Ride to the start

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Lael, riding to the start of the Cedro Peak 45km Ultramarathon

When an opportunity to enter a local ultramarathon arose, Lael immediately suggested that she could ride to the start, camp out, and run the next morning.  That was several months ago.  This past Friday we rode twenty miles out to Tijeras at sunset.  In the dark, I turned around and rode home through the city, bombing down old Route 66 amidst grit and low-budget glamour passing fresh stucco strip malls and crumbling motels.  Lael continued another ten miles in the dark, uphill, to a secluded picnic area where the race would start the next morning.  She lay down, slipped into her bivy, and arose in the dark to officially sign-in at 5:30AM.  Cold, she returned to the sleeping bag to stay warm while waiting for the start.  7AM– lose some layers and line up at the start in a ratty cotton tank top, athletic shorts and old-fashioned running shoes.  No tech, not even low-tech– no trail running shoes, no gels or technical fabrics.  Nothing but a few sips of water and a Big K Cola about 5 miles from the finish.  Forty five kilometers, 4000 ft of climbing, and twenty-six minutes ahead of the next female finisher, Lael won the 45km race.  Around noon, they tapped the keg and she sipped a beer while waiting in line for a complimentary hot dog.  She didn’t know anyone there and I couldn’t be there to watch, so she hung out with some mercenary bike cops responsible for trolling the course, which was composed almost entirely of rocky, forested singletrack around Cedro Peak.  And then, she rode home.  Lael races about once a year.  She often finishes third, which is pretty good for a sometimes racer.  This year she finished first.

Lael believes in transporting herself.  The fact that she rode to the start is impressive, and bold.  The fact that she won is badass.

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Lael has big eyes for the world.  Follow our adventures in Europe this summer from her perspective at Lael’s Globe of Adventure.

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18 thoughts on “Ride to the start

  1. Nicholas, you are a lucky guy! Give your sweetie a hug for me and tell her congrats. I’m impressed!!! Surely she didn’t run in those leather shoes? I bet she’ll now be thinking of doing Leadville or Western States.

      • Gary, Hugs abound round here. Will give one from you. She ran in her standard Asics trainers, as she has been using for years. She insisted on riding in her leather Clark’s, which are falling apart. A new pair are on order for our summer riding adventures.

        Blue fork is the stock fork. The Reba is hanging from a hook at TWD until I find the time to service it. The tires are borrowed from Cass, previously mounted on the VO Campeur. I am selling the Campeur with some Resist Nomad 700x45mm slicks, as seen on the Chauncey Matthews frame at NAHBS. Lael will be riding some big rubber this summer, most likely her favored 2.4″ Ardents. I have a Velocity Blunt rim and a SRAM X7 hub on order for her rear wheel. The Deore hub and 21mm rim aren’t going to cut it anymore. Thinking about a Jones bar for her to reduce neck strain. Even though the position is very upright with the Mary, she still holds tension in her neck. The Jones might be a solution, while still a capable trail bar.

        • I have an Andy built cromoly H-bar Lael can have. It’s a bit narrow for me. No rise, 25.4 and 45 degree. I don’t think it will change her position much over the Mary though.

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