The sunset was great. After dark, I began to have a hard time riding as my bike seemed to swerve all over the place and the trail was often on the side of a steep hill. In these areas you could see the uphill side but just a black abyss on the downhill/cliff side. I stopped and once again my sugar was low. I stopped and ate my burrito and a bar and watched the stars for a while. I also was getting a little gripped as in 1988 I had crashed on junction creek and had to ride out for 15 mi to get 30 stitches in my knee and shin. And I guess I missed Anne and the kids and thought she was very worried about me falling off a cliff where they wouldn't find me for a long time. So it was slower going for a while. I finally came around after the big climb after Bolam pass. I rode until about 12:30am and found a nice spot under tree to take a nap. I took just 3 unit of Lantus. I was sleeping lightly and saw Eszter go by......
I slept for a couple of hours and was riding again at 2:30am. My sugar was 300 but quickly dropped to 60 when I got lost an hour later. The trail here goes across a road a bunch or hits the road and then soon after goes back to trail. I made all the junctions until about 3:30am when I missed one and thought I saw a marker on the road. I didn't remember the trail following the road but I couldn't really say as once again my sugar was low and I hadn't had a ton of sleep. I kept stopping to see if I could see E's tracks but the road was packed to well. I finally decided to go for 5 more minutes and if I didn't see a marker to turn around. I couldn't see the stars to tell my direction either as the trees were too thick. So I finally turned around and got back on the trail. Here you can see my bumbling...
I ran into a couple of bike packers and talked to them for a while. I took off my back wheel to check out my back brakes before the downhill. My freewheel/wheel had been making weird sounds for a few days but I knew I couldn't fix anything there. It was making a whirly chirping sound when the wheel turned like a crazy bird and when I peddled after coasting would make a thunk-thunk sound. I would soon find out what was wrong. I decided to put my other set of brake pads on and when I grabbed my back wheel to put it back on something wasn't right. Only half of the pieces were there. The cog set was still on the ground......my axle had broken sometime. Below is a reenactment of what it looked like.
Calm as always I carefully slipped the pieces back together and put it back on my bike.
I figured if my skewer could hold it that far, it would probably hold for another 20 miles. And down the trail I went.... The trail was nice with the classic water falls. About half way down, I got paranoid that I had missed a turn. I didn't remember so much climbing in the middle. Crazy what happens after making some wrong turns and not much sleep. So I rode back down the climb and there was E coming up. I said, "so this is the right trail?" she was a bit confused why I would be coming back and said yes it showed up on her GPS. I then turned around and rode about as fast I could the rest of the way back to the end of the trail..... I finished in 5 days 5hrs and 15min or so. E arrived soon after. Stats for this day: 115mi almost 18,000' climbing and almost 2 hrs of sleep.
I found Anne, and the kids, and Grandma and Grandpa. I sat down and ate a bunch of cantaloupe and good ol' Zach had been by to pick up some stuff and left E and I a PBR beer. I found my stash of Oreos that I got from Apple, the trail angel, and split them with E. We all then went to Carvers for some lunch. E talked them into giving us a beer. She is a force of nature.....
I came in 4th and E a close 5th out of 70ish. For more info with maps go to: http://www.climbingdreams.net/ctr/ and http://trackleaders.com/ctr
Immediately after stopping for a while, my ankles began to swell up--Kankles I think they call them. My mouth was sore. However, I didn't really smell at all.
The next day we drove back to Gunnison. We saw that Becky was about to hit Silverton so we stopped and looked for her. Little did we know that she had thrown in the towel. As she was looking for a phone, she saw our car and then ran into us. We got her some of Anne's clothes and put her bike in the car and gave her a ride back as well. Sitting between a 4 and 8 year old may have been almost as bad as riding the rest of the way to Durango. We had a bbq with some of the CTR racers later in the week, E, Becky, Jordan, Chris. Until next year?