Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Tonto Twist 50 2020 - Ashley Wingert - Full Story

January 28, 2020 / Ashley Wingert

Sometimes, I think my (endurance) life plays out as one continuous episode of “man plans, God laughs.” I mean, I know I’m not unique in that regard — spend any time talking to any endurance rider behind the scenes, and the actual reality of what is going on often times only bears marginal resemblance to the social media reality that is presented to the public at large. (I get it, I do the same thing…my social media posts try to be positive and low-drama, with a healthy dose of “don’t make my problems and dirty laundry other people’s problem.”) But endurance is definitely a sport filled with mountain highs and valley lows (and I’m not just talking about the trails), and it takes a certain level of mental fortitude and tenacity to not just finish rides, but to stick with the sport through the ups and downs, and the inevitable disappointments as well as the successes.

That was a bit of foreshadowing that Tonto Twist, and subsequently, Project Ridgecrest, did not exactly go according to plan when Atti and I finished all 50 miles at Tonto Twist…and then got pulled at the finish for lameness. Pulls are never fun, especially the finish line ones, and this one just really stings because I felt like I did everything so right. The whole ride, and the training and lead-up to it, was so well executed…hit all the checkboxes of strategic, targeted training and coaching, smooth planning and prep, nailed my ride-day pacing, electrolyting, and ride plan…and it still went sideways in the end. After a while, it’s hard to not feel a bit discouraged and disheartened.

So with all that as a preface…onward to the actual ride story. I absolutely adore the Tonto Twist ride, which is saying something since I am currently 0/2 in finishing it...

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Death Valley Encounter 2020 - Valerie Jaques

FurtherAdventuresTeam91 - Full Story

Monday, January 13, 2020

The weather the few days leading up to the Death Valley ride had me concerned about making it to the ride at all. On December 26th, even here in the mountains of San Diego County, we got fully 4 inches of snow. Our local freeway was briefly closed. I knew by the time we needed to leave on the 27th the roads would be in good shape, but I had a much closer challenge: getting the trailer out of the driveway. I have to keep it parked by the barn in order to keep it plugged in while not in use. Getting it out involves backing it down the driveway. The driveway is steep enough if it's iced over the trailer will drag the truck helplessly down the hill. Ask me how I know this. So we had to wait for the sun to do its job and defrost the driveway before I could get the thing out.

We did finally hit the road about 10am, which all things considered isn't bad. It's only about 270 miles to ridecamp. It's really rare for two days after Christmas to have particularly bad traffic. I usually make the drive in 5 hours or less.

Not this time.

Of course with all that weather and snow, people were out in force. We hit a lot of backups. It wasn't until we got past the Kramer Junction we were able to reliably make time. There was even snow on the mountains between Red Mountain and Trona. We made it to camp about 5:30.

Due to all that weather, there were very few rigs in camp. Maybe a dozen. Probably less. Never have I seen ridecamp at DVE so empty.

Because there were so few riders, the decision had been made to vet everyone in at 6:00am on ride day. Seeing as there was perhaps a total of 15 riders all told, it was an easy enough thing to accomplish. Our ride started at 6:30am...

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