Extrmtao brought up an interesting blog starter. He reminded us of that feeling of total exhaustion and how it can humble the strongest cyclist. I felt compelled to share a story or two of my delirious encounters on riding bikes. Most all the moments I can remember were in competition
The worst experience I’ve encountered was in 2003 at The BURN 24hr race. This race took place somewhere in NC. The trail was some of the tightest single I’ve ever witnessed. Not to mention the weather was HOT with like 200% Humidity. This would have been my 2nd solo attempt at a 24. Inexperienced with pace and nutrition I raced as if I was in a XC race for 2 hours. Around late afternoon sometime I remember coming in to the pits dropping the bike and diving behind the trailer to blow chunks. The feeling of total exhaustion was all over and somehow I wasn’t even half way through the race. The aftermath of this race was the worst. The trail was littered with poison ivy and I was covered with it a day later. That topped with a recovery period of about two weeks of feeling totally crushed. This was truly the worst for me.
Runner up was my first a trip to Whistler BC for the ’03 Worlds 24hr Championships. Excellent venue and a great trail I felt compelled to give it my best effort. I never felt sick as in previous events but the harsh ride for 180+ miles was the breaking point for me. I remember finishing that race with the worst back pain I’ve ever had. You know the type were you cannot stand upright, nor sit down. Your extremities feel as if you are standing or gripping spikes. My quads felt as is they were shredded meat. Every step I took back to the hotel was a chore. If it wasn’t 2000 miles away from home and not the World’s I probably wouldn’t have pushed it that much. This was the turning point for me in endurance racing. Learning how your body works and how it doesn’t. Routine training and good planning can save you from a world of hurt, but no matter how fit you think you are, you will one day have to succumb to the hurt factory and pay the piper.
Thanks to the Extreme Tomato for the memories!!!