Well I've heard about the mystique of Michaux and now I can say I officially have experienced it. One memory that I want to fade very, very quickly so I can the sadistic trails out of my head. I have never ridden a tougher 40 miles ANYWHERE! The promoter called the trails sadistic and he was right. I can almost positively say that I rode more on rock today than I did on dirt. And not the nice side of the rocks either, the pointy jagged wicked edge of disaster - most of the time.
It was just the pounding that seemed to go on forever. As soon as you'd think it would let up, it would run right back into rocky hell. I for one love techy stuff and I was sick of the techy stuff. I like to ride it - but had no idea how to "race" it. The best I could do was to just try to keep moving forward and hopefully last longer than the other guys. I literally got off the bike and walked for extended sections audibly cursing up a storm and wishing it would all end. This was enough bad karma to have me, shortly thereafter, stung in the ass by an angry bee. Just what I needed for motivation.
I was relieved to have survived 39 miles of the course and in the last mile I saw a guy in red that I assumed was a competitor from a different class just up ahead. I would soon realize that he was actually in my category. I was trading places with him the last 15 miles, and he was just ahead mounting his bike after a hike a bike and saw that he was hurting. I had let him go and thought I would never see him again but he was right there. I was hurting too but at that point the trail was kinda smooth and I had waaaaay too much aggression to let this guy beat me.
I crept onto his wheel and saw his slower pace and just launched on him and he couldn't cover it. The parking lot was in sight and of course one more turn was to be had to scare me thinking that I've gone too soon. But it was ok. I kept on it and got around the next few bends to see the actual finish. It was a sight for sore arms, no ass, no sore eyes. Everything was sore.
So all in all it worked out with a lot of banging off of rocks, a little bit of hiking and a big sigh of relief when it was all done. Somewhere around 14 in my class including a couple of stout pros such as Harlan Price, Brandon Draugelis, and Aaron Snyder which were all way ahead of me and I finished in 7th place with a time of 5:09. Not too bad with the melt down I had.