Sunday, June 5, 2011

Anyone get the number of that truck?

So the weather sucks again this weekend(see last weekends posts). I needed 2-1/2 hours on Sat. and 5 on Sun. and there was no way that was going to be possible in Foresthill.
 After a bunch of office work and filing in the morn. we decided to head for Reno again this weekend, the temps were supposed to be warmer and while there was still a chance of rain, at least it wasn't 50 degrees. We got to Reno about 2pm and got checked into a hotel and left for a bit of an urban assault for a few hours. The chosen route turned out to be a no go for Mary on her road bike, but provided some possibilities for Sundays ride on my MTB. We backtracked and chased the proverbial wild goose, dodged some pretty good showers and fought a persistent 25-30 mph head/tailwind  but we were on our bikes and all in all not a bad evening. A little mexican food, beer and margaritas and we were in bed by 11.

Sunday morn we awoke to a pretty steady rain and my 7am start was going to have to be rethought. A look at the radar showed it was short lived so as Mary headed off to the spa, I got dressed. Waterproof socks, gloves and jacket were the choice for today, no hypothermia this weekend! Mary returned and decided the choice for today was a walk/run with Sasha up at Hidden Valley Park which we scoped out on last nights ride, a nice little regional park up in the foothills where I believe they hold some MTB races.

I got out the door at 8:30 for a proposed ride up to Virginia City, up the Toll Road and then out some back country dirt roads to Fernly and hopefully back to somewhere near the hotel. The last 10 miles or so were a mystery so a call to Mary to pick me up at the freeway was discussed as an option.

The first 10 miles or so were a mixture of city streets and dirt roads that we had seen the night before, this routed me over to Geiger Grade, the highway up to Virginia City. At this point I decided to go up the dirt route, a steep 2 mile 1,900' grunt to a saddle near the summit at 6,700'.

Starting up the Old Toll Road.

Starting to get steep!

Great rock formations out here.

Going up, up, up!
The road going up was super soft, a fore-bearer of things to come. The road is pretty steep in spots, that coupled with the mud had me in a pretty low gear pretty quickly. I crested the hill at the saddle of the Virginia Heights subdivision and headed off on some ATV tracks that led to the hwy at the summit.

I'm headed up over that mountain in the distance
Lots of little flowers all over
I was at those radio towers last weekend.
A drier and less muddy time
From the summit it was downhill to Lousetown Road, I'm sure there's a story there but I don't know it. Loustown Road turns to dirt in a mile or so and I was off on some very remote backcountry roads. The roads continued down a long valley, climbing and descending for about 10 miles. At about ten miles something in the geography changed and the roads became super tacky, gathering up pounds and pounds of mud on my tires, you know when mud is rubbing your Lefty it's pretty bad, I was now riding a 31er!

Starting to get soft!
The mud continued on and off for miles, sometimes it was just too difficult to ride so I pushed my 30 pound carbon bike up AND down hill. I considered turning around, but the thought of going back through the previous mud clouded my judgment about the mud that lay before me.

 The road went out through some beautiful country, the clouds were amazing and the intermittent sun meant I could lose my arm warmers and vest. At some point I arrived at an open gate with no trespassing signs off to the side, I don't usually like to put myself in the position of being somewhere I'm not welcome, but the thought of backtracking and the fact the gate was open and the road heavily traveled made my decision to continue easier.

Heading up and over another muddy little rise.

Came across this beautiful valley before heading up to the final summit at 6,500'

Crappy on the fly shot of some wild horses, I saw a few herds but couldn't get a picture, this doesn't really count as a picture either!
The road got more and more faint as I crossed valleys and hills, I was really out in the middle of nowhere at this point and just hoping that it continued on to Hwy 80, I had been out 3 hrs and returning from where I had come was getting to be less and less of an option the farther East I went.

A whole lot of nothing out here!

After about 40 miles I finally crested what I thought to be the last hill, the GPS showed that Hwy 80 lie about 10 miles in front and 2000' below me, cool!
I was becoming keenly aware of how out in the middle of nowhere I was. I kept repeating to myself to be careful, that even though I had my SPOT with me that help would be a long ways off. I hadn't seen any signs of civilization in 25 miles.

Of course not more than 5 minutes since my last reminder to be careful I found myself in a heap on a very steep downhill section of dirt road. A quick check of myself showed a broken helmet(not good), a decent amount of blood above my eye, a very sharp pain in my left shoulder and knee, right pinky finger and a lot of dirt in my mouth. Well, just great......
A couple hundred feet before my soil sample!

I sat for a bit and tried to gather myself up. I was a little out of it and upon further examination likely got a little concussion out of it. I got myself up and on the bike and proceeded to continue downhill. Blood began to run into my left eye and wiping it away just smeared it over to the other side of my face, my vest and gloves were pretty much covered by now. I managed to get down to a major paved road and continued down to a very welcome Hwy 80. I gave Mary the news and requested a ride outta here. I cleaned up a bit in the Truckee river but really couldn't tell what I was doing so I quit this futile exercise.

Mary had just returned from her run  and had yet to pack up, of course she was freaked out a bit. I tried to reassure her I was O.K. and that I would continue down towards Reno for as far as I could and call her to let her know what exit I was at. After a couple of back and forth calls she arrived at the exit I had just come into and we got loaded up just as the rain started, it would not have been fun to continue on down the hill in the rain so I welcomed the bailout.

The cleaned up version

I'm a bit sore tonight as I type this. I'm not sure how to take this, it seems my training for CTR has been cursed from the beginning. Crappy weather for the first 4 weeks has me really feeling behind the 8 ball for the remainder of the 8 weeks left in the plan. Of course I've got a huge week at work this week, just what the doctor ordered for a very sore body. Oh well, I guess it will toughen me up for my adventure across Colorado if I don't kill myself first.
Hopefully I'm just getting rid of all the possible bad things that can happen in the race beforehand, if I break another bike in two I might consider it a good omen......

1 comment:

  1. I can emphathize...everything seems to be getting in my way of training for the Nevada City Classic. First I was sick for 13 weeks and this past weekend I crashed hard descending Highway 49 and ended up in the ER. I am sure we are just getting this crap out of the way so we can have great races. Good luck Sean and keep on truckin'