It was a brisk 35 degrees as we started gathering for the start.
10 hearty souls from AZ, CA and France. Yes, France.
After some grub and banter it was time to go.
My loaner bike. Thanks John.
Shortly after this photo I came across Jonesy crumpled with his bike on the trail after taking a digger. Our conversation whet like this as he laid there and I rode by.
"Are you OK?"
"I'm just letting it wash over me."
Nuts - my kind of people.
Apparently the BLM needed to protect some habitat and did so with no regard to the trail.
There were quite a few fences to climb over, under, through.
Watch the barb wire.
Lift bike over. Lower and gently let fall and climb over. Repeat.
Chad contemplates beer and Munds Park.
Everyone made it to stage stop 1 save Rob who went to Munds for grub.
He eventually found us in the dark after adding an extra 20 miles.
Room with a view
The peaks from the base of which we started.
The crowd gathers for the show.
In the morning it was technical single track for breakfast.
Fortified with essential minerals.
This was to be the beginning of my undoing.
The sight of a littered Grenpeace hat was too much.
In reality I was having too much fun and neglected to start hydrating for what laid ahead.
I stopped at Buddha Beach to filter some water and eat a sandwich.
Red Rock State Park.
Should have filled here instead of Oak Creek.
The Lime Kiln trail was a force to be reckoned with.
Hot it was
The sand was cruel forcing you to even pedal downhill.
It was hot I was running low on water and started to fight muscle cramps around here.
I saw Tim at the BBQ place and followed his lead with a pulled pork sandwich.
Bad idea. My stomach did not agree and I spent the next few hours trying to keep it down.
I spent some time hydrating and stretching at the last stop.
I started the climb/hike up Mingus Mtn.
Mostly hike for me as my hands, muscles around my rib cage, toes and just about every imaginable muscle threatened to cramp.
I tried in vain to hydrate and replace lost minerals.
But I continued up the mountain.
I dug out the shuffle to help motivate me with some tunes.
Then I started doing the math. 5 more miles, 3 hours of pushing, it was 6:30, I was very dehydrated and then I saw Tony heading towards me.
I was done and I knew it.
I joined Tony and headed back to Cottonwood and ran into Lee who was still cranking it out and in good spirits. Half of the field had dropped before stage stop 2.
And like that it was over.
Tho we did spend some quality at the park in Cottonwood.
We made it back to Flag where I grabbed a roach motel and couldn't fall asleep until 2am.
In the morning I headed back to the valley where I was welcomed by my conciliatory prize.
This should assist nicely on my future endeavors.
Half of the field is still at it out there. Looks like they shacked up in Williams.
Nice job gents.
I didn't accomplish my goal of finishing but I had a good time, pushed my limits, learned a few things and got to ride bikes.