Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I spat on my front tire

This story has no point. 

So I’m just riding along today playing hooky from work and going to a yoga class.  Actually, my employer provides the yoga class—two bucks per class.  You can’t pass up a bargain like that. 

So it’s not really hooky if my employer provides the class for me, but calling it hooky introduces some intrigue to an otherwise boring story.  And since I’ve already told you this story goes nowhere I’ve got to do something to spice it up.  Look, nobody’s making you read this.  So when you get to the end and you’re disappointed don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I write about things I think about when I ride my bike.  This is one of those things. 

So anyway, I’m just riding along to yoga class when, for no explainable reason, I do something I haven’t done in twenty years. 
Diamond back viper
I spat on my front tire. 

When I was younger I used to cruise around on my BMX bike—it was a polished chrome Diamond Back Viper and it was AWESOME—to the 7-Eleven for a Big-Gulp, to Go-fer Foods for a pack of Big League Chew, to baseball practice, to the gravel pit, wherever really, I didn’t care.  I just liked to ride my bike.  

And sometimes I liked to spit on my front tire.  I did this often enough that I remember it some twenty years later. 

I liked to watch the spittle hit the front tire and fling forward from the rotation of the wheel.  I thought it was a cool thing to do in 1984.   

OK, I’m not afraid to admit it.  I still think it’s cool in 2008.   

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Help me interpret Maria's dream

The next entry in Maria’s journal is a dream she had.  I present it here in its entirety.   

Dream- Scary, fearful.

I was at home and all of a sudden some cats started appearing in my house, I had been wanting a cat so I thought it was meant to be how one just shoed up but then a hole bunch more started showing up and 2 of them had these weird plastic homing devices on their heads and one cat had 6 ears, then I knew something was not right, then all of a sudden this malicious old couple showed up and they were trying to play games with me to spook me just for fun.  I kept trying to do everything to get rid of them, they kept reappearing, finally I got rid of them, then a different one appeared, I somehow got rid of him, I went to Lonnie for help on how to get rid of him he told me just focus on becoming a wolf and showing them your teeth and that you are not giving into fear and chase them away. 

[She notes in the margin:  They are just energy balls, they can’t hurt me False evidence appearing real.]

Then I was in this office building where Marcel and Darla worked.  Darla left a free pass for me to come see a show I went and decided to lie down for a minute and woke up the next morning with people—1 guy looking at me funny. 

So what does it mean?  Send your interpretation in a comment.  The best commenter wins a long sleeve Diet Mountain Dew T-shirt. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Scenes from my commute

Some pictures I’ve taken while commuting over the last few days. 

Now is one of two periods every year (spring equinox is the other) when the sun aligns perfectly with Salt Lake’s east/west running streets, making cyclists even harder to see.  Use extra caution—all of you. 

Climate change is scary

Climate change is scary-better ride a bike.


Shoes are turning up in the power lines in Salt Lake’s west side again. 


There’s a new shared lane for bikes and cars in downtown SLC.  Great idea, but does it send the message to motorists that bikes only belong in lanes painted green?  Can't bikes use the full lane everywhere (except freeways)?  Click here to read more about the new shared lanes.


Another creak led to discovery of another crack in another Paragon.  I’m 2 for 2 on cracking bikes at 12 Hours of Sundance. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enter Jorge

When we last left Maria she was pleading with God to send her a man.  Not just any man, but “a man that is honest, and loyal and romantic and beautiful and kind and…”

Today we read that her prayer was answered.  Unfortunately we’ll never know exactly how it was answered because a page has been torn out from the spiral notebook.   I suspect they met in a bar. 

What we do know for is that she met a man named Jorge, and that they have moved in together.  The entry is dated October 13, just six weeks after she spent her Labor Day partying on Ecstasy in Hollywood, when she decided she was ready for a boyfriend.  The relationship is getting off to a rocky start. 

I am trying to figure out how to fix things with Jorge, What do I say?

I want to talk to you about that stupid question I asked you the other morning about seeing your car Monday afternoon down the street when you said you were across town with your daughter. 

I should have been irrelevant and not payed attention to because that was the past, it was before you told me that you want to move forward with me.  Also it was none of my business. 

I think what hit me was the past, I have been cheated on and hurt really badly and when you told me you were across town with your daughter and I saw your car here it was like the past slapping me in the face…

…when I heard the words come out of my mouth, I felt so stupid and I knew it was just coming from my repeated past and it has nothing to do with you…I do trust you and I do believe you will make me happy and I know I don’t have to worry about you hurting me… 

There’s even more foreshadowing in the entry dated October 15:

Are things moving to fast or have they?  Everything felt so right with me and Jorge.  They still feel right…

Apparently she shares the same belief as Dick Cheney in that the more you repeat something the more you start to believe it.  That’s right Maria, keep telling yourself things are right with you and Jorge and soon you’ll have yourself convinced. 

…I guess I am just scared of things changing…

Changing from what?  You haven’t known this guy six weeks.

…I was so convinced that he is “the one” for me that I have been telling him really private things and expecting him to share with me too so we can get to know each other deeply...

Jorge deserves a medal for putting up with this crap just six weeks into a relationship. 

He has been irritated with me because I keep asking him questions about his past, he keeps saying “we have our whole lives.”

…It seems like the only time we really talk on a deep level is when we are drinking…

I won’t make fun of that statement, because

1) its too easy; and

2) Ryan and I have our deepest conversations when we’re traveling to and from a bike ride.  We only talk about Mountain Dew while we’re in the saddle. 

…I really want this to work, I do believe we are meant to be together.  I worry about the drinking factor though, he drinks all the time…

I’d drink too if I lived with a woman like Maria.

…and that was one thing I really wanted to stop doing because I love being clear, I love being able to get up in the morning and feel good and do adventurous things, not sleep all day feeling sick…

Again, Maria, if that’s what you love, then you really should get a bicycle.  I do adventurous things on my bike every day and I wake up feeling good every morning. 

…I have fun with him when we drink, we just take it to the extreme and it’s not healthy…

Mags has said the same thing about my cycling addiction.  

…I really want us to be happy together and I don’t want my past, my fears to get in the way,  I need to remember that he didn’t hurt me, he didn’t do anything to make me suspicious or think I need to be defensive.  I need to give him the chance to prove to me that he will never hurt me.  I believe he will respect me, be loyal, communicate with me.  I want to trust him. 

I want to trust him too, but can I?

October 16

Jorge called me from work last night at 10:30 saying he was going to do his check out and hang out w/ his friends for a little bit then he would see me at home. 

Next time:  What Maria Dreams about. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Doing the Dew at 12 Hours of Sundance

I’m never going to live this down. 

It all started about three years ago.  I had just gotten my first real job.  One of my co-workers was a goateed (goatees are the mullet of the new millennium) geologist (I would say quirky geologist, but that would be redundant) named Ryan who said he liked to ride bikes.  One day Ryan suggested we go for a ride. 

We arranged to meet at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  I arrived there first and was horrified when Ryan showed up.  He was driving a 4WD truck (albeit foreign made) with what looked like oversized tires, he had a tricked out 'fool' suspension bike in the back, I think he was listening to a Meat Loaf album, and his goatee was bigger and bushier than ever. 

“Oh no” I thought, “The last thing I need is to get mixed up with the Mountain Dew crowd.”

Fortunately I was wrong about Ryan—mostly.  He’s not a weekend warrior-adrenaline junkie who pounds Mountain Dews by the six pack and subsists solely on Cheetos and Sour Patch Kids.  He’s actually a thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive guy.  He can speak an entire sentence without using the word “Dude”.  He may also be a public radio contributor.   

Ever since I told Ryan about that first impression I had we’ve been accusing each other of a Mountain Dew addiction.  We even have an ongoing competition to see who can do the most awesome maneuvers on our bikes.  Anytime one of us, for example, catches some air or drifts our back tire, we have to appeal for points by letting out a whoop, shout, yee-haw, or some other primal scream becoming of a highly caffeinated soda drinker.  If our buddies who witnessed it concur that it was indeed a “kick ass” move, we are awarded one Mountain Dew point.  Anybody who gains a six point lead over his competitors wins a six pack of Mountain Dew.  To this day nobody has ever won the prize, because we won't keep track of our scores.  If I ever did win the six pack of Mountain Dew I’d accidentally leave it in Ryan’s truck. 

It’s not just Mountain Dew.  An especially awesome maneuver warrants a Code Red Mountain Dew, because it is the only equal in awesomeness.  Ryan was the proud recipient of Diet Mountain Dew T-shirt I won as a raffle prize.   He’s since tricked me into taking it back.  Another time I caught him trying to hang an extreme sports calendar in my cubicle.  It depicted all the great gravity powered, caffeine fueled extreme sports. Truly awesome.

Other energy drinks are fair game too.  We were especially tickled to see that the Tuesday Night Mountain Bike Race Series at Solitude was sponsored by Full Throttle.   Ryan and I now have matching Full Throttle T-shirts. That’s some serious awesomeness. 

But I digress.  You want to know about my race at Sundance.  Aaron Stites and I teamed up to defend our title in the duo men category.  You may recall that last year we got rained out before we finished the full twelve hours. 

Saturday’s weather was much drier.  In fact it was perfect; sunny with temperatures in the high seventies.  Aaron and I had agreed to alternate seven mile laps, and give each other longer breaks by doing two consecutive laps twice during the race. Photo 3

The race started well.  By our third lap we had taken the lead, thanks to Chris’s clumsy crash in the first lap.   Chris went down, but he wasn’t out. He reeled me in before I finished the third lap.  He put a 2 minute gap on me before he handed it off to his wife KC.  Yeah, that’s right, we were getting beat by a girl, but she could probably ride circles around you too.

Aaron kept the pressure on KC.  He passed her in our fourth lap, but I couldn’t hold Chris off in the fifth lap.  Did I mention they were on singlespeeds with rigid forks?  I pointed out to Chris that I was hauling all those extra gears that were slowing me down, and asked him what his excuse was.  He responded by dropping me like an emo kid at a punk show. 

Sticking to our strategy, I stayed on for our sixth lap, assuming Aaron would do laps seven and eight.  When I came in he said he didn’t know if he had the legs for two laps.  At least I think that’s what he said, but since I didn’t completely understand him I didn’t know how long my break would be.  Would I have 40 minutes, or 80 minutes?  If I could get a longer break I could eat some more substantial food and get a deeper rest.  But since I didn’t know, I had to be ready in 40 minutes. 

When Aaron came through he said he couldn’t do two laps yet, but would do it later when it cooled off.  That hurt me.  My lap times increased by a minute or two over the next four laps.  I think my slowest lap was almost 45 minutes. New Folder 025

By late afternoon we came to the conclusion that we only had time for three more laps.  Josh and Matt had passed us, and we were holding on for third place overall.  I was feeling deflated.  Before I set out on our 16th lap (my ninth of the day) I made a few changes to my rest routine.  First, I ate a big piece of watermelon that my mom had brought me.  Nothing ever tasted so good.  I washed it down with a cup of miso soup while my mom massaged my legs with some menthol gel.  A couple minutes before Aaron was expected to show up, Mags said—in jest—that I should drink some caffeine. 

“I’d drink a Coke.” I said, not expecting to get one.  But Rich, who was doing a marvelous job manning the pit zone for four teams, offered me an ice cold bottle of mountain dew. 

I took a few swigs—or should I say I slammed it down?—and headed out for my next lap. 

I wish I could say it was the watermelon, or the massage, or the soup, but it just doesn’t add up.  I’m afraid to admit that the Mountain Dew made me feel exactly like the dudes in the commercials.  I was unstoppable.  I did my first sub-forty minute lap since that morning.  When I came back to the finish area Aaron wasn’t expecting me so early and we kind of futzed our transition. 

I went back, had more watermelon, ate an energy gel and washed it down with more Mountain Dew.  My next lap, my tenth of the day, and surely our last of the race, was one of my fastest of the day.  Somewhere around 37 minutes.  We made up a little time on Josh and Matt, but couldn’t catch them. 

We were third overall, second in the duo men category.  We did 18 laps, 10 for me and 8 for Aaron.  I wonder what would have happened if I’d started drinking Mountain Dew earlier.  There’s always next year. 

Come on Ryan, don’t you think I deserve a sixer of Dew? 


Friday, September 12, 2008

Maria wants a bicycle

The next pages in Maria’s journal initially appear to be a mundane list of things to do, with tasks like going to the dollar store, faxing a letter, etc.  But knowing that Maria is a healer, it’s intriguing to see that she also needs to buy more white candles, presumably so she can do more exorcisms.  She also lists getting two 2”x2” photos taken.  That’s the size and quantity needed to apply for a passport.  Is she planning an escape?  That also explains why she needs to call the Health Department.  Or does it?  Maybe she’s having some other tests done…

But if she’s trying to get away, why does she have the phone number for, and an interview date with a Ms. Hoe (I’m not making that name up!) who manages a local big-box store?  Is she going to get a job before she makes her escape?

Finally, because she’s beautiful and independent, she lists that’s she’s got to get her nails done.  That’s important for giving proper neck massages.  

The next page in the spiral bound notebook has been torn out.  It could mean nothing, but it could also speak volumes, because the next entry lets us add even more names to our list of Maria’s love interests.  We’ll pick up the story there.

I am sitting here in my new apartment in Santa Fe, Depressed and feeling somewhat alone, disappointed and unsure of what will be fore me here.  I have been drinking since I got here, not everyday but 2 binges…

Maybe that explains the page torn from the book; she doesn’t remember what she did that day, so she doesn’t want us to know either. 

…and that worrys me.  I want to be that strong secure confident person I was this last whole year and better, why am I here?  What am I to do here in Santa Fe?

Maria, the foreshadowing you’ve done already tells us readers that you’re here to meet a man.   Are you sure you’re not a trained writer?

I met a guy the first night I was here…

She certainly doesn't waste any time, does she? 

…Roger, and started really liking him.  It was strange, he was very affectionate very fast but then told me he is still in love with his ex.  He was calling me everyday and than all of a sudden 2 days and I don’t hear from him.  What happened?  This is part of why I am feeling so depressed, insecure, is it something I do to turn guys off?

Is it possible to put any more foreshadowing into a story?

…Am I boring?

Boring? My readership is up 20% since I started sharing your story, Maria. 

…How can I be more confident and less needy? 

If it hasn’t happened to you already, this is where it will get very painful to read.

…I really want a man now, I am ready to be in a relationship, a real loving honest good exciting relationship with a man who loves me.  I want a man who puts me first, who is always thinking of ways to make me happy…

Me. Me. Me.    Maybe, just maybe, this is why she has trouble having meaningful relationships. 

Next she puts into words exactly how many of us feel about our bicycles:  

…I want a man who is strong and sensitive, I want a man who wants to take care of me and dance with me and excite me and be adventurous with me.  I want a man who every time he sees me he gets butterflies in his stomach… 

My bicycle does all of that for me.  Maybe what Maria really needs is a bike.  But for now its back to the same recurring, painful pattern:

I want a man who makes me feel special, I want a man who accepts me and is proud of me, I want a man who loves that I am a healer and believes in me.  I want...

I won’t make your read it all.  She ends with this prayer:

I want this man now, I am ready, dear God, please bring me this man to love.  Thank you. 

Next time:   Maria’s prayer gets answered.  Or does it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maria, the healer of Santa Fe

Our healer friend Maria tells a compelling story.  The foreshadowing, if this were a fictional account, is over the top.  If only she had taken the time to go back and read some of her own entries.  

Maria recently moved to Santa Fe from Miami.  She never says why.  She struggles with insecurity while yearning for the same things we all yearn for: companionship and stability.  Frankly, Maria wants a man.  She just goes about getting one in her own way.  

We’ll pick up the story on Labor Day Weekend 2006.    

I arrived Friday eve to the Mondrian on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, I stayed with Alena and her boyfriend Larry.  Saturday night was the big event we went to Spundae to see Edgar V and other DJs with Alena’s brother, his girlfriend Chelsea, Rob, her parents and many more.  I saw Edgar come in and ran up to him, he was happy and so surprised to see me we hung out for a couple hours talking…

Let’s keep a tally of Maria’s love interests in this entry.  I think we can start our list with Edgar.  

…Alena and I decided to take ecstasy, her brother and everyone else we were with took it too... 

Chelsea's parent's took ecstasy with their daughter?

...We had a blast.  After the club we went to an after party at their DJ friend Ilia’s house.  I danced so much it was great I was intensely attracted to Avian.  I gave him a neck massage and after he held my hands for a while and kissed me very close to my mouth.  

Now we can add Avian to the list;

…I was having so much fun dancing and when Alena left and I sat next to Rob who reminded me a little of Damien, I really liked him, I thought he like me too…

We’d better add Damien to the top of our list, and Rob to the bottom of the list.  Maybe she’ll get somewhere with Rob.  He seems like a nice guy.  Oh wait…

…and then he said he was going upstairs to the computer, I didn’t understand.  I said “don’t leave me” And he didn’t even turn around, was he really high or did he just not want to be with me?  What did I do or say wrong?  I felt like I was being a pain in the butt.  I felt really bad after I was sitting there with him.  I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings.  I don’t want to be the annoying bossy all about me won’t shut up about Miami girl anymore.  I want to be more independent, not needy or co-dependent.  It’s not attractive.  People always think I am fun and hot and cool until my insecurity kicks in.  That’s fear, I don’t need fear, I am beautiful and independent, I think maybe this happened to make me realize that I really am ready for a boyfriend, feeling that connection, passion and intense chemistry made me want a boyfriend.  

Beautiful and independent huh?  Is that, and getting rejected by three different men in one night, what it takes to be ready for a boyfriend?  Will she become secure?  Will she find a man?  

Tune in next time for more adventures of Maria, the healer of Santa Fe.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chilies and Voyeurs


I’m spending this week in Santa Fe for some high altitude training before the 12 Hours of Sundance this Saturday.  Well, I’m really here on business, but I did arrange to borrow a bike so I could see the city without depending on a car, fighting traffic, paying for parking, burning foreign oil,…It's my way of supporting the troops. 

Riding through downtown Santa Fe, I came to the conclusion that it’s a nice little city with a big tourism problem.  There were gift shops peddling Indian jewelry, Chinese-made fridge magnets, and authentic New Mexican salsa made in Ohio.  Oh, there were over-priced art galleries galore.  The only thing missing from this tourist trap were boutique shops selling ‘homemade’ fudge.  I did find some spectacular New Mexican food, but it wasn’t near the plaza downtown.  It was on the ugly drag leading into the city at a place called Tortilla Flats.  The Steinbeck lover in me made me go there.  The chili rellenos made me never want to leave. 

Roasting chiliesAfter pedaling around to take in the centuries-old architecture, I decided to sample some of the more recent history of Santa Fe.  What better way is there to acquaint oneself with a city than to visit its thrift stores and see what the denizens throw out?

I was browsing the used book section, hoping to find a New Mexican cookbook to tell me what to do with the twenty pounds of roasted chilies I bought earlier in the day, when I came across a spiral notebook.  I’ve seen spiral-bound cookbooks before, so I thought I had hit the jackpot. 

I had, in fact, hit the jackpot.  It wasn’t a cookbook, but it did contain the recipe for delicious reading. 

It was the journal of a woman named Maria. 

JournalGo ahead and call me a voyeur, but honestly, do you think you could pass up the chance to read someone’s diary?  Don't make me remind you that you are reading my blog, which is basically just an online diary. 

I happily handed over the 59 cents the Goodwill wanted for my priceless treasure and rushed back to my room to see what nuggets it held.  I wasn’t disappointed.

The first page outlines what appears to be an exorcism for somebody named Larry.  I present it below exactly as Maria wrote it:

1.    Light 1 white candle.  3 or more people holding hands in the center of the room.  3 clearing breaths. 

2.    Prayer:  Call in spirit guides of entities, ask that they surround them in love + Light and carry them home.  Now feel that.  Be aware.  Feel them go (circled).  Thank you for going home.  Ask all guides of everyone present to be there and participate—pause—(feel their presence). 

We command that you now leave. 

Only those energies that are appropriate connected participating in Larry’s highest good, joy, good health, growth, are welcome here.  All others cannot enter here.  be allowed in this house

Now that your are gone and never to return this house is now protecting Larry from all that is not at his highest good

This house is now filled with light and joy for ever more. 

Call in his guides help him to know that nothing can harm him in any way, no fear.  His energy field if free of all energies that don’t belong to his process.  Crown (circled).  Solar Plexus (circled). 

Stay tuned for more exciting events in the life of Maria, including partying on Ecstasy in Hollywood, her unexplained move to Santa Fe, and her plea to God to send her a man “who loves that I am a healer and believes in me.” 

My dear Maria, I believe in you.  I believe you have healed me of my boredom. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

AMC Stage 3: Dark Hollow


I rode much of stage 2 within sight of Pua Sawicki.  She was riding strong and was on her way to the overall victory.  So it should tell you something that I rode much of stage 3 within sight of Heather Irmiger, who finished second to Pua in the last two stages and was the fifth woman overall.  That’s Heather in pink in the photo above.  You can see me just behind her, coming through the trees.  

The morning of the race I had no motivation to race.  I forced myself to eat breakfast.  I couldn’t believe that I had to go out and do another 48 miles of racing when what I really wanted to do was stay in bed.  When I got on my bike and rode to the start, I was strictly in survival mode. 

The course was two laps around the NORBA course.  I had heard that the descent down Dark Hollow was very technical and very long.  That kind of news doesn’t sit well with a poor downhiller like me.  But before I got to the descent, I had to nearly to the top of Brian Head Peak—twice—just to make sure I was good and tired before starting down the treacherous descent. 

That’s where I started riding with Heather.  I think she was in survival mode too.  She told me her hardtail was beating her up, which made me feel even slower because she passed me on our first time down Dark Hollow.  But I was glad she had passed me because otherwise she would have seen me walk down a few of the sections that were too much for me.  It was the most technical descent I have ever raced down.  

I caught and passed Heather on the second lap.  That’s when she looked like she was just trying to survive.  By the time I got to the Dark Hollow descent again I was so tired that I was riding over the sections that I had walked down the first time.  I think my exhaustion was suppressing my fear of flying over the handlebars, and somehow it worked because I was able to clean the whole descent without getting off. 

My time for Stage 3 was 4:51; my second lap was 12 minutes slower than the first lap.  My overall time was 13:44, good enough for 18th place overall at 2:45 behind Jeremiah Bishop, the overall winner.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

AMC Stage 2: The Peak

Stage 2

They called Stage 2 ‘The Peak’ because they intended us to climb to the top of Brian Head Peak, 11,307 ft above sea level, during the race.  But first we had to ride for about 45 miles on rocky dirt roads.   The roads seemed so long that climbing to the peak seemed more of an afterthought—that is until I actually started climbing it. 

I started out a bit more conservatively this time, in hopes of others in front of me blowing up after such a long stage the day before.   We climbed up a paved road for a while, then turned onto a dirt road and climbed some more.  In fact, we got within a few hundred feet of the peak, only to turn onto some single track and roll into a very long descent.   You may find it hard to believe, but I actually caught and passed some of my competitors on this descent.  That doesn’t happen to me very often. 

The first feed zone was at the bottom of the descent, Mags hadn’t arrived yet so I pushed on without filling my bottles.  I wanted to stay with a guy that was riding well and had been working with me.  Eventually we put together a group of five riders, including Pua Sawicki, the eventual winner of the pro women.  We all worked together for the next 20 to 25 miles.  Well, we all did except this one guy from Ohio.  I never saw him take a pull.  He’s either a chump or a smarter racer than me, because he finished the stage four minutes in front of me. 

I got dropped by the group when the roads turned uphill again.  I was feeling a bit deflated by the final feed zone—my body, not my tires this time—and we still had a huge climb in front of us. 

I put my head down and focused on pedaling circles.  I could see Greg Gibson in front of me, and I nearly had him reeled in three different times before he would stand up and put a little time into me. 

The road came to a saddle, which I had convinced myself was the top, but we turned onto some single track and continued climbing.  Ten minutes later I was sure we were at the peak, because we stared heading downhill.  Nope, the trail turned uphill again.  I was demoralized. 

There were at least four false summits, and I wanted more than anything to be done climbing.  Finally we came to the dirt road we had climbed up at the start of the race.  I thought I was done, and that all that was left was returning on the road the way we had come.  The course marshal at the junction had something else in mind for me.  This was where the real climb to the peak began.  Oh the humanity!

Somehow I managed to get to the top.  It was more willpower than cycling strength.  Thinking I was finished, and mentally I was, I started to relax.  Little did I know that the last five-odd miles to the finish were down the Super D course.  Have I mentioned that I’m not a great downhiller?  Especially when I’ve got 50 miles behind me for the day?

After the race, my time was 4:04—forty minutes behind the stage winner, all I wanted to do was sit.  I couldn’t bring myself to eat, I couldn’t sleep.  I really had no desire to move.  I just wanted to sit. 

How was I going to do this for one more day?