Well the spring break that began with ridiculous amounts of work could not have ended in a better way, with ridiculous amounts of bike racing!!!
Friday afternoon I jumped in the van and jammed to meet up with my consummate catalyst to adventure, Menso (and his buddy Dillon) and we headed north to Fresno for the Big Sandy mtb race. Although it rained precisely only while we were racing, the venue was stunningly beautiful, and the mud and cow poop we were covered in at the end washed off easily in the lake.
You know I took a mid-race selfie, conditions were too epic not to :)
Post race tacos by a pretty lake... yes please!
And then Menso, being the bad influence he is on me, let me ride my bike back to town so I could get 50 miles in for the day. The post race spin was even more glorious than the scenery during the race, and the sky opened up bathing me in warm sunshine and igniting the grass and oak trees the most beautiful vibrant green.
Do you SEE that amazing road along the hillside?! I rode my bike on that!!!
And then we hopped in the van and dove a little further north to Mariposa for the Rumble in the Ranchlands gravel grinder. Fortunately the weather was beyond perfect, and once again we were treated with never ending gorgeous views of rolling green hills, crazy wild rivers and majestic old gnarly oak trees. To top it off multiple times herds of horses turned out to pasture galloped along side us as we charged down perfectly moist gravel roads, and at one point the green carpeted path was shrouded with bright pink trees. It was magical. If you're into scenery do not miss this race/ride next year.
The start of one of the most glorious days of my life.
I was fed pop-tarts topped with nutella at the first aid station... heaven.
Grilled cheese at aid station #2.
Making sure these 5 crushers drank ample shots of burbon at each aid station ensured I could keep up with them for 70 of the 80 miles.
And then Menso and Blake decided to make us all feel like sissys when the attacked with 10 miles to go, turning a glorious day of suffering into a thorough gutting that left me cross eyed and eventually off the back.
It's all good though, because once I found my way solo to the finish we rolled back out onto the course for some cool down bonus miles, and then ate the most delicious chicken cooked in duck fat. Not a bad day.
I could go on and on about how magical the gravel ride was, but it's past my bedtime and I'm freaking tired. Go do it for yourself, nothing I can say will come close to conveying how incredible this route/race was.