The course: The Death Ride = 5 mountain passes, 15,184ft of climbing, 124.1 miles SOLO, (no husband to keep me company this time)
Woke at 1:30 AM, Yuriy and I drove from Topaz Lodge Casino in Gardnerville, NV over Monitor pass and got to see some early EARLY starters, wtf some guy alone at 3:15AM on Monitor, what time did the first station even open up at!?
Got to Turtle Rock, quickly finished getting ready and took off solo. I know earbuds weren’t allowed, but ya know what 124 miles solo I NEED music. In one ear only, I proceeded to play a perfect warmup album, Massive Attack Mezzanine. It was creepy in the morning, gotta say, but I felt better immediately seeing all the other cyclists around me. We’re all one big crazy family right? 🙂
I what felt like, hauled ass up Monitor, I had SO much energy I just booked it, literally passing everyone, WHAT? That’s a first. ZOOM. Oh man the moon setting over the mountains to my right was breathtaking, it was literally straight up what paintings are made of. Gorgeous purple, blue pastels over the rigid rough mountains.
Got to the top, stopped only to get my sticker. BTW, I made a huge effort to either not stop at all, or take very short breaks. Descended, wasn’t nearly as cold as last year, still cold though. Got my sticker, went pee, drank .5 cups of 1/2coffee 1/2hotchocolate, ate a weird packaged ‘bagel’ stick and took off. Enjoyed seeing all my friends zoom down Monitor, got near to the top, cracked open a V8 I had in my back pocket drank 90% of it and put the can in my back pocket face up. Ran into Chris Phipps (who now has 3rd place on the Death Ride segment on Strava) “Lindsay! Did you see Yuriy yet?” I did! I don’t think he saw me though as he was descending, he started later like the more sane folks. I started at 4:11AM this year. For some reason, for the first time ever, coming up the backside I had the worst grinding radiating right hip, lower back pain. It was pretty horribly painful on and off, but I just grunted my way through it, i.e. HTFU-ed.
Stopped to go pee at the top rest stop, and then proceeded to realize I spilled that remainder of V8 ALL over my jersey back and vest as I took both garments off to use restroom. AUGH, a volunteer helped me clean it up it was nice of her. No worries. Typical derp moment.
Got down Monitor, made my way over to Ebbetts and saw they were setting up camp for the lunch stop. I ACTUALLY didn’t hate Ebbetts this time, what? I mean, this would be my 3rd time doing it and i already knew it SUCKS, it’s just tough. But I was overall so much more patient with not only this climb, but the entire Death Ride, this is a life changer for me, as its truly my first time I knew what to expect and just rolled with it, didn’t complain like a baby (until Carson lol).
Yuriy passed me as I was headed to Ebbetts and he handed over some drugs to me (Tums and Advil) as I had a sore stomach ache (needed to go poo! AUGH, had to wait until the top of Ebbetts), and the Advil to aid my horrible side hip pain (IT band, Psoas muscle?).
Got to the top, thanked God, ate some Ramen, Red Vines, drank a Pepsi, ran into Trish Pacheco and we chatted, she was talking about for real heading back to Turtle Rock and calling it quits, I told her to eat something, REST and you’ll be fine! I would’ve stopped to chat, but again I wanted to make my rest stops minimal. Said ‘I’ll see you around!’ and descended Ebbetts, saw Yuriy again coming up (he looked to be in serious pain). Got my sticker, and headed back up. Some older woman complimented me near the top “thanks for setting the pace!”, i was like huh? this is just my DGAF pace lol. Saw some guy with an awesome Franco Balcom Strava edition bike, we chatted briefly and I sniped a photo of his bike. Got down Ebbetts, and stopped for lunch. Lots of people around, as opposed to last year when I was S-L-O-W and they were running out of food options..this year I got a turkey pita thing with minimal cheese, some mayo and mustard. I don’t know what it is about that pita bread, being whole wheat, but its absolutely gross, dry and cardboard tasting. I HATE it. the lunch stop for the Wild Sierra Century (in the same area and climbs) is LOADS better. I digress, I made sure to eat some pickles to ward off any future cramping because if you’ve read my previous post, pickles & their juice are the SHIZNIT for cramp crushing. I sat with teammate Eric Edem and chatted a bit, finished up lunch, and took off.
Here is where it started getting hot, and windy, I tried to latch onto 2 older men but they were going too fast, then tried to latch onto a group of 8 guys (Red Kite dudes) but they were hauling and I let them go.
Biking back over to Markleeville and to Carson it was pretty darn warm. Teammate Eric Edem passes me and goes “Damn it’s hot”, and I go “I know! Fuck this shit!” he laughed. I got back to the car at Turtle Rock and reapplied chamois cream, and dropped my lights off from the morning, and extra layers. At this point I was feeling dizzy almost it was so warm, cranky. I made it to the Woodfords stop, ate an orange and watermelon slice, met up with Trish Pacheco randomly (which she thanked me profusely as I totally lifted her spirits and gave her the confidence to continue on, that made me feel REALLY good) and we decided we’d do Carson together. Went pee and took off. She was extremely chatty which normally if I am NOT climbing I would’ve enjoyed, but somehow I was teetering near bonkville or just “over it” because I got dropped, and met up with her again as she had stopped and waited for me and said “Ugh no! please don’t wait for me!” all cranky like, she replies “ya know I am really enjoying this [death ride in general], it’s not all about you!”…truth! I am glad someone can tell it like it is sometimes, Trish is lovely, and a badass climber. She took off with some friends I think and I was solo again. I pulled to the side of the road, crawled behind a volunteers truck because thats where the only shade was, and proceeded to cry. I ate a stinger waffle, and something else, and that lifted my spirits. I really just needed to refocus, get my cry session out, and eat. Got to the rest stop, sat and ate…something? I don’t recall now. Wound running out of water AGAIN, all I had was a bottle full of soda that I didn’t even drink out of, saw 2 people on bikes stopped on the side, stopped and asked if they had water to spare. They did, thank God. Rounding that corner and seeing the last bend to the top was so glorious! Oh by the way all the spectators and cowbells and cheering was SO nice, and uplifting. They were all over Carson, and a party in Markleeville with hand-ups of Red Vines from teenagers, that was so cute. I noticed a lot of the women were extra shouting and cheering to me, and said “Girl power!!!” 😛
Made a devil horn hand gesture at the last photog at the top of Carson, and got my dern pin. Saw lots of friends at the top eating their ice-cream (my stomach was like, hell no! I only had about 5 licks of my ice-cream before I gave it to my friend/teammate Dan), signed the poster, got my photo, and was REALLY tempted again to take a car ride back to Turtle Rock from Christian teammate/friend but I did not I kept to my promise.
The downhill Carson was scary, because the shite road kept worrying me and made my wrists SUPER hurty. Ouch! but oh yes that downhill is nice. Saw lots of people spectating on the side at the Woodfords turn, cyclists who had finished, including 3 studly dudes with their shirts off and I cat called at them 😉
Booked it over that last little hump to the car and saw Yuriy’s smiling face as he was waiting for me at the car.
What went well:
- Cut off 2 hours overall from my ride last year! HA! LORD was I slow last year. Yuriy cut off 5. HOURS, overall. WTF! #beast
- Being PATIENT, and going about the ride at MY pace, not someone else in front of me.
- being distracted and occupied watching all the cyclists around me, I can’t imagine doing this ride completely alone with NO one else around
What could have gone better: Eating more I guess, on top of not stopping and lingering, it was hard to eat because it got hot, and long rides I always find it hard to eat properly (except 2 weekends ago at Wild Sierra Century, that was a rarity). I didn’t have any liquid calories in my bottles either, just water.
5 pass finisher bib number, with the 5 pass stickers. (Why don’t they use stamps?)
the morning moon setting, fuzzy photo, but I tell you it was breathtaking…
going up Monitor
quickly snapped a photo of the Monitor stone sign
Death Ride noms
Oh hello, Ebbetts start
Franco Balcom siblings!
“we need to get a photo!” – Trish
teammate/friend Christian at the official signature board
I fulfilled my promise to myself and biked down Carson, got to see it from this end
Success! Quality beer, burrito time. Yuriy and I definitely cut off some mad time from our D.R. 2013 ride
I got so many comments on my tinsel, & they were ALL by men! “Nice bling!” “How festive!”
Death Ride, I won’t be seeing you for another long while, see ya when I see ya.