The Carrabassett 50
By the time we exited the technical downhill, Chris was still in the lead and Ryan and I had managed to separate ourselves a bit from the group again but were soon joined again by Tyler and some dude from Montreal. This is where it starts to get dicey memory wise. At mile 28 (roughly 2:40 into the race)Ryan and I did a very quick transition at aid station number two heading out for the outer loop for the last half of the race holding positions #1 and #2. I was concerned about whether I could out last Ryan or not. Last season he rode a super strong Bradbury 12 and got an easy SS solo victory and he looked to be on his way again. He was spinning effortlessly along while I labored ever so slightly beside/behind him.
At some point, we were once again a 4-5 man lead group that I found myself at the front of for a bit just as we approached a horrendous grassy climb up an approximately 18-20% grade. I was horribly overgeared with my single ring set-up and was forced to stand and hammer most of the climb while everyone else sat and spun on their puny lil' rings. At a couple of points during the climb, I glanced back quickly hoping that I'd see everyone else walking so that I could get off and walk myself but no dice. When we finally exited this, the crappiest, skidder trail like surface, trail on the course, (maybe Marcy can fix my punctuation) we came to an intersection with a dirt road going up to the left and down to the right. Initially I didn't see an arrow but after some searching I located one laying in the ditch, made a quick calculation as to which way it was supposed to be pointing and plunged down the hill with Tyler and Montreal (I'd find out at the end of the race that Ryan had to stop because of leg cramping) praying that we'd soon see another course marking so we didn't have to climb back up this bitch.
The three of us rode together for the next, maybe, 10 miles until we came to the aid station just before the birthday trail (I think). Tyler and Montreal stopped at the station for a full refil. Me? I grabbed a gatorade, some pb&j and snuck away while they both had their camelbacks off. Sneaky me. I hadn't planned this to be an outright escape but I did want to give myself a chance to ride at a more comfortable pace for a while and make them work to catch me.
Last installment tomorrow.