42.5km 890m ascent
And we're off! One might think a 42.5k day would be an easy lead in. Nothing about biking here is easy. The descent was sketchy. You have no idea what's around the next corner. Bus, washouts, construction, animals to whatever. The grades are cut at whatever a Mahindra jeep with a dozen guys in the back can drive/push it up. When we came around the back of the first climb, my bonk was intensifying. Started empty, got more empty as the day went, pedalled steady but not hard. Then saw the Himalaya in the morning sun for first time. No wonder people come here for a spiritual awakening - the Kathmandu water will empty you, the climb drains you, then in bonk mode I see the biggest mountains I've ever seen. And I think that front walk isn't even the mega deal mountains, but I've never seen something bigger, more majestic, and more intimidating in my life. It's absolutely awe inspiring. It's going to be hard. The downhill road through the valley was easy enough, just pedal on the down grade and avoid busses, then it was time for the last 6k up in the hot sun. Only it wasn't 6k, the distance didn't match the GPS. A minute up the climb and my odometer shows 42.5, and I look up and we're not even started yet. That's basically par for the course in these things, I used to get thrown a loop, now I chalk it up to constitution building. But I didn't have enough constitution to make it. The last climb crushed me. I just expired. Got the dehydration shivers, tried to maintain 3km/h. Staying hydrated is hard enough when you start hydrated. Eventually had to do a few stops even when I tried not to. I was hoping my bonk would bonk and leave me alone, but instead it just got me. Barely limped across the line, then had to lie down and get electrolyte drink. When I'm dehydrated and out of carbs with a belly not processing them my head gets emotional. You just feel so crushed. I kept telling myself I'm winning just by being here, and it helps, but it doesn't drown out the body's signals completely. Ger had a tough day too. Here's our post race. That's full chamois, no shower, no attempt at cleaning, crawl into bed. We were up so many times last night we both tired and drained.