It started with a pretty good climb, but the day was sunny and the road was certainly ‘rideable’ (a word which, when they used it in later stage briefings only made me laugh). And then we were rewarded with a super fun ride down a trail called Porky Blue, a 1000m vertical descent over about 8km. I felt strong! I felt fast! I even felt moderately skilled as we made our way past slower riders!
It was amazing to have him on the trip with us. I can’t imagine, actually, how we would have coped without him. We would come in each day, late, tired and filthy and Tony would grab our bikes, send us off to the showers and just take care of all the required maintenance. Each morning Bea (my bike) would be clean and ready to go. Fantastic.
The strongest, bestest partner I could have asked for. I knew she would drag me over the Continental Divide and she did. I’d do this race again, but only with her. And I promise her that next time I’ll improve my bike pushing skills.
Strangely, this day goes on my list of the best and the worst parts of TR. We rolled out of Etherington Creek on a pretty nice Wednesday morning. They first half of the day was gorgeous and sunny and between the Grass Pass and Sullivan Pass climbs there were beautiful views and lots of fun trails. We even stopped to take a look at the scenery at one point. This was the kind of riding I had expected – challenging, but possible. We hooted and hollered and youpie’d our way to checkpoint 2.
I already knew the fabulous Jill Homer, but I also got to meet:
The TR folks really had their shit together. This was not an inexpensive bikecation and I appreciated the good and plentiful food (with the exception of Rafter 6 camp), the super nice people, the well marked course, the fact that all the details were accurate and in place all of the time. Kudos to them for putting together a great event.
The beginning of this stage was frustrating because we got caught up in a group trying to ride singletrack and people ahead of us kept getting off on the downhills and then riding faster than I could on the uphills. But once we got to the Nordic Centre in Canmore we were pretty much alone and we could enjoy the swooping, fun trails. We rode (as I recall) Killer Bees, EKG, Orchid Trail, and Georgetown Trail. And then of course it was awesome to get to the finish line. Tony and Ben had apparently just ordered some food and weren’t expecting us, but when I saw them hanging over the finish chute I actually thought they were completely prepared for our arrival and had just come out a little further to greet us.