This water station was at mile 37 or about half way into the day. Everyone that came through there had a smile on their face. Why shouldn't they? I mean, the worst part of the day was coming up. But still, all smiles. It was awesome to be there and help.
|Otter Pop handups. Frozen sugary goodness.|
|Heres J.Thomas and Banks grinding up Spiro|
|Banks cussing Spiro|
|Banks focused on the job at hand|
|Gordon at the Colony stop. He had just about had enough. Dude separated his shoulder months ago and still rides. Crazy mofo.|
|Ready to rip some downhill|
|1 more climb after this|
We passed Beth, told her she was getting close and that she was almost there. We stopped a few minutes later to re-group. Lyna caught up, not far behind was Beth. We waited. Beth rolled up, she was on the rivet. Then the rivet blew off. She broke down. Pure raw emotion. I have been there. I was there 1 year ago. She had the hardest day ever on a bike. As all of us. (well, not me but im telling the story) The PCPP is one of the hardest races in the entire country. The pure fact that you toe the line to start puts you in a class all its own. To finish? Well, there is not much that can compare to the feeling. We all supported Beth, told her it wasn't much more uphill and then its all downhill to the finish. We kept her close. By this time it was getting dark. We didn't care, we all wanted to roll into the finish area as a group. We took our time coming down the last decent, regrouped a few times along the way. We rolled onto the pavement, regrouped and made our way to the finish area. As we rolled into the finish area the crowd went crazy. Deep anticipation of our arrival had been building for the last hour. Brandon, Gordon, and Justins wife and kids were all waiting for them with bated breath. The crew from Draper, Riessen, Bright, Tyler who all had awesome races and finished stronger than last year were all waiting. Bob, Lyna's husband was waiting, gave her a big hug and a kiss. Camera's were flickering, crowd cheering it was amazing. Beth let it all out there on the trail. She gave us all hugs. I think she will look back and think, damn that was awesome that I finished!
I was pretty pumped just to be a part of this race in any way I could. I was even more pumped that it turned into an Epic day. Not necessarily an Epic day in terms of miles that I had ridden, but Epic in the sense of the experience.
Different perspective, same result. I crossed the finish line with an amazing group of people. I was elated and felt amazing. So, here's a tip, just pick a group, ride the last 22 miles and you will be touched. No need to suffer all day.
Truthfully though, there is a deep sense of satisfaction when you cross something like that off the list. Well done riders, and thank you for the experience.