I’m in reasonable shape right now. Not great, but not awful.The plan was to just go out and have a nice ride with some friends. Sherpa and I had planned to hit BCGB hard to get ahead of those that might not be quite as technically strong. Unfortunately, it appears that I am now that guy you should try to get ahead of.

Sherpa, Greg, & Larry Bird took it out crazy hard. There were other folks up there too but I am never good a remembering who was where. I was sucking wind already. Of course, this is nothing new. Every EB starts off this way.It seems like I had dabs in the stupidest of places and every time I dabbed, I dropped my chain. That should have been a clue.

I had already been dropped by the time we hit the guts of S16. I kept passing people and then I’d dab on something easy, stop and put my chain back on while they passed me again. I finally just settled in with some guys going my speed and accepted that I would not be riding with my planned group.

One of the guys thought we were done after Pump Station and was just planning to go up HOL at that point. I have to admit I wonder, how many people inadvertently skipped a portion of the BGGB.

Anyway, Mulch hill is where my day took a sudden turn for the worse. Near the top, my chain popped off. This time, it went between my chainrings (I run a 2xl0 setup with 26t/38t). That’s not supposed to happen. I discovered that I had lost two chain ring bolts. I tightened the remaining two bolts and started to ride. About 50 yards down the trail my small chaining explodes. I stop and remove the remnants while thinking how much Courtyard is going to suck with a 38t.

Cody happens to be passing by as I am finishing my repairs. He points out that maybe it is a blessing since I won’t be tempted to destroy my legs on the hills. Silver lining, I guess.

Nothing too eventful for a while. I just cruise on. Sure enough, I was not remotely tempted to try HOL in my big ring. Same for Courtyard. I couldn’t stomach the thought of skipping *all* the big hills so I mashed my way up City Park Rd. That kinda hurt.

CP was largely uneventful. I started getting my first cramps on my way out of CP. That is typical.

I stopped at Jester mart to get some ice and I was thrilled to find Sherpa. We ended up riding together the rest of the way.

Walking Jester sucked. St. Ed’s wasn’t too bad. Last year, it was where I entered my pain cave. Thumper sucked. It took forever. We walked everything. I have never seen Sherpa that depleted. Quite the role-reversal. Not to say I enjoyed seeing a friend in pain, but I enjoyed seeing him be the one in pain for once. Sorry Trav. 

Our timing was good though. We managed to get a nice temp drop near the end. We were able to get out before it really started raining and the rocks got slick.

Cindy & co. at the top of Thumper was awesome.

We rode over to WC with a couple of guys that were not famaliar with the route. They had way too much energy.

WC is not usually one of my favorite trails, but it was heavenly at this point. Finally, an ideal trail for my lonely 38t. For being 8+ hours into a ride, we were moving along pretty good. Sherpa kept asking if we were almost done. I kept telling him ‘not long now’.

After finishing, I realized just how ridiculously I over-packed and how little I ate during the ride. One PB&J, a hand full of trail mix, one power bar, and a nuun tablet was all the solid food I ate. To drink, I had about 120 oz of water, 40oz of Infinit, 16oz of Gatorade, and one Red Bull. Left in my pack was another sandwich, a nearly full bag of trail mix, full bag of pistachios, a full bag of chocolate covered pretzels, another Red Bull, a couple Gu’s, another two power bars, two packages of cliff bloks, and a couple packages of sport beans.

All-in-all, pretty decent day on the bike. With this being my 5th EB, I’ve had good years and bad years. This year wasn’t my fastest nor my slowest. It hurt, but it has hurt worse (see the video…I’m the guy that look like he’s about to pass out upon finishing). In the end, I got to ride all day long on some great trails with some good friends. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday.