I don’t even know how to start to explain the last two days. I knew I was not feeling 100% yesterday morning. I had what the Brits call a tummy bug and it did not look promising. It was probably bad water from a service point on day 1. But the trail for the day was nice and I started farther forward. I passed a bunch of riders early and then had smooth sailing for the day. One big water bog early. I got stuck once and had to lift out. It was a small grass clearing with a foot or more of standing water in the tall grass. I wandered around a bit to find a way as everyone was buried in. I realized I could walk my bike and it wouldn’t sink too far. I started across, the bike would sort of sit on the mossy raft like surface, but I would sink in. The next step I went way over my knees in, but the bike stayed up. I had to push hard, but ever so gently at the same time and finally made it across. That was the only real event for the day. My body was getting worse as we went but I pushed through.
I got into the overnight stop early and had a good day of riding on fun and challenging terrain. But my body went to crap as soon as I stopped riding. I was incredibly sick. I did not sleep hardly at all and could not each much. Mostly sat on the can for the night. This morning I was in very bad shape. But I got up and put my gear on anyway, baby steps. I had to lay back down after dressing. We got some food and I figured I would try to start the day. It wasn’t 20 minutes into the day that we hit a big bottle neck. The route was not that bad, but everyone had piled up on it and it was a mess. I helped a couple of bikes up the first part and felt terrible. I was sweating that sick kind of sweat. I sat down and took a break. I was really going to give it up at that point. But after a while I decided I would help push a few more bikes. The more I pushed, the better I started to feel. I can’t imagine why, I guess I just sweated it out.
Overall today I probably spent two hours assisting other bikes. I received about two minutes worth of assistance myself. The tired riders were making the smaller challenges into big ones. The riding today was pretty hard, lots of really tricky spots that would not respond well to any mistake. For the most part I rode without issue. I was just in trail mode, no racing. The 300 is amazing, I have never been so happy to be on one. Just put it in second gear and trust it to do the work. I have done so many obstacles that I would have never tried given a choice. I think I am too tired to be scared, just do it, everyone else did. The last mile of the day was an entire ride of its own; huge bulldog down hill in the trees, down the concrete embankment, through the culvert, up the cliff out of the culvert, through the creek and up the finish hill. Even when it was done, there was 25 miles of pavement back to town, riding cold and wet.
The last two days have been incredibly difficult, both physically and mentally. I can’t even think of tomorrow. There is so much more to tell, but that will have to do for now, more food and back to bed.