I was not this happy riding Epic
Now I am getting the phone calls, hey you want to do Shadow tomorrow? Sure, sounds great. Only then it turns into an Epic loop which I had only done once before last June. And here we are in February, FEBRUARY, hitting Epic. Here's the summary of this ride: up and over Deer Creek, up Parmalee Gulch, up Kerr Gulch, up backside of Shadow Mountain, up backside of High Grade, hope you can hold onto the fast downhill on High Grade/Deer Creek, ~75 miles, 5 hours 45 minutes, and a billion feet of climbing, OK about 8500). This was last Thursday, and the ride went well. I mean, as well as an Epic ride in February can go. But we did it, I got dropped once on Kerr Gulch (more on that damned gulch later), but I hung in there with Steve-O and PIC, stayed fully engaged and had a great ride.
And then the decision was made on Friday, Epic on Tuesday? My smart self says, hmmmm 2 Epics, some running, swimming and skiing in one week? Nah. But my smart self never speaks up only the yet-to-be-named dumbass that thinks, Great Idea!!! Let's go! Plus, PIC tells me the night before the ride that it is going to be "easier" than Thursday's ride. Right.
It all started so nicely, so pleasantly. But I soon realize that Steve is riding a bit harder up Deer Creek than last week and my heart rate is nearing 150, which is right around race pace. Not good, especially since we are only 1 hour into a 5+ hour ride. And my back is bothering me on the uphills too......down we go and onto climb #2. Fortunately for me, PIC dropped a couple of things while shedding some clothes and needed to go back to retrieve them and I settled into a nice easy pace. But again, Steve picked it up towards the top of Parmalee and this time we didn't stop at the top.
Now Kerr Gulch (aka fucking Kerr Gulch grrrr). I thought it would be easier this time around since we didn't have the F2 (fucking ferocious) headwind like last week. I was sadly mistaken. Steve is pedaling along, Son is on his wheel, and I am hanging on in the back. They both stand up, I follow suit, look up and they have dropped me. What???? AHHHHH. I was dropped here last week and it happened again, and the weird thing? Out of nowhere I cry. Which is a bad thing when you are redlining because you can't breathe. I calm down, put my head down, and managed to catch up. But I was pissed off and frustrated. I yelled out I HATE YOU STEVE but he had his tunes on and didn't hear me. I wanted to go back to work at the office. I was going to quit the ride. I was going to take Little Cub home and call it a day. My legs hurt, my back hurt, and there were still 2 more climbs to go. No Way. And I was still crying. We made the rest stop (Circle K) in Evergreen, I dropped my bike off and headed straight for the bathroom. I needed a moment to gather myself before I strangled Steve. PIC followed me in and helped me realize, it's just a climb. It's just today. And clearly, Kerr Gulch is now my next mental obstacle to overcome. (BTW, PIC - THANK YOU!!) I didn't quit, and decided to stick on Steve's wheel up Shadow.
Only problem with sticking on Steve's wheel you ask? Well, it means that you are now the main focus of the finger pointing - meaning stick on my wheel as if your life depends on it. No easing up, just full on stay with Steve. There were several times when he gave me "the finger" as I was falling off the back and I just shook my head, are you f***g kidding me??? Apparently, PIC was behind me chuckling because she had been in that position so many times before on Steve's wheel - the shaking the head, the I hate you, the I'm never doing this again, the can I just stop at the top and take a nap, the are you kidding me we just hit 45 mph on the downhill.
On our way back to the house, PIC and I decided that somehow Shadow got steeper in the last 5 days. Not sure how that happened but it did. We also decided that we were not going to do that ride again. We collapsed on the front lawn, looked up at the blue sky, and started giggling. And then Steve said, so ride it again Monday? PIC said YES. And, of course, so did I.