Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

24 Hours of Moab - Lap 2

I stopped at the tent, which was once again pitched, and handed off my bike to Rich. I had shot some CO2 intothe rear tube, about a mile and half before coming thyrough the Start/Finish area, because it was going soft. I figured I had a slow leak, so Rich changed out the tube for me as I ate...something (I don't remember what I ate) and put some more Fig Newtons in my jersey pocket.

I handed Carol the sleeves from my jacket, told her and Rich I'd need some pasta when I came around again, and headed out. I got onto the singletrack paralleling the road and tried to take it easy. Once again, the Needles climb seemed a lot easier than I remembered it. Of course, I had a bit of a tail wind, which sort of made up for the parts of the trail where I had a 40 mph headwind.

The only difficulty on the climb came at the same place I had a little bobble on the first lap. On both laps, I managed to drop my wheel into the same rut on a steep little rocky section, and slammed the bike down on its left side. The first time, I broke the bar-end extension on the left side of the bar. The second time, I hit my knee on the rock, and managed to knock one corner of my number plate loose. No big deal.

I continued up the climb and, at the top, was feeling a bit light-headed. So, I pulled off to the side, dug out some Shot Bloks and ate 3 or 4 of them. After drinking a few mouthfuls of water, I took off again. That was the point at which everything began to go south.

Not two minutes after eating, I noticed that my stomach felt a bit odd. Not long after that, I was into full-fledged stomach cramps and bloating. I actually had to unbutton my ZOIC knickers because my stomach was distended.

Still, I was cranking along in my middle ring, making pretty good time. Approaching the halfway point on the course, however, is a long straight, slightly downhill, section of doubletrack. Usually, I'm good for about 25 mph on this stretch. This day, however, that stretch coincidentally lined up with the wind and, without the protection of the hilly terrain on the Needles climb, the wind was hitting me directly in the face. Wind...and sand. And dust. And small mammals.
Let me tell you, 20 mph was pushing it, that day. I expended a lot of energy on a section which is usually a recovery period.
I went around behind Prostitute Bluff, down the hill covered with babyhead rocks and past the CamelBak Hydration Station. Then, on the final long climb before getting back to the start line, I shelled. My head was spinning, I had no power and my arms were so heavy I felt like I couldn't keep my hands on the bars. And, the wind! Well, you know what the wind was doing.

Finally, I got back to the Start/Finish and swiped out, then back in and headed for the tent.

You can see my number plate hanging askew from the slow-speed crash on the rock. (Again, notice the amount of dust and sand in the air!)

I was hungry and tired, but I was feeling pretty good about my performance, so far. That was soon to change, however.

NEXT: Lap 3!



At 9:07 PM , Anonymous red light green light said...


Come on man,
Don't leave us hangin... Sheesh....


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