Wednesday, November 28, 2007

La Ruta Day 2

Day 2 was a new stage this year. So it was hard to get any inside information. I could tell there was going to be a lot of climbing as usual but it appeared that it was mostly paved. My legs felt a little stiff from yesterday and my shoulders were a little sore from the long downhill but otherwise I was feeling good.

As usual there is a long line to get your bike. The bike's are all in a jumble and you just have to hunt around until you find yours. This is one thing I feel they need to improve for future events. I finally find my bike and check it out. The bike wash guys did a great job and my chain is nice and lubed.

Where's my bike?

I take my time making it over to the start line. I don't want to get up front because I'll just get run over since I'm planning on running a casual pace today. The start goes off with a slight delay and we start off immediately on a huge, rocky climb. I'm breathing hard and sweating really bad. Not a good sign. We slowly gain some elevation and I start to warm up. This stage is only 46 miles and 8,000 feet or so of climbing. I reach check point 1 and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm riding more or less with Sean and Pineapple Bob is just in front of us.

I'm actually feeling really good as we hit the all the pavement. More steep climbs and I'm walking alot but I'm treating this stage like a recovery ride in force. More great views, more little towns and more people cheering for us. The rest of the check points go by with out much incident. I'm still feeling good and the bike is working great. I get to what I think is the last pavement climb and I'm pretty sure it's all downhill from here but then we take a left onto some rocky singletrack. It's nice being on the dirt again but I'm a little worried because I don't really remember seeing this on the map. We continue on the singletrack for a little while and it's starting to get really muddy again. Uh oh, this doesn't look good. We eventually pop out into a small clearing and I can see "The Wall of Mud" in front of me. This thing is a monster. It takes me nearly 20 minutes to get up it. My bike is starting to pack up with mud and I'm dragging it behind me up this thing. Every time I take a step forward I slide back 2 steps. Finally I get to the top and I had my bike to a kid that is helping us. I don't think he is part of the race, he just wanted to help. He says, only 1k to the finish, all downhill. Yeah, I've been hearing that shit all week. Everything is downhill and 1 k in Costa Rica :). We'll he wasn't too far off. It was all downhill but it was all mud. I can't even ride down it, it's more like surfing. At one point I slip and tweak my ribs on my barends and I have to stop a moment to catch my breath. Eventually we get off this mud hill and into the outskirts of San Jose. The finish is close I know it.

Finally I start to flags and the mall that we are finishing it. I sprint up the last little hill and roll in around 7 hours. I'm covered in mud again and my bike weighs 30 pounds I bet. I check to see how much brake pad I have left, about 50% and I figure that's good enough and I throw it in the pile of other dirty bikes. I feel sorry for the bike wash kids tonight. I take a cold shower and head back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for day 3. The Volcano.

My fans :)

Wall of Mud

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