Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dia Dos

Another beautiful day fit for an epic ride in Costa Rica with 400 other adventure seeking people. The Machine was on auto pilot, big smiles, tight leg muscles and blue skies. We got to "sleep in" for an extra hour this morning. 4:00am wake up and breakfast then to the start for a 6:30 take off. This would be another great day of Single speeding over some challenging terrain. I bumped my gear down to 32x22..a ridiculously small gear for an all day adventure but the steepness of the initial red slopes demanded extreme stupidity. :-\
Race organizers thought it would be funny to funnel 400 racers through a deep mud puddle to start things out. It served to lessen the tension and spread things out on the road I guess, just hard to find humor in it at the time. I was with Doug Jenne trying to catch Rich Dillon on the initial road stretch. I enjoyed Doug's company through out the trip, on course and off. Super chatty and so am I.We caught Rich on the first gravel climb/hike. My focus was once again to stay on the bike at all cost and attempt to dock up to Tim D but I don't think I ever saw Tim on day 2. Rocket ship Dougherty was again on course to crush dia dos like he did dia uno. (That's almost the extent of my Spanish).

So once again the day was going well, plenty of energy, the correct gear in motion and some breath taking views. Thanks to Keven for more pictures. I should also mention that while Tim D was kicking the hell out of the un-official SS race he was also stopping to take photos with a camera he had aboard. Brilliant Tim! Way to make it look like child's play man.
On the road climb to the high point I was passed by an ambulance with the loudest siren I'd ever been deafened by..When it stopped up the road from me it was apparent that someone had mis-negotiated a fast corner and flown off a cliff. Ambulance crews along with two motorcyclist officials were scaling down a mud cliff to apparently reach the victim.
On the road peaks we passed through small town centers where the towns people came out in droves to cheer on the racers. School children lined the pavement with their arms out stretched, bubbling to receive a high five from our filthy mud soaked gloves. The kids let out shrieks of joy with every sopping wet high five that I planted on their skyward hands, spackling their light green school uniform in the process. Day 2 ended with a funny hike-a-bike ascent up what I call "Willy Wonka's chocolate waterfall". I was pretty hungry at this point and almost tasted the chocolate river it look so real. The bike was covered and weighted at least 70 pounds with a thick coat of chocolate. There was no way around it as we ascended to the top of the hike, trudging calf deep in thick brown mud. At the very top a burly Costa Rican gent was grabbing each racer's 70 pound bike and hauling it up as the final 10 feet was a hand over hand climb. He then lowered a stick for each competitor to latch on to and pulled each of us up that 10 foot section. With a big smile I said, "Si! Moy Bueno!!" "Gracias Senior Hulk".
Again, thanks to Kevin for all the photos to refresh my memories of dia dos. The day ended at a mall parking lot where the La Ruta Machine was set up to once again clean mud covered bikes and rub down sore muscles and feed 400 hungry racers. I should also mention that I was riding a broken front axle for day one and two. Just one of those parts of the bike that are not inspected that often and you just hope that are in one piece. Assembling the bike for day one I noticed movement where there should not have been and got this sinking feeling that I was screwed. The skewer was holding the axle together and the hub was riding on a very small shoulder of aluminum that was not exactly designed for abuse. I rolled the dice and came up aces, the angels of fate on my side for two days. Cicloquilly found me a 29 inch front wheel for day 3 and day 4. I was very relieved.

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