Tahquitz 4hr. Really good day on the bike.
I started in the middle of the pack at the start with Jerry and that was a mistake. I could not even see the trail for the first half of the lap! Dust storm and dangerous. Next time I need to get up front for safety and save me from the ~35 people I had to surge around. Finally got sight of a group out front and Derek was towing a group of about 9 guys behind him. I could not believe how awesome I felt at 7,000ft!! When we hit the meadow I just rode through the grass and stood until I passed the entire line. That right there was the race. Gassed but recovering quickly on these "small" climbs and descents. Fished the first lap just getting around another handful or riders including Brandon. Kinda wondering if I should have held back... 40min
Next lap was way better because I only had John Noble in front of me and we rode by another few rides before I finally got around him towards the end of the lap . Powered it by a couple more guys at the end and then didnt see anyone. 40min again.
Third lap I was in cruse mode. Feeling so good and flowing on the trail like last week. FUN! I kept pushing the climbs but I was only seeing lap riders. 41min including stopping for aid.
Fourth lap I made another mistake. I didnt know someone setup a table right before ours and it looked exactly the same. I grabbed someones bottle thinking it was water...yuk. Not realizing until I finished the lap I figured I left something in my water bottle that spoiled. It was sour and after one sip I just did not drink a single drop the rest of the lap. That would come back to hurt me. It was not until I was finishing that lap and went back to the same table and was looking like "who put all their crap on our table" when Mo yelled at me..."Slater what are you doing at that table". Doh!! Explains a few things! Got some clear water and started pounding it as fast as possible. 43min. This was the hardest lap because of dehydration but also started doing the math for 4hr finish time. Unless I was going sub 40 I would not make a 6th lap which was fine by me at this point.
Fifth lap just rode strong trying to recover and suck up the dry mouth. I would have loved a water bottle on the course but I just pushed through and managed to finish 2nd overall. The leader, Stefano Barberi, some pro dude way out front. Hard effort and felt great but my legs are getting a solid load. Stoked to ride through the pack! That was fun. Stating out in front next time!