Vaporized

Posted by on Sep 12, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments

It is hard to know just exactly how to describe my experience at the VT125. I felt strong throughout the race, and really tried to push the pace. But underneath the typical “race” stuff, was a fantastic day of riding in a setting that left me both exhausted and awe-inspired.

What stands out right now about the day was the rich variety of experiences….

The traverse across the Colorado Trail was terrifying, and yet so much fun that despite riding it sloppy and clumsily, I was smiling through it all.

While climbing up to Hancock Townsite, I was repeatedly taking a closer look at the white tipped pines, over and over convinced that the white tips were actually snow. Of course it wasn’t snow, but the cold morning and the frost on the ground wanted me to believe otherwise.

As I climbed, my feet froze, and my beard became slushy. But as I rose in altitude, so did the sun. In front of me a red light blinked, and behind me a white one bobbed. Other riders, making their way up the mountain. The sky turned from black, to a deep purple, and then, almost suddenly, it was light. I climbed the Alpine Tunnel rail grade, picking my way over the rotted rail ties and through the puddles of summer run off, and as I did so, I simply felt alive.

I felt incredible going up the Alpine grade. All my senses were being assaulted with the beauty that surrounded me. The fresh mountain air filled my lungs, so cold it almost quenched my thirst. The sun, creeping over the surrounding peaks, the trail, doing it’s best to pull me back down the mountain… it was surreal, and thrilling.

Eventually I was faced with a hard choice. Continue on, or turn back and end the day.

I stood trailside, on the Monarch Crest, a storm rolling in rapidly, and waffled back and forth. Eventually my indecision gave way to decision, and I made the conservative choice. I turned back, and returned to the aid station a few miles back. It was clear that to finish the beast was going to take much, much longer than I had anticipated. And it was probably going to keep volunteers on the course longer than needed.

So I turned around.

I would have loved to have been able to finish the race. But I had an incredible day in the saddle regardless. I pushed my body and mind to new places, I saw and experienced things I had yet to see and experience. It was the highlight of my season, and a ride I will not soon forget.

4 Comments

  1. Ed
    September 12, 2007

    Well I slept for almost 12 hours last night and feel like I could again tonight 🙂

    Great to see you out there Adam and I’m glad you made it down for a premier mtb event!

    Ed

  2. KanyonKris
    September 13, 2007

    Hey, you gave it a good effort and it sounds like you had a good time. At least you’re testing your limits – some people never do.

  3. Jason
    September 14, 2007

    Another epic and another adventure and that’s really what it’s all about- pushing yourself, adventure and having fun. Good deal!

  4. Japhy rider
    September 21, 2007

    great meeting you, and sharing part of the fun of the Old Monarch Pass road. good on you for getting all you could from the VT. i did as well, which was a blast! maybe next year…

    if you make it out to Tahoe, drop me a line or email.

    Japhy rider
    http://www.teambaconstrip.com