Things got off to a decent start. I was in a group of 4 other SS'ers for most of the lap feeling decent. Pace was hard but manageable and riding rigid wasn't affecting me as much as I thought it might. The new steel is a-niiiice. Just before the end of the 1st lap heading down one of the faster, rocky descents I was getting jostled about pretty good. There were some shadows coming through the trees making it hard to see obstacles and pick lines and I caught something with my rear tire and got bucked really hard. Hard enough to send both my bottles flying. Turns out the cages on the new ride were just a tad too loosy goosy.
I really wanted to stick with the group I was with because I knew if I lost those wheels to follow that was going to be it. But on a hot day like today I wouldn't have lasted long without those bottles. I rounded them up, bent my cages a bit to hold things tighter and went on my way.
2nd lap I laid it on the line trying to get back on terms with the group I lost. Things actually felt really good and I thought I had a shot. I was climbing strong and you can tell by my ride data that my second lap was just about as fast as my first. I couldn't keep that up going into my 3rd lap though and I never did see that group again.
even pro photogs cant make a gnarly step up look hard on film
I was able to ride all the punchy climbs every lap, which I believe is a first for me on this course. I usually bottom out in a few spots on shorter punchy climbs but I was able to power through today. I ended up latching on to the leader of the women's Elite race and we yo-yo'd the back half of the last lap. Came in under 2 hrs and put up one of my better times on this course. Not bad for the heat and riding ironman. I was only about 2.5mins behind a group of a few SS'ers which was about the time I lost with my bottle mishap so I am going to call today a decent showing.
And I got all kinds of "Wait...whats the deal with riding with no gears or suspension?" questions at the finish. Damned if I know.