Never-the-less, I hopped into Peaches' truck with the Keg Breaker and Tough Cookie, and we left a trail of plaid as we followed Papa Smurf, L-Web, and Jeb in Spaceball One. On the ride down, we were treated to the Howard Stern and the Losers version of Court of the Crimson King, and my worries began to melt away. "This will be fun" I told myself, and I didn't know how right I would be.
At the start, racers jumped the gun and surrounded the lead moto that was supposed to pace the peloton to the first dirt road.The next morning we awoke to a soggy camp, made some coffee and drained the bowels in the Airstream's luxurious facilities. We lined up, and the bearer of the bullhorn inadvertantly let us off the line. 500 racers jockeying for the holeshot in a 100 mile race - hilarious and unnecessary.
After a mile or two, I found myself next to No-Nickname-Nick. We talked it out and decided to ride together as long as possible. Turns out this was huge for me as I bent my chain at mile 18 and NNN helped me jury-rig it to make it to the checkpoint at mile 30 for a chain replacement. We both lost a little time to L-Web, Buddy, and Peaches who were riding together as it took about 20 minutes to get the whole thing sorted out.
But along we went. I was smiling a good portion of the time. Save for the bench-cut climb at mile 50 to the descent to Breyley's pond. That was a nice hike a bike and possibly the warmest it got that day. A nice descent brought us to Papa Smurf and Katie at CP#4. A Coke and a PopTart later, and we were rolling, ready to tackle the 20 mile climb to CP#5.
This race was amazing. In many ways easier than I expected, though still demanding. I'd love to do it again and shoot for a better time. 11:32 included the broken chain and a little bit of waiting. 10.5 hour seems do-able. Sub 10 with a little more fitness. On top of that, major props to Chris Scott and his crew who put on the best event I have ever attended. It clicked like clockwork; all you had to do was ride your bike and eat their food.
The DCCofD / SHT had a great showing. Blair finished 11th overall, Jeb finished sub 10 hours. L-Web beat all of the men. We all finished and it was beautiful.