Last year was my first EB, finishing last at 9.30pm. I decided to do it this year with the same spirit, create a team and bring it to the finish line no matter what. Time was not a concern. Having an awesome experience was my main drive. My team was Andrea Fox and Melinda Kendall.
From last year seeing almost a doubling of the amount of riders was awesome and seeing a lot of friendly faces at the starting line was really good.
Before our ride started we already had the first major issue, one of the riders forgot her water bladder ( big thanks to TAF for seeing the post on FB and solving it). Because of that we arrived late to Zilker and missed all the riders. We started the greenbelt at a decent pace, we caught the first riders at sweet 16, smooth ride down at pump station and a very nice ride to mulch hill. Mulch hill was fine, power line was ok for me but a pain for some of my hardtail partners. We went down without major issues, walking some drops and climbing hill of life to catch up with some of the riders and Valarie cheering for all of us!! So far a great experience.
We didn’t stop at the top of hill of life with the idea of making a refill stop at the gas station on 360. After that we headed to courtyard, it is a never ending climb….whenever you think it is over, another section arise. We went up city park road, saw several riders at the fire station, guessing most of them were coming down. Started seeing some riders coming down city park rode and cheering for us, I love that on EB, I don’t think you will see that on any other ride (not a race).
City park was ok, I’m confident on the trail and I wasn’t planning on killing my legs there. We rode most of it and for the first time caught Tommie. Once we finished city park we decided not to stop there, hit the road and stop at Jester mart. As I’m leaving city park and I’m feeling really light and thinking “I’m in great shape” I realize that my camel back was not with me. So I had to head back to pick it up at the picnic table. At the light of 2222 and city park no car was stopped with us which meant we spent 5 minutes waiting for the holy light to turn green.
We arrived at Jester and Barbara, sex panther and Paulette were there super excited to welcome every rider…what a great attitude they have. Thanks ladies, you made the difference. After a sandwich and quick cold water shower we decided to hit jester, the faces painted on the pavement were great because it took my mind away from that climb. At the top, I had my in-laws cheering for me, so I didn’t want to walk so I just rode the whole way. Going down bufford is insane, I was feeling my bike bouncing with minimal control, made it to 360 and began focusing on St. Eds (my local trail).
We arrived on St. Eds and surprise!!! In my mind St. Eds is where I will fly up and down but as soon as I hit the trail I saw Denis and Wes with unfriendly faces….St Eds was a waterfall, what was supposed to be a fast 25 min trial ended up being a long walk through water, mud and slippery terrain.
With St. Eds done we began heading to Yaupon. We started climbing with our bikes full of mud when Andrea used her Charms with a local neighbor who allowed us to clean our bikes making them functional again to hit Thumper.
We arrived at Thumper and I saw again (same as last year) Cindy “Thumper’s angel” with Barbara and Paulette and other mojo’s. Small stop and ready to confront Thumper, last year Thumper completely destroyed my morale (special thxs to Brock, Todd, Joe and Clark for pushing me last year). This year was smoother, had my moments but overall was ok. We walked 70% and rode the rest. I crashed once there and got lost a couple of times but we were able to exit Thumper around 6.30pm.
Easy road ride to Walnut, without major incidents, I had to stop at Palmer to put my lights on. Once at Walnut creek everything is simple, all you have to do is to push your bike until the finish line. I love Walnut at night because you can fly by without worrying about hikers.
We crossed the finish line at 8.30pm very happy for being able to complete EB again.
Special mention to Andrea that had to hold her horses most of EB to stay with the group, she was ready to rock it!!