All posts by Steve

Share the Road, Sep 30, 2017

Share The Road Ride

Join us for the 8th Annual

Share the Road Ride

Saturday, September 30, 2017
See staggered start times below

DMV parking lot 3855 Alamo Street Simi Valley

Click Here to Register Now


Pre-Registration: Get all squared away for the ride by registering on Friday afternoon! You can sign your ride waiver, pick up your rider number, grab your goody bag, and buy tickets for our fantastic raffle on Friday, September 29, 2017 at All Pro Bikes located at 2385 Tapo St. Simi Valley, Ca. Just look for the Share the Road Ride signs and our registration team will be waiting to welcome you! Packet pick-up will be open from 4:00-7:00PM.

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Directions

Simi Valley is located at the Eastern border of Ventura County. Situated to the Northwest of the San Fernando Valley, take the 118 Freeway to the TAPO CANYON EXIT. Travel one block North to Alamo street. Turn left into parking area. Lots of parking for all. *Please use caution as the parking entrance is also the Start/Finish!*

Description

The eighth annual SHARE THE ROAD RIDE Takes place in beautiful Simi Valley, California. Home of the infamous Simi ride that takes place every Saturday of the year. Simi Valley is a cycling mecca that caters to amateurs and pros alike. Offering safe, well-maintained roads with various terrains, and beautiful vistas. This years Century offers a revised route that includes both great climbing and scenic flats!

Rides

Century Challenge, Metric Century, Half Century, & 25 Mile City Tour

Century 100 Miles

Our Century route travels around Simi Valley, then through our neighboring community of Moorpark. This portion will travel over rolling hills through citrus and avocado groves. Then spilling into the farmlands of Camarillo and back to the finish in Simi Valley. Our Challenge Century features 5571 feet of climbing…your legs will know you’ve done some work

100 Challenge Course

NEW Metric Century 62 Miles

Not quite up to a 100 miles, but want to do more than 50? Our Metric Century option is the perfect choice! This course will be adapted from our full century course and provide both a scenic route and a challenging course! Stay tuned for exact course details!

Metric Century Course

 

Half-Century 50 Miles

Our Half Century tours the cities Simi Valley and Moorpark. A good medium ride with 1765’ of elevation gain. Rolling hills with some great views.

50 Mile Course

 

25 Mile City Tour

Our City tour offers great views of beautiful Simi Valley! Rated easy to moderate with some challenges. A total of 825’ of elevation gain, a good challenging 25 mile ride.

25 Mile Course

 

Ride Fee Schedule

Online registration for the ride will be open through 9/23/2017. After this date registrations will be accepted on-site at the day of registration price. Save money and register early!

$55.00 per rider through 9/23/2017
$65.00 per team through 9/23/2017
Day of Registration:
$65 per rider
$75 per tandem

Minors must be accompanied by an adult during the ride. Wearing a helmet is mandatory for all riders.

Get a FREE Share the Road T-shirt with your early registration! Spread the Share the Road message every time you wear your shirt! To reserve your free shirt you must register before 9/9/2017. T-shirts will NOT be included in registrations received after 9/9/17.

Details:

Rides will be sent off in waves: 7:00AM for the century and metric century, 7:30AM for the metric century and the half-century, and 8:00AM for the 25 mile ride. Feel free to start early for the later rides, but the course will not be open until 7:00AM.

SAG support will be available throughout the course starting at 7:00AM. SAG stops will provide: electrolytes, water, snacks, an on-site mechanic, and basic tools. Please carry water, tubes, and any nutrition you need for your ride distance. Additional water-only stops will be available along the route.

Packet pick-up will be held at All Pro Bikes 2385 Tapo St. Simi Valley, Ca 93063 on Friday, September 29th from 4:00-7:00PM.
Onsite ride registration will open at 6:00AM on September 30th at the ride start: 3855 Alamo St. Simi Valley, Ca 93063.

Free parking is available at the event, please follow posted signs.

Memorial Miles Dedication

Share the Road Ride will be spreading the message about the need to safely share the road, as well as honoring the memories of cyclists who have lost their lives in traffic-related accidents. Soaring Spirits International is proud to honor your loved one with our Memorial Miles dedication. We will create a large printed photo board for each honored cyclist that includes a photo, their birth/death dates, and a personal message of your choice. The boards will be displayed along the 25 mile City Tour ride route. Inclusion in our Memorial Miles Dedication is free of charge, though any donation you would like to make in memory of your loved one is welcome. To include a cyclist in our Memorial Miles Dedication, please download the form at the bottom of this page, and follow the included instructions. Completed forms should be sent to contact@soaringspirits.org.

2011 Cape Epic

The 2011 Cape Epic

All Pro’s Gina and husband Phil completed the most difficult race they’d ever taken on. The Cape Epic traverses the mountain ranges of South Africa over eight days of grueling conditions, 500 miles and 56,000′ of climbing. It’s a test of not only endurance, but sheer willpower. They completed the race on their tandem bike in 47 hours and 30 minutes total time over the seven stages and a prologue. Congratulations Phil and Gina!

 

Phil and Gina rail a turn on a 25 mile downhill section of the 2011 Cape Epic:

Cape Epic, Phil and Gina

Cape Epic, Phil and Gina

 

Incredible landscapes of South Africa in the Cape Epic:

Phil and Gina on the tandem, Cape Epic 2011

 

Phil and Gina at the Finish Line of the 2011 Cape Epic:

Phil and Gina at the finish line

2009 Whistler Gravity Camp

2009 WHISTLER GRAVITY CAMP

For those of you who came into the shop during September or October 2009, you’ll have noticed a gnarly scar and/or my shoulder in a sling. The gravity camp experience wasn’t exactly what I had intended as the fun of being there and riding some incredible Whistler downhill was brought to an abrupt halt when I had a truly horrendous crash.

One shattered collar bone, some broken ribs, a punctured lung, a week in a Canadian hospital, a torturous 33hr train ride from Canada back to Simi, a plate inserted into the shoulder and months off the bike later I am cleared to ride.

So I decided to post the photos I did get for you to see.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to offer a truly massive heartfelt thank you to everybody who has helped on the road to recovery. From just simple well wishes through advice through cooking through helping out at the bike shop I’d like to thank each and every one of you. Its folk like you who make coming to work a joy.

Gina

Gina on the wall ride, Whistler
Phil:
Phil on the wall ride, Whistler Gravity Camp

2008 Trans Rockies – Day 7

DAY 7

Crowsnest Pass to Fernie. 78.8Km and 2101M of climbing.

We’re in the starting paddock for the last time. We get a photo of the two of us – it’s a beautiful morning and it’s definitely going to get hot for the last day. The prospect of starting out over 2 or 3 of the 200M near verticals is not something that really has us motivated. If the truth is known we’re both dog tired and yesterday’s euphoria is a thing of the past. We would have loved for some kind of processional ride into Fernie. Still, we know we’re going to make it so are not overly dejected. Both our arses are proper uncomfortable. Yesterday was the day when I went to the “Stuff the Dr recommended dose” mode in relation to the taking of Tylenol. No doubt my liver will repay me in a few years time with some kind of spectacular seizure.

I was going to say we take off from the start line but we don’t – really we just roll forwards without much of a sense of urgency. Just outside the town limit we start on a recently oiled fire road. It’s ok but is densely packed. There’s a bit of joviality but it’s tempered by the fact that today is still long and hard. We’re heartened by the sight of Chris and Alli riding in kilts.

The 2 or 3 200M verticals piss us off. We’re on the bike and off the bike then on it then off it. We do get to catch the names of the 15 toes team. One of the riders has a prosthetic leg from the knee down. I love the black humor in the team name. I’m looking forward to getting completely shedded tonight with these guys – they’re just a set of guys who we have the ultimate respect for.

After doing the verticals the field is well spread out. We catch the Pink girls just as we hit a short tarmac section so we get a little pace line going. Paceline is probably a bit generous of a description. In fact there probably wasn’t any aerodynamic advantage at all for the pink girls come to think of it, I think they were just humoring us!!

I’m thinking its going to be an easy run to the 2nd rest stop but it’s the hardest of the entire race. Gina is really hurting. She’s picked up my sickness and I can tell she is struggling to stay positive. I’m riding as hard as I can – Gina’s like I was earlier – just nothing left. On the other hand I’m not able to get my heart rate up, no matter how much I try to. And we’re back into darn verticals – just super short but still enough to have to get off and push. We break out onto a fire road and it just seems to go on and on and on. My Garmin is off, I have no idea how far to the next checkpoint, and we’re crawling, really crawling. And then we start to climb. And climb some more. We’re all suffering at the back; nobody seems to know where the next checkpoint is. Luckily the head medic – the cowboy guy – comes by in the truck – it gives me a lift, I don’t know why – maybe just the words, whatever they were that he yelled out of the window.

I figure we must be getting close to the checkpoint as I see the tree line start to thin out. We do come across it but it’s not really a sense of elation. Just kind of dumb recognition – sort of glazed over as if we’re a bit concussed. As usual they do an awesome job but man, it is hot, and the promise of 15K all downhill just isn’t received with the rapture it should be. We’re pretty much done and the last hill that I heard them describing last night fills me with dread.

Still we push off and it is fun. We’re doing our traditional haul down the fire roads and pass a few folk. We get some nice tandem friendly single track but I can actually hear Gina let out little moans of pain. Her Achilles is starting to seize and to say monkey butt is just a huge understatement. When we compare ass bruises hers are actually fully formed and then burst blisters. How she kept riding is truly beyond me – I’d have quit or at least had some kind of massive childish temper tantrum. Still, it’s pretty unpleasant when you know that if you slow down your partner is going to have to bear pain for longer and if you speed up the pain is going to be more intense.

So we’re not in the best of moods when we come to the final climb. It should be easy but it’s roasting. In my heart I know this is the last uphill but I tell Gina we have one more to go after this. I just don’t want to disappoint if I’m wrong. We’re so dog tired that if I am wrong I don’t know what the reaction will be. We’re walking like we just crossed a desert or something.

Eventually though, I get utterly pissed off knowing we should be riding it. I say “Fxxx it”. We get on and ride regardless of the sweat literally dripping off of us, regardless of a couple guys sat in the shade and regardless of Stu – who on the top of the hill is still just walking. It’s completely flat so I can’t fathom why he’s not riding. His bike looks fine but I wonder if he’s suffering from heat exhaustion. I think I ask him if he’s ok but I honestly can’t remember.

There’s a curve then all of a sudden we drop into a forest – we actually hop off for a second because the contrast is so dark. I’m so happy to be in the shade. My gut tells me this is the famous Fernie single track and sure enough we start maneuvering around really tightly packed trees. Every time we change pace or direction I can hear my wife grunt with pain. It’s a dilemma as to just getting off and walking to the finish line or to keep putting her through this pain.

I decide we just go for it. Normally there would be input from the back as to when it’s too much or too risky and whether the FXXXing timing chain is going to ground or not. But it’s silent other than the grunts of pain. So we ride everything. And I mean everything. We miss trees by inches. I’m like a bit semi making wide right and left turns. I brush Gina’s bar against a tree – she’s ominously quiet. We head down a super steep section where 2 other guys are walking their bikes down – they look at us in amazement. At one point we have to get onto a log bridge and I know the back wheel is not possibly going to make it so I ride up the bank on the uphill side of the ridge and pray that when our momentum fails us, and the front wheel falls back onto the bridge, that the back will have had time to get in line. It does and I don’t even think Gina is aware of how risky that one was. I call out with glee when I actually pop the front wheel over a particularly challenging log but it’s like I have a zombie in back. I’m really really concerned at this point.

We swing around with these super marginal calls and actually catch up to the pink girls. I know generally we’re going down but don’t know where the finish is. Gina stops us and says she doesn’t know if she can make any kind of last hill with her Achilles hurting her like it is. She says her right hand is numb. I ponder what to do and as we roll off I do see a field below us. I yell it out to Gina who doesn’t get the meaning. We roll a bit more then suddenly hit a 1K to go sign. Gina questions me on 1KM to what, we break out of the forest and pass one of the support crew – 1KM to the finish. We’re both in tears. Mine of concern, Gina’s of pain and then we drop onto tarmac turn a corner and we’re in main street Fernie coasting across the finish line.

I reach back to hold Gina’s hand and the tears really come then. We get pictures with the TransRockies logo in back and we both look emotional and just worn out. There’s a good shot of the tandem frame – it says Witness on it.

Witnessing what we’d just done is what this diary is about. It was the hardest but probably most fulfilling seven days we could possibly have had together. The fellow competitors were hugely inspirational and we’ve both got a deep sense of respect for every single one of them – they’re welcome in our home any time.

But the person this account is for, more than anybody is my wife, Gina. Firstly in just being willing to give it a go, she amazed me. And as a result of sharing 7 days of the most incredible highs and lows our relationship is stronger, more focused on the things that matter and more respectful of each other. I love you Gina. Thank you.

Will we be back? You’ll have to check the Team Names for that….

Day 7 - the finish

2008 Trans Rockies – Day 6

Day 6

Elkford to Crowsnest Pass. 102Km and 2998m of climbing.

So a little bit chastened we’re on the start line in Elkford. But the weather is absolutely amazing and I think we’re both determined to leave yesterdays crash behind us. The route looks stupid hard again and I’m dreading the 3 * 200M elevation changes right before the finish. Those are going to be brutal.

But we do know now that if we do today, we’ll do tomorrow, so we set off in a pretty positive frame of mind. For a change we actually get some tarmac road to start on. Naturally its steep uphill but who would expect anything different? Actually, if you’ve got 478 mountain bikes (and one tandem) you do have to figure out a way to get the field split up or it just becomes gridlock. So its not just total cruelty on the organizers parts, only partially. And it does become a bit of a traffic nightmare in the first single track section as we are backed up on top of each other. But the views down into the gorge are amazing and initially we’re not that fussed.

But it does seem like an age before we break out onto a fire road and by then I am a bit worried that it took us so long, with all the traffic, to do the first few miles. We’re rewarded though with a decent downhill section and we’re motoring. We pass a ton of folk which is really rare and get to the first stop with a whole crowd of people. This is more like it. We even get a chance to talk to the friendly video guy. We don’t stop for too long because it just feels right today and we’re both going really well. I don’t want to do anything to upset our rhythm.

All too soon though its back to the uphill grind. We must though have pushed through some kind of pain barrier as we’re making solid progress and arrive at the second aid station in pretty good shape. Even my wife is showing her arms now it’s more than 90F. Still got the heavy black leggings on though- amazing.

Another hysterical moment as I grab a piece of water melon for my wife and hand it to her to take. Instead she just face plants into the melon and half ends up in her mouth and half all over her face. Once I’m satisfied I don’t need to rename the team “15 fingers” and that they are not about to spurt blood everywhere we both wet ourselves laughing.

After we pull ourselves together its back on the bike and up and up again. I think we’re walking again but so is everyone else and we have to do this for a while before we can ride up and over the continental divide. It’s a brutal pull up and over but the views are worth it. And we know we have some massive down to come so are feeling very pleased with ourselves.

Its fast coming off the continental divide with a lot of shale fields to cross. Most of them have a rough line across them but the thought of going down on this super sharp stuff does make me slow it down a bit.

We must make a turn into a different valley somewhere because although the direction is still downwards there is a huge headwind. The 2 person teams are really struggling here. We see folk holding onto one another’s camelback as the stronger person leads into the wind. We figure we might have a bit of an unfair advantage but given Days 1-3 we probably don’t feel overly concerned. In fact, we get absolutely rocking and the surface is great, so nothing to really worry about. We’re absolutely spun out and we’re both ducking down to be as aero as possible. We yell to folk as we come up on them to pedal like crazy and get on the back but its just not possible. We spit folk out of our slipstream like a wood chipper. Of all the folk we pass on that long wonderful section there’s only a couple of crazy English Clydesdales that are able to get on and stay there. Respect my crazy friends, respect.

Day 6 - Mountain Views of the Rockies

As the saying goes “all good things come to an end” and we turn up at the last aid station in the knowledge that we’ve got the last 3 power climbs to endure. Still we get the best complement possible, and it’s good to keep us going over at least one of the last three climbs, when one of the teams goes bug eyed and says “What are you doing here?” The fact that we’re this far up the field (remember this is relative to Days 1-5 – the Italians need not worry) amazes us and we are a couple of happy campers (literally I guess).

Anyway as we leave the last aid station the 3 climbs are everything they were described as. Basically just get off and push. Brutal, just brutal. The descents are similar but they tend to be in the shade and they are incredibly steep. Throughout the last 5 days I’ve never worried about keeping the tandem’s speed under control but these downhills are the ultimate brake tests. I have absolutely everything yanked on as hard as possible and I actually breathe a sigh of relief as we start back up the next col.

At one point it gets a bit slick and I’ve got Gina suddenly appearing in my peripheral vision as the whole back end travels independently along a slimy root as if it was a rail. I get off the front brake just quick enough to get Gina back into her rightful place behind me. Talk about an adrenalin rush. I can tell Gina is either confident in what I’m doing or getting tired and not caring because she simply says “Did we get totally sideways then?” to which I reply “yes, dear” and leave it at that.

At the third col the bike demon is having his say telling us that our tires are going flat and that the brakes are stuck on. But we manage to keep the demon at bay and make it onto the run in to Elkford. It is proper scorching as we cross the finish line but we are both just so thrilled to have had such an amazing day. My wife says she refused to think about how far it was to go because she’d been asking the previous few stages and had only been disappointed when “just around the corner” turned out to be a couple hours away. Today, she says, “I didn’t even allow myself to think the ride had started until the third checkpoint.” Wow. Whatever the reason that was our best day on a tandem. Ever.

Day 6 - the dirty tandem

 

2008 Trans Rockies – Day 5

DAY 5

Whiteswan to Elkford. 88.5Km and 2147M of climbing

Its almost routine now – the waking up to the slamming of porter potty doors, the search for the torch so that we can do the sun cream, warm up cream and bum cream before the fill your face breakfast. The overdosing on the kick ass coffee before curling a huge….ok, ok, lets not go there….

Yesterday we were 24th and we’re pretty pleased with that. Obviously we’re not yet ready for the 2nd starting paddock, and I don’t see the Italians looking nervously over their shoulders at us, but 24th of 29 is a whole lot better than 27th of 29 on Day 3.

We’re rolling out on a logging road again which is great. And slightly downhill again therefore also great. The uphill is steady and being around folk again is such a lift. A couple of times we’re riding with guys who have some kind of physical disadvantage. There’s a team called 15 toes, a rider with a prosthetic below the elbow, a guy recovering from cancer (whose buddy only took up mountain biking a few months back) and I’m sure there are others who should be mentioned. These guys really blow us away; they expect no special treatment, and, ride like they stole their bikes. Truly incredible people and motivation to get to the finish line and have a beer with them.

We seem to go up for an awful long time and my arse is also joining Gina’s in the land of uncomfort. But we finally make the top and it’s a great descent back down. We’ve got our water bar approach fairly well dialed in and no more superman moments occur.

Its funny how our technique is improving. I’m doing a better job telling Gina when she has to get up off the saddle if we’ve got something really large coming up and on steep angled traverses where the trail just slants away beneath us we’ve even got our “clip one leg out and dab against the side of the trail” technique developing. It is still really hard to pedal backwards and forwards on command but the locals probably think an Iditarod team is coming through when they hear me yelling “Easy, easy, hold it, hold it, now drive, drive drive”. My wife is yelling back how many gears we’ve got left in the rear “ Three left, Two left, One left”. It’s a long way back to the rear sprockets from up front so having the information coming through really helps me to figure out if I’m going to need to drop to the granny or not, or if I’ve got the chain sufficiently aligned to start lifting the chain onto the 44 tooth front chain wheel.

Getting to the second stop is another milestone and we’re back riding with Ian and his partner. They tell us this last section before the descent to the rock garden is brutal and they’re right. Its back to walking and I’m finding it really tough with nothing in my legs. Gina notices and even spells me a period pushing the tandem so I can get rid of the lightheadedness. What a trooper.

We get to the top of the ridge and then its wickedly steep downhill followed by wickedly steep uphill and I’m just not contributing enough power to drive us up the other sides. So we’re doing a lot of exhausting walking. Sometime we get a roll going and catch up with Ian and then he gets a roll going and we see him move off into the distance.

Ian lets us know we’re entering the rock garden. To be fair, before I biff it, we’ve been riding probably a good half of the rock garden but there are sections that are beyond my skill level and I should have taken the sensible decision and got us off earlier.

Which leads me to the predicament I open our account with. Its just a combination of exhaustion and stupidity on my part that lead us to go down and luckily, as Gina breaks free of the tandem, her boots do not target my ribcage!! But I am most definitely in the dog house and we are most definitely walking the rest of the rock garden. And I am, most definitely walking the tandem down on my own, with my wife following at a distance just inside the maximum allowable distance for a team member to be apart from their partner.

In fact there is a comical video moment when the guy filming does a double take as I appear walking the tandem and my wife is a good way in the distance. He should be a diplomat as he says nothing and I plod onwards for a ways more.

Day 5 on the Trail, Phil and Gina

Eventually Gina decides I’ve done my penance and we hop back on. Team player that she is, she acknowledges it wasn’t a deliberate decision on my part to put us down. We were lucky in that we went down in the grass at the side of the trail but we’re pretty done with the day’s stage and cruise into a very hot Elkford in 27th of 29th place. So much for lofty ambitions at the start of the day.

USA 7hrs, 47mins – Italy 4Hrs,11mins.

2008 Trans Rockies – Day 4

DAY 4

Nipika to Whiteswan. 110Km and 2,567M of climbing

The next morning we’re both feeling a little better. Being able to sit down and get some relaxing time in has definitely helped us and we’re in much better spirits. The sun is out and it is a cold start to the day but we’re thinking that if we can make today we’ll definitely make the whole thing.

I’m a bit wary about the fact they’re going to ride us around Nipika for starters again. We both have definitely had enough of the on again/off again routine. But given the length of the stage plus the fact that we open with a decent fire road section means we’re not going to get shelled from the start. In fact we do have chance to have some fun conversation with fellow competitors while we’re actually riding. We’re digging on the fact that there’s a young man from Glasgow, Allie, and his father, Chris riding. Allie’s 18 and boy, is he going to have some fun stories to tell when he goes away to University in the fall. For us tail enders, these kind of moments are hugely positive, they lead to a kind of shared determination to make it to the finish.

The organizers must have figured they could never get the entire race, so near the start, down the Nipika single track so they route us on some grassy double track and then out onto a fire road. We actually do re-ride some of the stuff from yesterday and it amazes me how hard it was yesterday compared to now. Its not even really uphill. I guess it just goes to show that if you’re not there mentally this race is going to beat you up and then spit you out.

It is genuinely enjoyable today. The fire road is great fun and when we do start to climb its not insanely steep and we’re riding well together. Gina is repeatedly thanking the seat and is consistently cranking out the watts to keep us moving forwards.

We have our first encounter with “water bars” as we start the descent to the first checkpoint. These are great big dips in the deactivated logging roads where the drainage has been taken out and a big ditch left behind. If you pile into these too fast you will literally get ejected out the other side. So deciding how much speed to loose is what’s occupying my mind. Slow down too much and you have to crank to get moving again but going in too fast could blow the fork, and/or, visions of my wife being ejected and catapulting over my head are not good. Since the tandem picks up speed downhill pretty fast anyway we go cautiously and enjoy our ride to the first aid station. I think we’re dead happy because we’re riding with other folk today and that’s a huge motivator.

From the first aid station its uphill with the conditions going from fire road to single track. The single track is cool though, its up and down but doesn’t have lots and lots of slimy logs to contend with.

Soon enough we’re at the 2nd aid station and there is a proper river to fight our way across. Its about knee deep and the current is moving pretty swiftly. We’re careful to keep as much of the tandem as we can out of the water but it does still try to drag us downstream. When we reach the other side and look back at where we entered the river we’re a good 30ft downstream.

Now we know there is a very very long climb to come so we just settle in and take it steady. We even have the energy to joke around with the motorcycle camera guy and demand a tandem category. This is most definitely a good day.

I was hacking away coughing last night and as we get towards the 2/3rds mark I’m definitely feeling a bit under the weather. But the scenery is spectacular and we have a beautiful glacier view as we climb up and back onto a single track section that crests us over another mountain pass.

We’re not really that conscious that we’re close to the time cut off again as there are a good few folk in sight today. But as we head down and down we do begin to wonder where the last checkpoint is. We pal up with Ian and his partner plus the “Pink girls” as we rush down to the final checkpoint. I’m getting a little too enthusiastic and we’re heading over some rollers at a good rate of knots. Gina is suggesting that I’m getting a bit too competitive but before I can really acknowledge this I treat her to what we call the “Superman” position for the rest of the week.

Basically we barrel into a dip way too fast and as we come over the other side and come over the crest the rear wheel stays fairly planted but my wife does not. She has her arms completely stretched out and the only thing preventing the catapulting I talked about earlier is the fact she is clipped in. Her legs are totally stretched out too. Obviously I can’t see this but I do tone it down a bit and the other guys ride on ahead of us.

Still, better safe than sorry. A couple minutes later we see an awesome piece of helicopter flying as they take out a rider who we later learn did something similar, but really ejected himself and I think, broke his collar bone in the process. Not what we want to do and not what I want to be responsible for either so we do go a little bit easier.

We get down to the checkpoint with 15 minutes or so to the cutoff and we break back out to fire road. There’s still a fair way to go but because its gradually downhill we can really motor. As we catch the guys we motion them to get on our wheel but there is an incredible amount of momentum that we’re generating and we gradually loose our pace line. We hold up a few times to allow folk to get back on our wheel but the cord keeps snapping so we just let ourselves roll. The speed we’re going means that all of us should get in pretty comfortably today.

There’s one final climb up around a beautiful river gorge and then we’re at the finish with the weather being just perfect. What an incredible day of riding. Just incredible. And our riding skills are definitely improving each day.

So even though I go to bed early because I’m not feeling too clever I’m confident that we’ve got this thing under control.

For comparisons – Team “We’re too sexy for this ride” – 8:14:44; Italian Stallions 4:36:12.

Gina on Day 4 of the Trans Rockies Challenge