Fourth year in a row that I decided to join the madness festival. It is funny how every year I can get a complete different experience and learning out of it. I loved to see so many people starting at WC, several familiar faces and tons of out of towners…welcome to Austin!! Leaving Walnut is always fun you can see all the excitement floating and some of the goal oriented guys trying to get ahead. I prefer previous years, one big group ride to BCGB, but understand logistics of 170 guys arriving at the same time. We had a mini group with Joe (I crashed his ride group on my first EB 2010), two ladies from Houston and 4 more guys. We rode uneventfully the road and separated a little bit at the greenbelt. That is where my first challenge happened, I broke my drop seat post. Sounds like an issue easy to solve however, once you are so used to ride with that it was a major boomer….I was using it now and then but have to stop every time to pull it up to normal riding position. I’m guessing because of that I ended up injuring my knee at the hill of life, that is where I knew that this year will not be a fun one. Pain was from 360 to WC with me all the time (Thanks Karen for the Ibuprofen at Thumper).
The 360 road was just that, saw the French crew but I was too pissed with my first 30 miles that I didn’t want to stop, sorry guys if I was rude but I loved your attitude anyway. Courtyard, was courtyard and going up was not fun. On city park road I crossed paths with the fast group that they were coming down. Stopped at the Angel camp (Paulette, Barbara and Vanessa) to try to fix my seatpost, no success but at least I rested a little bit. Vanessa joined me for my lap at CP, I always have fun there. Leaving CP and heading to Jester the weather began to get hot, and that climb with the sun on top of your head it is not fun….another long walk.
Arriving to St Eds used to be a 3 times per week trail for me so just cruised it. Then spicewood and Yaupon follow by Thumper, refueled there with the original Angel Cindy (you have to love her) she is like EB big sister. I entered Thumper on a mission and believe it or not this was my best year in Thumper…because of the seatpost and knee I knew I will be waling a lot….so I did. No false expectations made Thumper easier. I saw a guy in the middle of Thumper standing, asked him if he was ok, and his answer was…I can’t continue, I’m done I don’t have energy. That remind me my first experience at Thumper where Joe and the crew have to beg for me to continue because I was really tired of that trail. The good news were that I saw him riding Thumper later on. Finished Thumper and that is when you have that feeling that you finished one more time. The road to WC was awesome….I think I had my personal record or at least it felt that way. Walnut was super smooth except for the part that in the middle I found the trail close and didn’t know what to do. I think I added a couple of miles there but didn’t want to cut short anything.
Arriving it is always a nice feeling but apparently my face was saying something different because Chris came to me and offered a beer and later on said that he was worried about my mood. Thanks Chris!!
Summary – EB is a long day ride that allows you to deal with your weaknesses, conquer your fears while enjoying one of our favorite activities. Second, Meeting great people that I don’t see very often but when we get together we have that bonding….we rode EB.
Two special mentions – George you are still my MTB role model. And I crossed pads with a guy on a fat bike at Thumper….you have my respect.