Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stagecoach 400/road trip

This was a great trip, ride race! I am currently gearing up for the Tour Divide 2012, and am very excited, so the Stagecoach 400 was a shakedown to help me prepare, and I learned a TON! I have actually never done a MTB race of this length solo. I was responsible for all the decisions, taking care of myself and my bike. Of course I had plenty of prep help from JayP which is priceless.

Our vacation started with a local dig day on Sunday, I have never raked rocks before, very interesting. 

Then I went for a quick spin and we finished loading the van. This was also the 1st road trip we had taken our dogs Rippin' & Chillin' on, and they proved to be great travelers! 

We made it to St George late Monday afternoon and got in a short, but warm ride.  I love the desert fauna, it's so wild looking. 

We spent the night in the Valley of Fire just outside Vegas, what a cool little camp spot, then made it to Idyllwild the next day Tues to do a little pre-riding. Big pine cones and pretty forest. 

Camping was available right in Idyllwild which was very sweet. 

So we did some more gear fiddling, then met up with Brendan to get some info about another pre-ride near San Diego. We got to take the boyz to the doggie beach and they loved it, and so did I, I love the beach and ocean. Then we did some more pre-riding, met up with a couple friends. We spent the night at a campground we had been to before which is right on the beach, but it was raining, so all four of us, our bikes and gear slept in the van on our very, very cozy mattress. we headed back to Idyllwild the next day. Camped again right outside Idyllwild and took the boys to their acclimation at the kennel-they passed with flying colors and got to stay. 

Go time! The race was originally scheduled to start at 8am, but was delayed due to the spots arriving late. Then we finally departed 1030 am. 

Within the 1st 3 miles I was greeted by a man  and his big utility truck which almost hit me shouting "get outta here, this is private property!" somehow I rode around him and just kept going. There was a bit of climbing, but a lot of descending. About 15 miles outta Borrego Springs I sliced my tire, probably on one of these metal elephants in the middle of no-where? 
Not knowing there was no slime in my tubeless tire, I had to stopped every five miles to fill it up, thinking it would seal, no luck, but I knew I would be in Borrego Springs soon to fix it. The 1st store I came across was a True-Value, I knew they would have slime! I got the slime then headed to the burrito shop and spoke with some fellow racers who were more then eager to help me out, but we could not figure out how to get the presta valve out. Fortunately Brendan had shown up and we got the tire all fixed up as I was on my way. I am shure I spent more then an hour at this stop trying to figure this out.

I got 2 burritos, ate 1/2 of one there and carried the others, which probably weighed about 2 lbs each to the Stagecoach RV park. For some reason, I did not have enough food from the start, and boy was I feelin' it. So when I arrived the RV camp at 130 am, I just ate the other 1/2 of burrito. I was getting tired of carrying this 2lb burrito so when I woke at 4am I ate 1/2, threw away a quarter, which I would later regret and stuffed 1/4 in my pack, with no more food. The next time I was able to get food was mile 151. I ate a bucket of soup, snack mix and the reloaded til mile 205, in San Diego. I got there at 1am, I was tired and hungry, so BK fish sandwich it was, then I searched for a cheap room, which I finally found. I showered, slept, devoured a couple danishes and felt like a million bucks. 

I started heading thru SD and really wanted and egg and cheese, which I got and headed towards Sea World, only to get very confused by people and my GPS. I think I spent about 2 hours riding the same path back and forth trying to figure it out, and finally did-ugh! that was trippy! It wasn't til mile 271 that I got another meal, Mickey D's fish sandwich, (BK's is better) and some more food to go, but still not enough. All I had left for the last 25 miles was 2 cheese crackers and about 20 chocolate covered espresso beans. 

I began stumbling and need to rest, I only wanted to lay down for an hour but did not hear my alarm and woke 2 hours later. I tried to move forward again, but wasn't able to get on the bike and pedal, so I just laid down in my rain jacket for 20 minutes and that seemed to do the trick. I like being able to just get up and go. 

The Anza Market was closed when I got there but there was some water left out, which I was also out of. I still felt good though and just cruised along. I saw someone catching up to me so of course I started charging. Luckily the Hemet Lake market was open 15 miles before the finish, I grabbed a coke and cinnamon bun and continued the climb to the finish, only to get turned around 6 miles from the finish by a woman in a white car, who followed me almost all the way back to Idydlwild. I was disappointed to not be able to finish the original course and really didn't like the hwy climb, but rolled into Idyllwild just before 10am, to be greeted by my amazing husband who had won,  and other racers. 

I got changed, ate a very great b-fast, took a shower and we headed home! We were home by 430 am the next day. I was at work by 10am, doing Payroll, catching up all the day ends and then finally got to fold and stuff invoices. Whirl wind of a trip at the end, but very much enjoyed! I would highly recommend this race!