A ghost is borne

I didn’t die. This is how it went…

Day 1

  • Early morning drive up to Leadville. Unwittingly populate my brain with songs that would course through my head the entire weekend: Hell is Chrome, Spiders (Kidsmoke) (Wilco); various un-namable selections (“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” the Flaming Lips).
  • Parking lot. Application of cold chamois cream (don’t ask) while sitting in my car, next to a decent and unwitting family of cyclists.
  • Staging area. Unshakable feeling of “what in the hell am I doing here?”
  • Mile 0. A decently mellow start. These people are friendly. Colorado is beautiful.
  • Touched. People have dedicated their rides to sick and lost children. I try to remember their names, especially the ones who have died.
  • Mile 23. First real climb ever, Battle Mountain. Not bad.
  • Mile 38. Next climb, Vail Pass.
  • Mile 50. I hate life.
  • Mile 52. Summit. And coast down to Copper Mountain. Just over 4 hours of riding. People cheer as we roll in. How cool.
  • Set up campsite on the grounds of the resort. A private shower.
  • Inexplicably: A cup of coffee?!
  • Evening. A mostly sleepless and frigid night.

Day 2

  • Up and out by 8:15. Riding starts with another descent. Nice.
  • Mile 5. I realize I have left my water bottles at the filling stand back at Copper. Luckily, I am Camelback’d.
  • Some respectable climbs. A bit of neck pain. A run-in with local news personality.
  • Inexplicably: Do You Believe in Love, I Want a New Drug (Huey Lewis and the News)
  • Mile 50. My crotch catches fire.
  • Back at the resort by 12:45, 44 miles, including lunch stop.
  • My water bottles are still there.
  • 30-minute massage, my first ever. Neck pain, gone. Crotch fire, not addressed.
  • Aimless wandering around Copper Mountain resort. This experience is less fun when you don’t know a soul there.

Day 3

  • Hubris. Start with hellacious climb up Fremont pass, which all but completely takes it out of me. Chat with some Canadians at the aid station.Fremont Summit Aid Station
  • Descent into Leadville has me clocked at 50mph. Yikes. Just a quick loop around Turquoise Lake and…
  • Penance. Torturous inclines for the next 16 miles.
  • Mile 38 of 44. I hate life, but otherwise disgusting energy gels suddenly taste good.
  • Mile 40 of 44. My crotch catches fire.
  • Final 10 meters. Evil red flames emanate from my thighs. The dark powers of Satan are being summoned, somehow, through the ritual completion of my ride.
  • Finish line. Time stops. Everyone moves at normal speed, but I move as if underwater. No Satan.
  • This is not hyperbole: Salt crystals have formed on my brow and cheeks! A type of stigmata, I presume.
  • Hyper-reality dissipates on my drive back to Denver.
  • I fall into a coma.

Can’t wait for next year.

[7]

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~ by TGV on July 24, 2007.

2 Responses to “A ghost is borne”

  1. […] word for it. One look at “Cycling Chic” should convince you. Suggested to me by friend and cyclist, Tom, “Cycling Chic” is a super-hip website that promoting super-hip cycling. With a tagline of […]

  2. […] I told my friend, Tom, he replied with a reasonable suggestion: “Ask them where they planned to store the bikes—and […]

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