Matt and I got to the venue at 4ish Saturday. We took a 45 minute cruise, checked out the first hill, then ate some free dinner.
Asleep at 945pm.
Awake at 1030pm. Pouring rain. Buckets. Lots of rain.
Awake again at 445am.
Bucket of coffee. Peanut butter, bagel, air pressure etc.
The line up at 615.
No gun, no announcements. Just "Go"
Insanity ensues as 500 people fly down double track.
First climb goes ok. I make the group of "mortals" and watch the fast dudes ride away. They are so fast it is insane.
Second climb is singletrack and like 99 miles long. I realize that I am as wet as I would be if I had gone swimming. Humid to say the least. I push. No literally push, like off of my bike. People around me push too. Crazy descent. Get passed.
Third climb is a dirt road. It is so crazy long. I cant explain how steep and long it was. Like 8% for an hour or something.
Spk Speedgoat guys specialize in flatting then beating me, so Gorski comes up on me after changing his flat and rides through me.
We crest the climb strung out, but all in sight. I flat on the descent.
My arms were too tired to change the flat. It literally takes me 20 minutes to change it. 20 f'ing minutes to get the tire back on. My fingers wouldnt work, and my arms cramped when I pushed on the bead. Yes I had levers too.
It was really neat to see the difference between the group I was in and the group 20 minutes back. I suck at descending. With the new hole in my lip, I was especially cautious. I was riding through guys. Weird.
5 miles of pavement. Just picking guys off.
4th climb was long singletrack. I was taking it easy, being chatty and just riding my own ride.
An hour later we start the 16 mile climb. "The LAST FIVE MILES are steep" was what everybody would say. That is a ridiculous statement. I just went at my own pace and caught a good 15 people or so, including the race promoter who got to participate, which is awesome for him.
The 16 mile climb was the easiest. It was awesome. The aid station at the top had coke. I was stoked.
I rode with some of the WV guys, of whom at least 1 flatted, we cruising along and picked people off.
More GNARLY descending. Not stoked. Pushed it a bit too much.
Caught a few more guys at the last aid station. 1 climb to go. I ride my own pace and come in for 42nd or something.
Ride time 8:40
Clock time 9:10
Cannonball run home to get Matt to the airport. 5 hours, 1 stop.
1300 miles driven.
56.3 mpg average for them all.
93 dollars in gas for 1300 miles. That would be like 225 dollars cross country.
PA, NJ, MD, WV, VA, all touched.
Right around 26 hours of good riding in 8 days.
Places hit in order:
Roaring run, Bavington State Game lands, Frick Park, Tussey Mountain ridge, Rothrock State forest, Salisbury State park, Jacobsburg state park, Shennendoah.
Apparently Krall has a redline conquest scandium cross bike for me in his apartment to race around in circles in the fall. Awesome.
Iron Cross Long: yes
Pics coming when matt uploads them.