Saturday, the second day of the back to back white rim rides started and ended in much the same way–with me lying in the dirt. I awoke groggy, a little sore. No, I was very sore. My ankle was inexplicably swollen and painful. I was snug and comfortable in the bivy sack. Around me the sound of gas stoves boiling water hissed above the wind.
I decided it would be a good day to sleep late.
Keith prodded me out of the sack, and soon enough I was spinning along Mineral Bottom road. Stiff and saddle sore, but surprisingly excited about the day ahead. It is fantastic what the prospect of riding with great company can do to a tired psyche and achey bones.
As the day wore on I wore out. I climbed as much as Hardscrabble as I could. At the top I found a rock that perfectly fit the contour of my back. A $1,000 massage could not have felt better than that red rock lining the side of the road atop Hardscrabble. I laid there for a while, the rest of the group milling about snatching goodies from the sag wagon and swapping tales from the recent climb. A few wondered aloud if they would have the energy to finish the ride. I knew I could finish. But I dreaded rising up from my awkwardly comfortable rock.
Ten miles later I was done. I cleaned the Horse Thief switchbacks for the second time in as many days. I was happy. I was tired.
And I had a mad craving for a cream soda.