Thursday, August 13, 2015

Breck Epic Stage 5 - Wheeler Trail

Fuggin A! I feel like i have been beaten by a bag of baseballs. Today hurt all over. It started, of course, with a little warm up.

Innocent enough, eh? The legs were feeling a bit weak on the way to the start. Today's start was time trial style in groups of 10. The groups were based on the previous day's finishing times. A number of the people in the group were familiar since i have been ding donging back and forth with them for the entire race and finishing with similar times. At go time, it was straight climbing up Breckenridge Peak 9. It was primarily single track so there were roots and rocks to negotiate. After 3 miles of climbing, we came to a turn that took us briefly up a gravel service type road which was not at a devastating pitch leading us To Wheeler Pass and 12,000+ ft. The road of coursed ended too quickly and turned to Jeep/ATV road. Just grinding till about 4.5 miles when the terrain forced folk off the bike and the b(h)iking began. This is after climbing about 1,000 ft of elevation

One does jump on the bike briefly and get about 50 ft before it is just too much. As you can see there is a string until a bit of a summit. Trudge, trudge, and on it goes until some more nice sites.

Such a teaser since we were able to jump on the bike and ride a bit on top until forced off the bike and back to climbing. Eventually the summit was topped and there was bacon to be had. A shining beacon in the dark times. We made it over the first of the 12,000 ft passes. The descent was rocky, sketchy, scary, and brutal. There were many spots that i stepped off the bike since I wanted to see my kids another day. This trail took us back into rooty and rocky trees at about 10,600 ft and then we got to climbing again. Up, off the bike, just hiking and pushing the bike until that second effing peak was slain. Hating on it, yo. After cresting that peeg, i had to start walking down because the trail was way above my skill level. Walking the bike down what was just walked up was a curb stomp to the day. Getting off the bike to negotiate big, rocky terrain and getting on until the next obstruction. Eventually the descent, once again, is just a white knuckle session on the rear brakes with light taps on the front for a brief second that there is nothing to negotiate. This lasted a number of miles and the arms were just hammered into mush. Bam! Rock, rock, rock, root, root, root, rock...relentless. The second aid station was finally reached at mile 14 or so...3 hours into the race. I got a water bottle filled with the magic powder and headed out. 9 miles to go. Went flying thru some more bouncy down hill and after a mile, looked for my bottle and Poof! it had disappeared. Rats! I did have water in the Camelback so that was fortunate. The trail was rooty and traversed the mountain back to Breckenridge. There were some ups and downs but the end was always in sight and when that finishing line was crossed, i felt utterly destroyed. Still do. The ride was only 23 miles but there was 5200+ feet of climbing stuffed into that...and descending! Oof! Gonna get a compression session on the legs and then take some hot tub time. Word!

Tomorrow is the last stage so bring it and then I will cross the XC stage race off the list. This race has really sucked the competitive desire out. Me just want to chill, grow older and get phat! Oh, and fish, fishing is all good with me.

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