Elden at the start.
Rick smiling at another human being. He claims not to like people, but I don’t buy it. I understand how he feels, though. It’s not so much the crowd, it’s the individuals in the crowd I don’t like.
Rick and Tony.
Wiens and Armstrong, along with some of the other elite riders.
1500 people starting all at once has disaster written all over it. I kind of enjoyed it, though. Not nearly as bad as 16,000 starters like at the Marine Corps Marathon.
Watching the pit crew in action at Twin Lakes feed zone.
Kenny was right behind. He races on nothing but slim fast and water. It seems to work.
Rick was the next one through. Here he is pounding a soup. Amazing how well that stuff keeps the cramps away.
Sam doing the “how fast can I fill my pockets” dance. Check out the mud on his vest. I was told conditions weren’t ideal. Dunno how Rick stayed so clean. But Rick always seems to be clean. I’m pretty sure he’s coated with teflon and doesn’t sweat.
Jonnie J. We didn’t know Jon and Gina lived across the street when we bought our house. In fact, I hardly knew Jon and didn’t know Gina at all. Now we think they’re about the best things about where we live. Our son and their daughter couldn’t agree more. But the son and daughter are five and three, so we’ll see whether we continue to think it’s cute in the coming years. As long as it doesn’t progress beyond holding hands on the way to church…
Erik made it easy for the crowd to cheer for him by name.
Jilene, my RAWROD cheerleader, is a former women’s overall winner at Leadville.
Steve, not quite half way through his second mountain bike ride of the year. Aaron and Elden are about as cool as friends get for setting us up on matching Superflies.
Eber. The irony of endurance racing: your body needs food so bad, but absolutely nothing tastes good. Nothing.
Tyler. Booth babes Cicily and Chelle are in the foreground. Were it not for Dug and Ricky, we’d have had far and away the best-looking crew at Leadville. I think we still won that category, but it wasn’t quite so decisive. But then again, I’m not gay or female, so maybe we ran away with it and I just didn’t realize.
DT. The camera is focused on the wrong spot but it’s the only photo I’ve got of him, and the dude deserves huge props for grinding it out all day and getting the 12 hour buckle.
More than just a pretty face, Rachelle can also fit her fist in her mouth. Apparently there was much mirth during the eleven and a half hours when they weren’t swapping bottles and force-feeding exhausted racers.
Not to be outdone, Dug shows that he can fit a ginger snap in his mouth sideways. Nice try, Dug.
I was certain when I rolled into Twin Lakes the second time that there would be a mad scramble to find chain lube. The conditions were destroying my, er, Elden’s drivetrain. Instead, I pulled up and JDub hands me some Rock and Roll before I even asked for it. The “rag” is Dug’s shirt. Good thing he wasn’t wearing the Mexican Wedding Shirt.
Here I am rolling into Pipeline the second time. That look of concentration on my face has nothing to do with riding the bike.
Sam’s a two-fisted drinker: muscle milk and red bull. I don’t know how he does it.
Tony knows the Powerline climb is just ahead.
Jon and LJ, along with a Carmichael client. There were a LOT of Carmichael clients there wearing the kit. Wonder if they got refunds if they didn’t get a sub 9. Apparently the main man himself felt like one was enough because he rolled in well after 10 hours. At the finish, the announcer said LJ was the first former NFL player to complete Leadville.
Gina’s shirt says it all. To be successful as an amateur bike racer, you either need to be single or have one of the best wives in the world. Thanks, Ladies.
Ryan from the Bachelorette. That dude has a motor.
Mike Young rolling in with yet another sub 9. His brother Steve may have a Super Bowl MVP, but Mike’s got a fine collection of big belt buckles.
Brandon took a two hour nap last year. This year he killed it and got a sub 9 and a top 100 finish.
The ugliest kit in the race is rolling in behind him. It’s nice to have a kit that’s easy to spot, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be ugly. Hub of Aspen could learn a lot from Twin Six.
Kenny crossed the line for another single speed podium.
At this point I had looked at my watch and knew I would make it.
I love getting on a bike, but sometimes I love getting off the bike even more.
Cicily and Holly anxiously waiting for Eber and Sam.
Bros before buckles. Jamie, Sam, Vince, and Tony finish together.
Steve on the red carpet.
Back row: Steve, Banks, Jdub, Dug, Erik, Tyler, Eber, Sam, me.
Front row: Rick, Jon.
After 30 minutes of oxygen and a couple diet cokes, I felt good enough to smile. Almost. Steve recovers faster than I do.
I know you saw it yesterday, but I’ll admit I’ve looked at it more than once. I haven’t called it “precious” yet, though.