
Last section had a road and gravel stretch through town in the heat. My legs just kept turning. I put some electrolyte pills in my Gu blocks package, and meant to dole them out separately, but I ended up chewing them with the gummies. Note that's a surprising taste sensation on the trail, not recommended. They helped a lot though once washed down.
I wish I could bottle it up and always ride like that, man life feels good when you have juice.
So my goals for the day were to improve on yesterday, and catch Trish who was 3 minutes up, which I thought I had a chance of on a 3h dose of flatter technical. I made one of my goals, I was 29th instead of 30th. I was behind Trish at the finish. My energies all went to paying the stupid tax on going off course instead of making forward progress. Kind of ballpark I think maybe a 2:50 was in me without the detour then all the riders to go through, but that's moot. If there was ever an area to do a bonus lap - this was it. Such awesome trails. My heaven would have this and powder skiing galore, plus maybe an uninhabited Baja and a buggy... but I digress.
Camp again is roasting. It's not just me who's sensitive to heat. The big open field has nobody in it. Medical tent, bear's den, trees, cars, building shade are all packed with people. Crossing the field, people walk from one shade to the other. Except when I filled my bottle at the finish line area later and some Mexican lady came in with her lipstick in tact, beaming smiles about the day, and wearing armwarmers and knee warmers. She's a hottie... but apparently doesn't feel the heat. It's just so amusing/baffling to behold how they're basically impervious to the heat.
Trish was 3rd again, and looked pretty fresh at finish. In the 4h since race, I've had three bananas, 2.5 bottles, a savory chorizo, spinach and mushroom crepe, and "AJ's kickass burger" with yam fries. Nap time!
* wait a second Bakke, so if you passed 75 but started behind 50 didn't you win? nope! so early on I was following an Aussie who dropped back from the first group for whatever reason. We bunny hopped a log and kept riding. Turns out it was the wrong trail. But it had pink ribbons - we kept our eyes out for those on the descent. Until we hit a traverse where riders from one of the last groups were going by. We hauled ass back uphill. At the slower uphill speed I could see the pink ribbons had the logo of some other event, looked like a local race. He estimated we were off by 10 mins in total which I agree with. We re-entered behind the group that was 2 after us, although only went through a few of their lead riders, then the whole 50 person group that was the wave after us.