I remember being cold and hungry at the start. So cold and hungry that I couldn't comprehend the passport and put it into action on the map. It took us almost 15 minutes to figure out a route.
I remember climbing out of Cove Creek in a bunch of traffic, with Dicky and his partner passing us just before the road. And then riding with them to 276 talking about Swedish thriller films with lesbian soft-core porn scenes.
Hating Greg for suggesting Black> Turkeypen Gap -- a week ago. By the end of the race, I will have crossed Clawhammer and Black summits four times in three weeks.
Being overcome with a weird moment of grieving high up on Turkeypen Gap. All of a sudden I started thinking about my Mom, and I seriously contemplated dropping out of the race right then.
Getting schooled by the Princess and his sidekick Hamburglar across TPG.
Thanking my lucky stars that Greg pays attention when he looks at a passport. I almost rode right by a checkpoint that would have cost us 15-20 minutes to go back to later.
Making our way up Laurel, racing darkness, and seeing Dicky coming down with a slashed sidewall and dashed hopes.
Just barely reaching the checkpoint without lights.
Choking down pickled eggs. And failing.
Losing all feeling in my hands. My face was already numb.
Losing all feeling in my toes.
The sound of 30mph+ sustained winds blowing through the TV tower atop Pisgah.
The view from up there.
The sound of the wind on the ridges, and the feel in the gap.
The smell of vinegar.
Taking off my gloves for less than a minute as we got ready to head over to Pilot Rock, and feeling the blood pull back from my right pinky and ring fingers. Feeling fear that I wouldn't be able to brake properly.
Heading down Pilot, walking most of the switchbacks. Coming across people we knew going up and praying Greg wouldn't stop to chat for too long. Feeling relative warmth the lower we got.
Cleaning the rock garden for only the second time ever. In the dark, with a light on my head! The rest of the race could be a wash, at least I did it!
The incredible tailwind on 1206.
The cowbells in Cove Creek.
Rolling to the finish and having Eric tell us we were in the lead. Unbelievable!
... and that's just Day 1! ...