26 October, 2014

Bull Mtn Enduro weekend

I had forgotten the creek runs adjacent to the cabins and camping spots. As soon as the engine was off I heard it. I've gotten the therma rest filled with air. It's 11 pm and I'm having a FFOH as a nightcap before turning in. 6+ hours travel time is tiring but I'm wide awake. Didn't sleep much last night and I'm usually ready to sleep by 10.

So much has happened in the last weeks. I've pushed through the pain of flareups and worked hard to do my training program.  missed almost an entire week but got on the trainer when the trails were wet. Many have ridden anyway and even been out at night. 

I'm anxious and concerned about Saturday. I want to make it to the start in time. After that I can do the first stage and attempt the next. 

I met up with Bruce of ProGold last night at Eva Bandman. I've known him a couple of years and we talked quite a bit last year at MTB Natz in PA. I told him if I'd known he was coming he could've stayed in my house for the weekend. oh well. things always workout the way they should. 

He asked if I was coming to Bull MTN with Brian and I said nope I was traveling solo. He seemed surprised and concerned about that. I honestly don't understand why people have that response with women but not men. like I can't take care of myself? give me a break. But I digress. He told me about this secret ride in GA said it's really hard but a big party and if I wanted to do it I'd have to send a letter of intent. so for shits and giggles I did. seriously doubt I'll do it. I first need to ride that climb tomorrow (Friday) and race on Saturday. If my legs and privates hold up I'll decide then whether I'm going to ride Bear Creek and Pinhoti 1&2 or do the one stage of the secret stage race. I'm thinking the former due to drive time and the fact that it's convenient to Mulberry gap. 

Arrived at Bull Mtn about 1:30 and parked under a tree. It was an interesting day. I talked to the promotors and got a map. The course was semi flagged but I missed a turn. Was still good to get out and ride, felt better about it but still nervous. I'm just not a climber and this needs to be corrected. 

Cleaned bikes and had Grilled GF pizza for dinner and some interesting conversation. it didn't get as cold as the night before at MG. I slept from 9:30-1 and woke up and didn't fall back to sleep until 5. just added to the challenge of the day. 

The climb to the start of stage one was tough. But I made it in about 1:20 or so. My Garmin didn't record the first two miles. Asthma at the top depleted oxygen in my muscles. it was a 30 minute wait to start and this I was thankful for.  I was the last to start stage one. I only saw one other racer the rest of the race because he had a flat then he passed me. I had a blast on the stage except for the first creek crossing. The transition to stage two was another gradual climb with a few steep sections thrown in. Stage two was fun but more pedally than I expected. i rode 15.5 miles in about 3.0 hours. You had to be at start of stage four by 3:30. And I just didn't think I had what it took to ride another 15 miles and make the cutoff. Hopefully next year. it's a great course and event. Sad only two women entered. But they gave me swag so that was cool. 

Waited (napped) for Brian to finish and the results to be posted. He did a great job out there. I left and drive back to Mulberry Gap. Arrived in time for a shower before dinner. they had bicycle rides in the barn following dinner on these little tiny bikes. Fun stuff. 

There was a group of women there from Alabama and other places to ride for the weekend.  Grace was one of the ride guides and invited me to join them. I did. my legs were toast. It wasn't exactly the recovery ride I should've done but heck I was in the mountains so you have to climb. Cramps were not much fun but was so nice riding with 14 other women. 

6+ hour drive home kicked my butt even more. 

So many things I will journal about that I won't put here. Somethings make mecrazy  mad and others just make me sad. But end of today I am grateful for every moment, experience and conversation. 

too tired to write a better report. 

peace and love to everyone 

p.s. I had to ask him to, but Brian took this photo and the email subject line said, "Don't look so excited". nice  Everyone else was in front of me even though it looks like I'm alone. Just last.

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