Sunday, September 13, 2015

2015 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Part 4

I'm behind schedule for sub-10 hrs.

For reasons I can't define, I'm slower climbing Columbine. Slower than last year. Not to plan. It was the section from the base to the tree line, but I can assure you, no naps were taken.

Twin Lakes to Columbine

I'm d e

A welcome reprieve from the last 1hr:45min of high altitude climbing.

The smell, the sound, both familiar. 

Screeching brakes. Brakes pushed to the limit. Begging to cool down, if only for a few seconds.

That "slipping clutch" smell, for those fortunate enough to have grown up around abused manual transmissions.

"On Your Left!.....I'm coming around on your left!" he yelled. I thought to myself, there's enough room for one bike on my left, and it's currently occupied by racers trudging up.

I'm descending the goat trail, having just left Columbine aid station, en route to Twin Lakes aid station inbound.

The rider behind me, convinced I'm not descending fast enough, is trying to pass me. Maybe I wasn't descending fast enough, but I was descending as fast as my skill set and self preservation awareness allowed. There are only 2 lines in this particular area, and I'm not leaving mine so Danny Downhiller* can exercise his descending prowess.

I said nothing, focusing on the task at hand.

Danny wasn't having it. 

He's convinced there's an opening.

I know this, due to the "b-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-p" sound coming from the spokes on the left rear of my bike.

I feel Danny turning into my bike. Danny yells an expletive. Danny hits the surface of the rock strewn goat trail with a sound not unlike a sack of potatoes, tossed in the driveway..............from a 10-ft. step ladder.  

Not once did I see Danny. Not once did I even try to look back, not from apathy, but fear of suffering the same fate as Danny Downhiller. I hope his injuries were superficial. And I hope Danny finds safer places to pass. 

The remainder of the descent was non-eventful. I did see a rider lying on the roadside, receiving attention from EMS. Not a good sign. 

Columbine to Twin Lakes

At 5hr:45min of racing, I roll back into Twin Lakes. Cynthia refuels me. Mark strips me of my arm warmers, and gives me a strong shove-off.

I'm on my way to the singletrack.

Inbound on the Singletrack 

Bitch hill was just that. I work my way through the forest road double track en route to the Pipeline section. I hit Pipeline aid station on a solid pace.

Twin Lakes to Pipeline Aid Station

The wind is blowing hard, it's hot, and I'm on the flatish section back to Powerline. I have a couple of opportunities to ride with a group and do my best to help. I can't hang with the last group and find myself solo. Less than optimal.

I'm still drinking and eating on schedule, but today's temperature is hurting my performance. 

At 7hr:19min of racing, I find myself at the base of Powerline.

This climb, it hurts me. For the 3rd consecutive year. 

It hurts me.

 *Not his real name. No idea who he was.

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