Here are two pictures that embody the true spirit of La Ruta. All racing aside, La Ruta is about pushing your own boundaries and seeing what you are made of. These two guys are as tough as they come.
One arm- killed it the entire way. Amazing.
Look closely at the guy on the left... that's right, prosthetic leg. Wow.
That was certainly one of the most memorable experiences of my life and one of the most intense races I ever done. The night before the race, promoter Roman Urbina talked about the race and ended by saying that this race is mostly mental. You really need to be in the right state of mind just to finish the thing.
As for my 2nd place- I still can't believe that all came together. I rode my own race, stayed consistent and dug deep when I needed to. I am super excited though, I never would have thought I could get 2nd in my first attempt!
Check Cycling Dirt for lots of cool race videos, thanks Colt.
I know some people get a vision of lounging at the beach enjoying a vacation when I say I am going to Costa Rica... getting up at 4 am every day to tackle this is what's in store. Mud, rain, heat, cold, piranhas, hiking, exhaustion I will be disappointed with anything less!
OK so I should know that already. Maybe I did but it was easy to forget. I hurt my back/left side ribs in my dual crashes last Saturday. I was pretty sore right below my armpit for a few days- just felt like a bruised rib/pulled muscle or something. It got better throughout the week and I wasn't feeling too bad. Sleep wasn't too much trouble and I thought I was fine. I even did some pullups and pushups this week pain free. I thought I was in the clear.
That all changed Friday night when I decided it would be good to stretch a little. I was doing normal stretches for me and came to one that I do all the time- extending arms to the ceiling, lengthening the spine and arching the back slowly. All of a sudden- "OH S%^$!" I felt some separation in my ribs in that spot down below my armpit and man, that hurts. Now I feel like I have broken rib and certain movements make me cry out, sleeping hurts like crazy and the cross race yesterday was excruciating. I tried to ignore it for the first part of the race but all the standing bumpy sections where you had to accelerate were killing me. Now I don't know what to do- maybe I should let it heal but cross is so fun that I am tempted to go suffer through another hour... it feels pretty messed up though...
Speaking of cross, yesterday at Wheeler was awesome. So many people out racing and watching. Super cool. I managed to get in the lead group and even gave it a shot at the front for a lap despite not being able to fully accelerate out of the saddle. I pinched in the creek bottom and lost some air before Stan's sealed the hole, but started to roll my tire a little in the corners. Even almost ended up in the goose pond! Ali got by me there then I proceeded to get in Bart and Eric's way for a bit and almost cost them the chance to contest the race. They got by me though and it went down to a sprint for the win, and I rolled in 4th.
Just writing that makes me want to go race, but just moving my arm makes me want to yell bloody murder. What to do, what to do...
When I was 18 I moved from the 802 to the 801 looking for bigger mountains and a college degree. I found both and I'm still here 10 years later as UT has a lot to offer. I still have my VT pride though, especially when it comes to maple syrup or cheddar cheese...