Day #7 - Leaving Helena


Trying to get your head around this race is impossible. Completing a 100-mile mountain bike ride or race would be a major accomplishment for most cyclists. And if the same cyclists did a big ride that included 3000 feet of climbing, they would likely consider this a challenging outing. (John says he climbed 7880 ft yesterday!) Imagine doing this one day and thinking about doing it for another 20. It almost seems like too much for us mere mortals (the guys leading this race are indeed preternatural.... the bastards!.... riding 200 miles/day at 17 mph, climbing fast and then sleeping four hours.... Really?)

So today was NOT a great day for John. He awoke exhausted this morning after going to bed too late. He said he was nearly in tears from knee pain just riding to the bike shop for repairs. And his achilles are bugging him too. Crap. (I had hoped that his built-like-a-brick-shit-house body would be bomber for this race). I suggested lots of stretching (which he said he had not been doing.... yikes!)

After waiting for the bike shop to open and for the needed repairs (a new chain and replacement for another blown bag), he didn't leave Helena until nearly noon, with modest plans. And perhaps not that excited for the huge climb that rose before him right out of town. He is not going to try to make it to Butte, rather is sleeping outside Basin tonight.

His evening reflections were grim. "My attitude was all over the place. There isn't a lot of joy in this race. Just constant toil. The wear and tear is pretty overwhelming." Shucks. And he knew how mental this race was going to be.

I asked him a question I hadn't asked yet: Why are you doing this? What is its purpose for you? He said his old notions are all out the window.

If you are FB friends and can share any words of wisdom or encouragement, please do so. Thanks! I am hoping that a long night's sleep will help.


That color oughta lift his spirits!







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