Toast. Cooked. Cracked. Gassed. Shattered. Today I got to experience this firsthand: panting, legs burning, dull brain, feeling like I’m giving everything but the output is a trickle, a mile is a forever, a water bar feels like a three foot step-up, and I am spent!
Stage six had us going up and over Gold Dust on wiggly single-track, descending to the valley in a moss covered ditch that felt like riding a bobsled run, climbing a fire road back up Gold Dust, then a single track descent home. I was lackluster on the first climb but the fun terrain made up for my missing oomph. I felt like a rabbit dropping into the valley, but then was passed by one of my competitors making me wonder how fleet of wheel I really was. On the final climb, I was slipping back. The headwind was not helping but Dean and JP caught me in pace line formation and urged me to grab on. With tunnel vision to the wheel ahead of me (and JP’s prosthetic leg – so cool! He’s an Afghanistan Vet) I dug as deep as I could, but try as I may I just couldn’t hold on. The will to go harder was there but the tank was dry. I had slipped back to fourth position on the day but my effort would maintain my overall standing. Head down, put calories in, keep turning the pedals, get er’ done… that’s just what I did.
Finally, atop Gold Dust the second time, I was greeted with PBR and a raucous seven mile descent to reboot my energy. Ripping down root covered chutes and plowing along running creeks it felt like I hadn’t pedaled over 250 miles over countless mountain passes in the past six days. Elated, I hit the finish line and joined the riders sharing their glee at completing the Breck Epic. What a ride! What an adventure. Holy cow that was a huge undertaking. I loved it. I’m going to take a day off biking. Okay, maybe two. When do I get to do this again?