Ironcross minus 2

In 48 hours, hopefully, I’ll be safely across the finish line at Ironcross V. In 24 hours, I’ll be on the road for central Pennsylvania with Tripp and Marco. This morning, I packed gear and bought some last minute necessities.

I’m trying to decide whether to CamelBak the race or do bottles and have spares at the checkpoints. I’ve done the CamelBak the past two years, but I’d love to ride without it. But will I be able to carry enough fluid with one cage and in one of my back pockets? I don’t know. The CamelBak would be safer.

I planned to train so much better for this year’s Ironcross: nearly two weeks of base riding in New Hampshire on very similar roads and a mountain century or two in late August. But no, I screwed up my back and barely rode at all. I tried to make up for it in September with hundreds of miles on the road, including some excursions to the dirt roads of New Kent County. We’ll see if it’s enough. I haven’t felt fast, but it’s been hot and humid. Now that the cool air that I love broke through maybe my form will be back too.

Regardless, I’m going to have a blast. I don’t know why I love this race. It’s extremely difficult and at times quite scary. The endless climbs and the crawl-up hurt, pushing my limits farther than they’ve ever been. Maybe it’s the thrill of the descents, maybe it’s the accomplishment, maybe I’m a masochist.

And maybe it’s the camaraderie of doing such an epic race with so many of my riding mates – K to the Dawg, Crazy, Marco, Rob the Tripp, Bill & Tim’s excellent adventure, Stephen the Manimal, J “Big Toe” B, young Mark, Art the Dart, Mike, Silly Sally, Liz the Voice, Laura, Carol and Sawyer, who will probably try to avoid me given my bad habit of riding into him.

Two days and counting. I can’t wait.

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