Whiskey was a tough one… I found that out as mid week came around and I was still pretty blown from the effort. Regardless, I was still able to get out on some good single track rides and really enjoy my time in Prescott.
I also had an awesome time with James and Fernando in Sedona, AZ. James’s parents live there and we drove down on Tuesday to ride with him on some legendary terrain. I need to plan a trip back there!
Wednesday Caroline and I explored some trials just east of the Whiskey 50 course, Wolverton trail and trail 396, which were fun fast and flowy descents. Just what the doctor ordered.
Thursday I had and easy day and didn’t want to sit in the house all day so I convinced Caroline to join me on a hike up Granite Mountain out of Granite Basin Wilderness Area. I checked the map and found the “hiking only trail” to only be a little over 2mi to the top. So we geared up and headed that way. I did more research on the way to the trail and found that the top was actually 4.1mi long=8.2 round trip. I figured this was going to be a little much so we set out with plans to turn around before we got to the top.
We made 50min into the hike and we decided we would turn around at 1.5hrs regardless of where we were.
Fortunately, we made it to the top at 1:29. A little rest to take in the view and a quick snack before heading back down. Total time 2:50.
It should be noted that Caroline brought her jack russell terrier, Simba, along to tire her out. She was running around the entire time, off leash, and seemed like she would never get worn out. When we got back to the car she went into sleep mode for two days! haha
Thursday night, post hike, Caroline and I joined Donn for a quick spin on the Peavine trail, which may be the most scenic bike path I have ever ridden on.
Friday was another easy day. James, Caroline, and I convinced Fernando, who wasn’t feeling great, to shuttle us up Copper Basin Rd so we could do the Wolverton trail descent to trail 396 and skip out on 45min of climbing.
The rest of the day was spent napping/ resting up for the impending doom, lingering less than 24hrs away, Chino Grinder. Also, Jamey Driscoll arrived Friday afternoon to join us at the compound.
5:30 am wake up for the 7:30 am start in Chino Valley. We would take a northern route on gravel roads, climb up a deserted pavement climb to Williams City Limit where the turn around was. Then head back on the same route to total 106.5 miles and 8,000+ft of climbing.
The first 30mi of the “race” was more or less rolling and descending gravel. Then we hit the pavement climb, 20mi, to Williams City limit. This is where Jamey jumped to the front and put a bit of an effort in. Fernando and I sat on his wheel and before we knew it we had a gap on the group. We proceeded to ride a good pace, gradually growing the gap, until we hit Williams. We climbed a 2mi dirt road up a ski slope to the turn around. We got there with no plans of stopping, however, I asked if they had bacon, because Caroline told me they did last year, and we promptly dismounted to grab a few strips and a coke.
On our way again back down the gravel descent to the road. Fernando suffered a front flat and Jamey and I decided to soldier on. Fernando quickly changed the flat and tried to time trial up to us. However, Jamey and I were two people and rolling good on a mostly downhill route to the final climbs. Fernando put in a good effort but faded and fell into a group with TJ Woodruff and another rider.
Jamey pulled my tired legs up, back into chino on the 30 miles of gravel. The last 5miles section completely cracking me, and probably both of us. We battled a head wind and massive washboard sections of gravel rode, which slowed us down physically and mentally. We hit the last mile, which was smooth asphalt and I sighed with relief. Jamey crossed the line, followed by a washed up blown out me, defending his win from last year with a time of 5:20.
Fernando crossed the line a few minutes later in third after attacking the two other guys from his group not far from the finish.
Therefore, 1,2,3! Good day for us and it definitely wouldn’t have been possible without the help of James and Donn giving us feeds throughout the race. As you can imagine we were guzzling water and Clif product down like it was our jobs. I never suffered from the “bonk”, which I mostly attribute to their efforts in keeping us hydrated.
After the race we were all blownskies. We sat around and refueled, stood up on the podium and got out of there, enroute to the nearest Dairy Queen to check out their new blizzard menu. FYI the “salted caramel truffle” isn’t all its cracked up to be…
Then home to shower, finally, and start the packing process for our trip home on Sunday Morning.
We met Donn in Prescott for dinner and to celebrate our survival!
Now some down time before heading to Europe for the first two World Cups with USAC, Nove Mesto and Albstadt. When I say down time I mean recover then train my ass off and try to hit these two races as fit as possible! Wish me Luck. Until then, adios.