|Barns For Jason- Gravel Worlds Version|
The worst part was that I had no juice left for climbs. I was fading fast and getting passed by more and more riders as the miles slowly, painfully went by. I reached Wittstruck Road and it was nothing but rollers. One after another. Of course it would be like that. Why wouldn't it be?
I wanted to rest. I wanted to get relief from pain. Curiously, the day before I was talking with Scott Bigelow of the Cycle Works/Moose's Tooth team. He works in orthopedics in some capacity and we were discussung my old shoulder injury. He said something that resonated with me to the effect that cyclists can bear a lot of pain. So when they tell him as patients that something is hurting them, it probably is really pretty painful. I was thinking about this on Wittstruck Road and how I felt pain in my abdomen like I never had before. I decided I needed to act on my thoughts to take a rest stop.
Just then, Warren Weibe rides up next to me on his single speed. He didn't say a word, and he probably knew I was hurting badly by the way I was riding. He sidled along next to me and paced me silently, without even looking at me. It's funny, but that made me want to keep going. I probably rode a mile or so like that with him before a hill dictated that he needed to ride faster than my walking pace. I saw his wheel fade from my down turned view, and I looked up.
I saw a grove of trees with a small opening from the road. An implement byway to a field, I suppose it was, but whatever it was, it afforded me the chance to dart off the road and get out of sight. I looked behind me and I saw no one. Ahead was only Warren and his back was bent over his bike as he toiled away at his single gear. I darted to the left for the opening and just as I went off the road Warren turned and our eyes met.
I supposed he might come back to see what was the matter, but he left me to my own devices, which is the way I wanted it, to be honest. I was in pain, and all I wanted was rest at this point. I flung my bike into the grass, sat down, and laid back into a soft tuft of tall grass.........
|The road to Bennet where I ended my Gravel Worlds attempt.|
"Hey Brother! If you get this hit me back. I am not going to finish and need to get a message through to Tony."
I had no idea if MG was done, home, still riding, or what. I just sent the message and started riding. Somehow I felt greatly relieved and was feeling good. MG hit me back with a message five minutes later and said he had dropped at 105 miles and was home, but he'd make it out in about half an hour to forty five minutes to get me. I was five miles from Bennet. We decided he'd pick me up at the Casey's there. Tony then hit me with a text from the Casey's saying he was with Warren and heard I was doing poorly. I told him MG was picking me up and to go on without me.
|End of the line.....|
So, I made it to Casey's and another rider was just pulling out. He offered encouragement, but I stated I was done and getting picked up. I waved and wished him well. Then a fellow in a truck pulled up and started in on me how he had finished and that I should get some ice to cool down and do such-and-such with it.... "Thank you, but overheating isn't my problem.", I said. He didn't hear me and kept right on as if he wasn't having any of these excuses and I should go get the ice and follow his instructions. Another rider rolled up, Aaron Schnee, and his attention went toward him with the same advice. Nice that he wanted to help, but a nice "Hello! How are you? My name is....." goes a long ways toward a polite conversation instead of assuming what was wrong with me and not even saying who he was. Anyway, he left and then Aaron's wife and two little girls were there and we had a little fun talking about gummy worms. Then Rob Evans, who was on my GTDRI ride two weeks prior, rolls up with another rider.
I chatted him up and it seemed that another rider named Pablo was feeling ill but might be coming in behind he and his riding companion. Then MG showed up and we loaded up the Tamland. Just as we were about to pull out of Casey's Pablo rolls up and decided he was done as well. MG gave him a lift and the three of us rolled back to Lincoln together. MG deposited me back at the hotel where I promptly showered and fell asleep for 12 hours!
|On the road out from Lincoln on Sunday morning.|
Thank you to Tony for the ride down and back, and for putting up with me all weekend. Thanks to MG for rescuing me. Thanks to all the Gravel Worlds folks- Schmidty, Cornbread, all the volunteers, and Cycle Works. Thanks to, and congratulations to, all the riders- finishers and non-finishers. You all are great folks to hang with and ride alongside of.
Thanks also to you for reading this.
Have a great weekend!