Maybe my most epic day. My journal entry starts with: "what a gnar day". I woke up to a snow storm. I take that back, initially when I woke up, it was raining.
Two people in my yurt left in the rain around 7am. I had ZERO interest in that after the massive day I had the day before. Once I woke up again, it sounded silent. I peered outside. Snow. Everywhere. I ate breakfast with the checkpoint volunteers and knew that I was officially the Lantern Rouge. I had reserve dry clothes and was slathered in warming muscle rub (e.g. embro). I was anticipating the little dog leg jaunt up to the dried lake before continuing to CP3 but as I was preparing to depart, the two that had left at 7am returned. Hypothermic and forlorn. They hadn't dressed for snow. I did. I also knew I couldn't wait around for the snow to pass. If I was gonna make it to CP3, I had to go now.
I decided to skip the extra section and continue further on the race course. It immediately became a 15-20% hike-a-bike up an old soviet 'road' with barbed wire strewn about. The waterproof socks were key on this day. I felt fine on the slog up and was relieved to see the sun begin shining through the clouds.
The snow stopped. And it began to heat up. Like REALLY heat up. I started shedding layers and I notice the snow rapidly melting. It went from below freezing to 10, 15, 20, 30 and all the way to 39º C at one point. The snow became wet clay and I couldn't even roll my bike without scooping mud out every few meters. Man. This was rough. I had left around 9am and by 15:00 I had covered 15km. By 18:00 only 40km. That evening a rain storm chased me and I rode in the rain for some time as well.
I had dinner at a random yurt where I asked only for hot water for my ramen & gratefully accepted several bowls of tea too. It was good to get out of the cold as the temperature dropped again.
I desperately wanted to make it to Naryn but passed out under a bridge at 2am and 32km away.Read more...