midnight100ride mtb report
Well, I'm having a difficult time w/ a ride report. I've stepped away from the weekend and have gotten (unfortunately) lost in my head of worries. So I feel slightly removed from the ride, as well as the weekend. Which is remarkably disappointing because the weekend (a whole report in and of itself) was a practice in moment-by-moment bliss for me.
(Photo courtesy of Ed Ellinger).
Our Friday Night/Saturday ride: I was worried going into it that my body was going to fail. Worried about back/hip issues, worried about leg fatigue. I was also worried that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew damn well I could get 50 miles out. Did I know I could make it 50 miles back in ... especially given anything that might go wrong w/ back/hips?
12am: I was delighted to find that the Mary's loop section started off so insanely smooth for me. I felt like I was going a GOOD AND SMART pace. And to top it off, my heart rate remained nice and mellow. I was surprised to find that my legs felt great. I was surprised to remember how much I like riding in the dark. There were a few little techy sections that knocked me out of my flow ... which slowed me down and rendered me clumsy. But other than that: I felt like we were ROLLIN'.
230am: Rabbit Valley was renamed White Rabbit, Wabbit World, and Rabbit Heaven. Ed said I had permission to name it anything I wanted. White Rabbit seems to have stuck. (I have no idea why I couldn't get this straight in my head that day). Heading from White Rabbit: I couldn't understand why my legs were feeling good. My head was feeling something else tho. I felt really strange. Despite being able to find my way through the maze of trail/road, I felt like I was falling down the Rabbit Hole (HAHAHAH ... I just now put that together). No seriously: I started getting weird. My chest started hurting, and I was worried that despite the goodness of my legs ... that something was wrong with me. I have no idea what it was. It stuck w/ me all the way to the top of that stupid steep climb. This section (minus the hike) was fast (well, for me), but I was fighting demons.
In the midst of the demon hours, winding down the dark snaky road ... we stopped. I turned off the light and turned my gaze OUT south east (left). The pale moonlight was spilling so quietly into all of the towering canyons, reflecting faintly off the massive cliffs far, far off in the distance. The stars were glittering en mass above. It was H U G E outside.
It was just a moment, but it was one of my favorites. Despite the desire to really roll and keep a decent pace, I just wanted to take a few moments to BE IN the surroundings.
Top of that stupid hill: The Moon was a pale insanity, slowly sliding down the West Wall of the Universe. I turned off my light and watched her slip. Her light was a pale creamy yellow, and it was a blessing of light compared to the blare and glare of the headlamp light. Ed fixed his brake. I ate something (which was like choking down rocks). I started to get chilled, and we headed out.
4am to the pavement: More head-funk. I started asking the universe to make the sun rise earlier than 620 ... please-oh-pretty-pretty-please!!!! I needed to SEE more than I was seeing, and I needed those insane hours to go the hell away. I hardly remembered this section of the trail from the previous ride in the area, so I was a clumsy fool tinkering all the way down to the road.
When we hit the road, I was confused: Gawd, wasn't' the sun supposed to be up by now? Apparently not.
When we hit the Westwater turn off: gee, isn't the sun supposed to be up by now? Apparently not.
We had 10 miles West to Roll in order to reach the 50 mile mark. My light went out. It was fun to ride in the dark, and try and silently follow Ed's light. The first blessings of the light of dawn were about 10 minutes out ............. and I think I enjoyed those 10 minutes, deeply.
We stopped at mile 51. I had some major warming up to do on my feet. Even though the light was spilling onto our world, the SUN was not up. I was surprised we made our 50 mile mark before the Sun Rise (at 620).
We turned around and headed back into the true Sun Rise. The miles back to Westwater might have been my favorite. For some wicked reason my legs were feeling ON (despite the fact that I said to Ed that they weren't. It was not a lie: they were just so cold I couldn't tell how they felt). Riding out front, the View was Glorious. The land spread out before us, the light seeped into the valleys and across the meadows/desert.
The last 3 miles down into the Westwater turn off: hands off the bars, arms spread wide like wings, flying through the fresh new day. I was happy.
We stopped at the ranger station to get some water: someone was cooking bacon.
We tried to explore a moto trail: we turned around.
A couple of friends sped by in their car, on their way into a "shuttle day". We stopped to chat. There were a LOT of smiles.
We decided to opt for single track for the ride back. We hit RIM something, and it was FUU UUUU UUUUNNNNN to be on single track again. But I started feeling really tired. I also stopped eating anything really solid. I was eating, but I should have choked down more pb&j. Big mistake on my part. I slowed WAY down.
THEN............ OMG, then........... we started seeing people. I had suddenly realized that Ed and I had the entire world to ourselves out there all night, and all morning. I started messing up on some of the techy stuff ... I nailed my knee, failing to nail a ledge. And I broke down a little. Ed scooped me up a little ways down the trail and made me smile inside. (That was new to me. Very sweet).
Back at White Rabbit. Ate a nanner, stretched the hamstrings (should have done that 20 miles ago) ... headed into the head wind. Ed pulled. What a guy.
FINALLY ran into our friends who were doing the shuttle. They seemed happy.
We saw a dead cow next to a big water hole.
We hit the top of the road, and happily descended onto the rough, dirt trail.
Climbing up Troy Built .... Sucked. I had to walk, which was a practice in humility. Practice practice practice. Damn.
Ed was at the top, waiting .......... and i got a KISS!!!! I am so lucky!
Descended onto the road that led back to the car.
130pm Saturday: Hit the cars. Mileage: 99.8. Immediately turned around and rode out the remainder of the 100.
I think it took both of us a WHOLE 1.5 minutes of beer + chair to completely fall asleep in the parking lot.
And that day and ride, my friend, was Bliss.
Is that a ride report?