We were sad to lose Vilen at Spooner after he essentially got jumped by an uber Clydesdale rider. On top of that, if I were racing Half Ironmans on the weekends before and after, I wouldn’t be going past 8 hours either.
It was now almost 1 pm and we had been going for nearly 9 hours including breaks, some of the rest kind and some of mechanical kind. After scarfing down real food, cokes, those
Starbucks doubleshot coffee and protein cans, and anything else we could find to keep us charged up, we lubed the chains and set out on the Bench section from Spooner Summit to Kingsbury Grade.
This section is about 14 miles of sweet singletrack, but starts with a nearly 2,000 ft partially shaded climb. By now it was really heating up and some sections had no breeze. The sweat was dripping constantly off the helmet onto the bike, and somehow I found the right head angle to keep it out of my eyes and sunglasses. We all suffered a bit, but reaching the top made it all worth it, where we had an amazing view of Lake Tahoe.
From here it was fun and flowy riding down to Kingsbury. But it was not without incident. Dylan broke a spoke and wrapped it around an adjacent spoke as a crutch to the next aid point. My water bottle cage came loose and I managed to cross thread it in a rush to tighten it back on. We were against the clock, about an hour behind our ideal low estimate ride time, so we kept it moving.