Friday, July 4, 2008
Wow! I never would have imagined we would be here. Funny thing is, I can't imagine not being here after this degree of hard work and dedication to finishing this race. It is truly a pleasure going with someone experienced like Roy. Roy has a great sense of humor and is really a pleasure to be around when your physically at your limits. There are cutoffs in todays race and the expected times are around 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Not sure what the elevation gain is but whatever it is, it will dwarf in comparison to all the other days (see times posted). I have spent so far approximately 48 hours in the saddle since the beginning of this race. Wow! Today is supposed to be 47 kilometers and a technical ride down Whistler's most famous trails. It should prove to be a great finishing ride. We are now in the home stretch as we complete our mission here at the BC bike race. Stay with us for the last days report and a post race report that is sure to make you laugh! We will be uploading pictures to my blog so stay tuned. Here we go day 7!!
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This morning we woke up to rain and an eventual thunder and lightning storm. 630am was the food call. I also woke up to a miraculous healed lower left leg. I think it needed to rest and I finally got about 7 hours.
I was nervous about today. Nervous because my bike's rear shock somehow blew out and I had no rear suspension. I hadn't slept more than 4 hours a night since I have been here. I wasn't sure how difficult today was going to be. It has been raining all night. Most of all, I was nervous at the start gate.
I filled up my water bladder and headed out to find Roy. I lined up in the starting chute for the 6th day in a row. I chalked up my nervousness as "pre-race jitters", just as I had done all week. Roy and I met, set a plan and were ready for the start. I go through my usual pre-ride check...coffee, sunglasses, couple swigs of water, and quick squeeze of the brakes. After thinking how technical this day is going to be I squeezed my brakes with force, snapping the rear brake cable. The announcer was counting down and my bike just broke!! I looked at Roy in absolute shock and disbelief. I immediately turned the bike around and headed for the mechanics. They fixed it and I was back in the race in about 5 minutes (thanks goodness for mechanical disc brakes). I raced back to the start to find Roy and we left, except I thought "the racers had left and we had no idea where the went." We asked everyone we saw and they lead us right to them. Roy and I were concerned we weren't going to make the cutoffs again so we had been turning the volume up and were really cranking to catch up.
I could go on and on about the ride and I was anticipating a long brutal ride, it wasn't that bad at all. We made it through legendary routes such as "The Plunge" and part of "Test of Metal" and the famous "Bonk Hill."
The truth is, none of what we did compared to previous days. We got to checkpoints in a leisurely way with an hour to spare. It was technical and fun...we did great and we are still wiped out.
Suunto reports: 62 kilometers. Minimum heart rate 64, max heart rate 193, average heart rate 127, total elevation gain 5530.
Once again the BPA did its job and is really cooking with gas now. Before we left this morning, Paul, a local rider and business man from Seattle approached us and asked "hey guys, can I ride with you two today? I lost my partner.". We said "your probably faster than we are and we will hold you back.". He responded, "well quite frankly I want to go slow." We immediately responded and said "sure.". Paul was automatically in; he NOR'd because his teammate fell out. As soon as we starting riding together we began indoctrinating him into the BPA. He said that he didn't know about the BPA but did notice that we were slow. Information was being shared at the highest levels. After sharing everything from what we eat to our commitment of finishing, he was an immediate convert to the BPA cause. For Paul, a middle aged man who perhaps is not understood by his family and friends because of his love of mountain biking, he seemed to have latched on to the concept as if it was lifesaver being thrown to a man overboard drowning in conventional thought and lifestyle. He had become a BPA moonie-more BPA than the founders themselves. At one point he turned to Roy and said in a non-mocking, serious tone "they (the rest of the world) just don't understand the BPA.". It was clear to us that he was having the time of his life-this millionaire business man who buys and sells businesses for a living, wheeling and dealing with titans of industry was now using the BPA to tap his inner soul. BPA-changing lives.
So far we have completed every race in its alooted time frames. Issues started to come up about us no longer being "back of the packers" because we finished stage 5. We had a minor rebellion on our hands. We got criticism from both sides, BPA'ers and mid-packers. Two slow women with blue tagged number plates indicating they were now NOR rolled up to us at the start and said "since you guys made the time cuts you are no longer real BPA members." Roy shut them down immediately by saying "we didn't make the cut, we actually missed it by three minutes.". "There was no one behind us and they let us slide in.". We are still bonafide BPA. On the other hand, our old roommates Francisco, the mexican, and Gary, the canadian (who also referred to the four of us as a geographical sandwich with them being the two pieces of "bread" and us being the "american meat". They said that because we made it and didn't get cut we are really not BPA members. Roy looked at Gary the Canadian, than at me and back at the Canuck and said "that's not true. We are just at the back of a new pack."
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