Monday, April 23, 2007

Kokopelli Recon, Day 3 – Dewey to Moab

Before I jump into the gory details of the ride I have to say how great it was to spend time with Lynda, her family, and Dave Harris over the course of three days. I stayed in Fruita solo but I met up with them in the mornings to ride. After spending Sunday with the two of them it is easy to see why they make such a great race team. Between the hilarious smack talk and the way they feed off of each other during big efforts, the chemistry between them is obvious. These two are going to rock the BC Bike Race.

So Lynda and Dave invited me to join them for the big ride from Dewy to Moab on Sunday which is 64 miles and about 10,000’ of climbing. I think I was more nervous about this particular ride than for any race I did all last season. All of the pressure was self-imposed but I respect the fact that they were there to recon for KTR as well and I did not want to hose it up. We agreed that if I was slowing them down they would ride ahead and we would meet up in Moab where Lynda’s truck was parked but I really didn’t want to impact their ride or make them wait. I was never the first one to the top of a climb but at least they weren’t having a picnic when I got there.

I think every truly memorable ride includes a low moment where I question whether I can continue and during Sunday’s ride I had two of them. Both of them came at surprising times. I knew about the big climb on dirt up to Beaver Mesa. So in my brain, once I knocked this motha’ out I was home free…I was so wrong. I knew we had another big climb but it is on friggin pavement. How hard can that be? Ha! If you add a brutal headwind, snow (I am not kidding), and the fact that you have been riding for a very long time already, you have the ingredients for my little personal purgatory. At one point I could see Lynda and Dave in the distance happily spinning along and I was killing myself to pedal DOWNHILL, in my middle chain ring, on pavement. As I looked up the road a bit I could see the pavement continue to climb way, way up the mountain and that was low moment #1. I didn’t want to climb anymore. I had a little talk with myself, called my self a few names out loud that I won’t repeat, took in some calories, and all of this seemed to help. Once we finally crested the paved climb we turned off onto the dirt descent into Moab. I love descending…when I can feel my hands. My fingerless gloves were not so sweet in the snow and wind and my fingers were about useless for braking and steering. Instead of enjoying the rocky downhill I just wanted to get warm and I almost pulled over and built a fire. That was low moment #2.

This was the most scenic day by far and I could have looked around a bit more but, as David Byrne says, “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.” There is so much to think about before the KTR regarding water, lights, pacing, clothing, etc. I am sure I will have more thoughts once the past three day’s events have sunk in a bit. Right now I need to go find more food.

Dave hates a squeaky brake

You thought I was kidding about the snow?

The end.


Grizzly Adam said...

It's going to be tough on Race day, but i like the direction change so far. The terrain is much more interesting on the Moab half, makes for a better distraction for the pain :)

Lynda Wallenfels said...

Good times. I don't remember waiting around much for you but I do remember the smack you put down on Sand Flats Road! Impressive finish :-)