Today felt like a normal day on the bike! It was an awesome day for J&J Racing, and we think we have improved our position again. Will post the results later, but we moved up in our starting batch this morning because of yesterday's time, and we were passing a lot of people out there today.
My Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt is a trail bike, so today's singletrack was perfect. There was still around 1200m of climbing today over 82kms, and it was still harder than most of our training rides, but it wasn't soul-destroying like the other days. The sun was shining and speeding along through the trees was a perfect way to spend the day.
I was so grateful today that my husband is a real mountain biker! He was brilliant on the downhills and following someone you trust makes a big difference for your confidence and speed. John was flying down the hills, choosing all the best lines, and just enjoying a great day on the bike.
It wasn't all good news today, though. I saw a rider down with a possible broken nose. One man told me he had put his wife in an ambulance with a stomach bug partway through. Our tent neighbours, who were first in their team vet category yesterday and just really cool guys, dropped back to 5th today after one of them hit a tree and went flying across some stumps. He is is bad shape, but managed to finish and plans to ride tomorrow and the final day! Mountain bikers are hard core! There were some potentially dangerous places today with a lot of obstacles through the forests. It's also hard to see because of all the shadows cast by the sunlight streaming down through all the trees.
We finished in just over 5 hours today so even with a later start, we are now enjoying the camp a bit.
They really go all out to provide us with all the services we need and we now have our pre- and post-race routine down. This is our daily routine right now, give or take, and depending on what time we finish.
Wake up around 4:50AM
Get dressed into kit in the tent
Pack sleeping bag
Carry bags and sleeping mats to the truck
Go to start line
Ride your bike all day
Eat lots of snacks and drink sugary drinks at all the water stops
Celebrate at the line (or sulk, depending how bad the day was)
Take a post-race photo
Drop off bikes to the mechanics
Book massage and chiropractic
Pick up laundry or warm clothes you shed at water stop 1
Pick up bags and carry to tent
Get a beer to drink at the tent
Get a shower
Upload Garmin/Strava files
Visit medical if necessary
Chill at tent until dinner (this is when I normally write the blog)
Eat dinner with friends; listen to race briefing for the next day, look at photos and videos on the big screen (they do a great job of this stuff)
It is a full-on day every day!! I'm hoping my gloves and socks dry by tomorrow. It's already getting chilly here. Last night was super cold but by the time the sun came up, it was a perfect day for riding.