In case you were thinking that the vegas marathon known as interbike wasn’t enough, I got ya covered.
Turns out that Pines to the Mines was saturday this weekend. Yes, the day after we got back from interbike. So, I did what anyone in my situation would have done, I ate some sushi, drank some beer, and stayed up way too late on friday in preparation for the 80 miles of pain.
Then I got up at the butt-crack of dawn and headed down to the pay n take for the send-off at 7am.
There were over 50 people who started this year, which I think is a record. We knew it was gonna be a fast race when Timmy, Andy from Durango, and Art showed up in addition to the defending champion, Mr. Turbo AC.
True to suspicion, I lost sight of the lead group about 10 miles into the race, and proceeded to settle into a nice spun-out cadence on the Gunnar. I popped on the headphones (which I rarely use while riding my mountain bike) and cranked out some miles to System of a Down.
Before I knew it, I was at the sycamore rim trail, and before I knew what happened, I was changing a flat on the sycamore rim trail.
So much for new tires.
I was actually feeling pretty good, and cranked out the rest of the road miles without much fanfare. I think these long races are starting to become somewhat normal for me, as I remember suffering a LOT more last year on this race.
In fact, I distinctly remember my knees feeling like they were about to explode by the time I got to the descent to the verde river, and this year, I felt fresh as can be.
I hit a quick rest at the river to refill some liquids, and then took to the task at hand: the climb up the back of Mingus Mountain to Jerome. It’s about 14 miles and about 2300 vertical feet of climbing to get to the top of the pass, and I cranked it out in less than an hour and a half. I felt incredible for the whole climb, and ended up passing 7 people from the time I stopped at the river to the time I got to jerome (5 were on the climb, 2 were at the river rest stop).
In the end, I did the 80 miles in 6hrs 15 minutes. Definitely my best time by over 1/2 hour. Andy took the big W with an absolutely insane time of 4 hours 30 minutes. Timmy was about 20 minutes back from that with the Turbo AC in third (he passed Art on the climb who was “deep in the pain cave”). Adam said something about wanting to go under 6 hours this year, and he destroyed that with a 5:15.
In true form, there was beer, BBQ, and bands waiting for us in jerome when we arrived. After gorging on BBQ we sat back and watched the Shindaggers and Four Beer Buzz swap sets for the remainder of the evening as Scott pushed the Crown Royal and Benson followed up with some good Tequila.
It was a day of fun-filled adventure with a healthy dose of meat, alcohol, bluegrass, and punk rock thown into the mix.
I will leave you with this picture illustrating the absolute domination of Jerome by the shindaggers, and in particular, Pete’s rockstar glasses (which he wore long into the night).