|chased the sunset up capitol reef, and won|
The above photo (check out a few more here) was snapped upon completion of my second stage. With my bike now safely again in the back of the sag truck, and Dustin with the slap-bracelet baton, valiantly hammering up Boulder Mountain in the dark, I stretched my punch-drunk legs out of the truck, putting them back into a desperately needed state of recovery and stared up at the shifting silhouette of the mountainside treeline and the stars beyond. Even in moments where my body was physically and mentally sapped, it was surreal. The places the bicycle can take you are surreal. The strength it inspires is surreal. Strange, the way it rewards such a level of self-imposed suffering, and a drunkenness on one's own masochism with so powerful a sense of fulfillment and gratification. A different demon to first exercise, then conquer, with the crest of each hill. I was expecting the race to produce at least one of those slightly terrifying and desperate "what the hell am I doing here" moments, and I was not left disappointed, as there were several.
But still, I'll be racing it again next year.