“Behind every thing beautiful, there is some kind of pain”, Bob Dylan.
‘Ol Bob probably never thought his lyrics would crossover to mountain biking. Definitely applies here.
Breck Day#2. Ride Report.
Breakfast with the crew. We rolled out for our 8:30am start. The Sun was out. We were smiling and anxious for the day’s ride.
That would all change pretty quickly.
Mass start. ~600 or so mountain bikers starting at the same time, uphill. At least the road was paved road for the first mile or so. Some folks were in launch mode from the go. We were anxious but we were chatting. Spirits were good.
I made it onto the opening stretch of single track. A section of double track that was tight given there were lots of folks packed-in.
I bumped wheels with a fellow and had to put a foot down. Bums.
I made it 1.25 miles and then had to walk. Sounds about right. There were so many people on the trail, it was not possible to do anything other than smile and cheer folks on as they rode up this relatively easy section. Probably for the best now that I thing back.
Then the real climbs came.
The above photo was taken at mile 2 or 3, after climbing from the start. Gold Run Gulch road is the official name of this stretch of road, just under mile, averages 16%.
Sawmill Road followed the gulch at around mile 5. The locals also call this section Heinous Hill. Yeah, that seems about right. I’m certain I was using some special language of my own to describe this one.
I walked a good bit of that one. We took a hike-a-bike selfie with a Pam, a teacher from Chicago.
Lots of hike-a-bike.
We made lots of friends today. That’s the spirit of BreckEpic.
Mile 5.5 to 10ish, we finally got some descending in.
Kind of fuzzy for awhile. We road thru an area called Galena Ditch, which was a really narrow section of singletrack that (if I remember correctly) was part of a reservoir.
An aid station at mile 13. SNACKS. The volunteers were amazing.
A little more climbing, up out of the basin then at mile 15 (or so) that dropped into another section of twisty fun single track. Everyone was smiling again. There was a section of shutes, evidently where an old mine water runoff was, that was too good to not stop and ride again. Emily Magli was commandeered to take this cheeseball photo
Then the climb of the day, Colorado Trail climb. 2 miles at 10%. Oof. The entire climb was nearly 4miles and averaged 5%. The climb topped out at around 11,200′.
That one hurt.
Jena was on fire. She climbed like she had wings on her shoulders. Fatass here, took his sweet ass time, talking to basically anyone that was on the trail.
The Summit provided views that were amazing. It was a little chilly. We put our wind vests on, took one photo, and then off we went, 7 mile descent on-tap!
Moving this along. Aid station at mile 30 provided much needed food & water. We had been on the bikes for ~6 hours and were getting precariously close to missing our time cutoff.
*sidenote: finishers of the 6-day BreckEpic get a sweet belt buckle, this is our goal. Somehow finish, even if we have to crawl to day 6
You can see the motivation now. #BMF.
Jena and I decided to pick it up a notch, roll mode (LOL) for the last 10 miles.
About those last 10 miles…they hurt. More than half was climbing. Every time we thought we were done climbing, yes, more climbing.
We kept it together, and finished, just a hair under 8 hours. I have to give Jena credit, she managed to tow my ass in over those last 10 miles in a little over an hour. Surprisingly, we averaged close to 7.5mph for the remaining 8.5 miles or so.
Belt Buckle preserved.
We hustled back from the finish. Got a 12min creek dip in, during which time I ordered take out from a local mex joint. All the tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. We want them all.
Breck Epic Stage 3 is in 12 hours. Mt. Guyot. We go over the continental divide twice, 40+ miles with 5500′ of elevation gain.
Thanks for reading. Send us good vibes, we’ll need them.
Time for sleep.
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