I spent much of the day riding with Dustin who was riding fantastic. There was a lead group that worked its way down to about 8 riders. At the time I did not know much about Jeremiah Bishop but I could tell that he was super-fast. There were several other riders that were riding really well and we made sure that they did not get too far in front of us. There were several times that the pace really picked up and it was not always on the hills. The lead group of riders would break up at times and we worked hard to catch whoever was off the front. When we rode through the gravel section Dustin’s shifting must have clogged up and he had trouble shifting the rest of the ride and was stuck in the big chain ring. If not he would very likely have been the first finisher.
Late in the ride I was solo off the front pedaling as fast I could with Jeremiah Bishop and Josh Beck working together chasing a minute or two behind. The rest of the group had broken up and they were each riding solo behind us. Jeremiah & Josh caught me half way of the last climb and I got on Jeremiah’s wheel as he passed. I did not look back but Josh was right there on my wheel for a moment. When Jeremiah looked back and saw me he picked up the pace and Josh dropped off and I was struggling to stay on Jeremiah’s wheel. As we made the final turn Jeremiah picked it up again and I dropped off a little but was able to catch back up and was still thinking about when I would come around him. When we could see the finish sign Jeremiah got out of the saddle and put a gap on me, I looked back to make sure that no one was behind me that could catch me and I just rode in behind him. There was not much I could do about it.
We gathered up at the finish and talked for a while, after a few minutes I asked him his name and then realized why I was having such a hard time staying with him. Jeremiah was really nice and introduced me to the other guys as they rolled in and told all of them I had come in 2nd behind him. It was fun hanging out with them and after a while we headed over for some food and drinks together. There are no prizes handed out for KOM’s or for finishing first, it was all about challenging yourself and spending the day in the mountains and meeting new people.
And yes, it is a couple of days later and I am still tired.