This race almost didn't happen! First it sold out, but then LAS added Sunday. Then I got to visit cardio after an afib incident. Then Ken decided to taper by crashing his mountain bike on Friday, with frequent texts about his condition throughout Saturday.
We elected to try once more for the clear. I can never remember exactly where the stairs to #8 are, so in order seemed best for trek one.
Ken, with bruised/cracked? ribs didn't feel like running, so we took off a brisk walk and got rolled by most of the field. We were efficient but slow. Pretty tidy on this section, but it was on the easier side.
We got on the bikes, which is Ken's home, and he started ROLLING. I think we passed three teams just on the park road out to Kensington...which is not long.
We joined Yellow and started working towards the trailhead. A small piece of paper kind of looked maybe passport-ish, but at 12 mph+ it was hard to say. Ken thought the same. Maybe we should have been better sports and picked it up...
Ken dropped his chain, which his bike likes to do. It's an ancient 26" hard tail, that I think was $430 when it and Babe Ruth entered the national consciousness. Ken doesn't want to throw any money into the drivetrain while he shops for a faster steed. But he's pretty fast at getting it sorted and I can always use the rest.
Nearing the first bike o bingo, we saw Michelle running her bike backwards...it was her passport! At least we gave her a good location for it. That was a massive backtrack, sorry Michelle. :(
Jumped on blue, which was thankfully uneventful except for Wild Bill going about 18 mph backwards having missed #11 somehow on the climb. I missflipped my map so I had to adjust upon Badlands arrival, but not a huge time loss. We were efficient in getting TO the end of the two track at #12, but not efficient at....reading clues. I overshot, clomped around, read clue, Ken found it thankfully.
Zoomed out to #13, no problem.
Big pile of people staring at the road closure at #14. Having ridden through with BNM and Todd before, I knew to blow through, so we passed like five teams here I swear.
I relied heavily on Cooper-trained local knowledge, and got us to the JCP connector, then we did the optional points with two young guys hot on our heels.
Our second mistake was looming. We got to #19 pretty well, almost overshooting but noticing that the spur we were walking on was HUGE, and 19's wasn't, so we quickly swung out and got that one. But then I miscounted swamps, went to shortcut, was looking at the correct crossing, thought I was elsewhere and noped out, then we ended up at the trailer park like a huge chunk of the field, realized our error, got back on track, and then were pretty clean.
Back on the bikes, again local knowledge was handy, so you could sort of navigate by zone....#24 wasn't that specific place on the map, it was, go north after the houses, then take a few bends, and look down for the road, kind of thing. Same with the blue to yellow switch.
I swear I guessed #25 would be on the hilltop!
We got to TA3. I couldn't remember Steve's time suggestions / cut offs, but it seemed possible to clear, so we jumped in, hit the first two, and then portaged.
I almost screwed up here. Damn near forgot to get #28, but Ken reminded me before I shoved our boat off. PHEW!!
We were hot on the Nicholson heels, but they were always a turn ahead no matter what we did. Kind of perennially two minutes back.
We took out two minutes behind, they took off...we caught them at #32. They were faster, and got ahead to #33. As they left 33 and we headed in, we asked about their CP count...yes they had them all. Nuts!
There was not a lot of tricky points left to work with. We didn't even see them heading to #34. I took a non trail line to #35 hoping to catch up...it worked! But with only a 15 second earlier flag bag, we didn't have much to work with. We tried to hustle to 36, but they outran us. I couldn't get 36 without giving it away, so Tom got it with me, and then easily outran us to the bikes and we could not reel them in. Congrats, they did great.
Fourth ish overall? Adam, Pasty, Nicholson, Us, I think. Pretty solid all things considered!LiveLox