Page 38 - AZ Extreme - AEM Volume 8 Issue 1
P. 38

based on my times. They saw and spoke   I switched my flood light to beam, tried   How many people got stuck before me?”   again. I reached RM-830 about 6:30am
   to other teams who were ahead of me and they were surprised how brutal it was, some calling it quits right there. At this point the top Ironman riders were all close in time and were doing their scheduled break/rest pit stops. After hours of really rocky uphill roads and twisty silt sections with a few miles of fast roads, I came into pit 15 at RM-784 pretty beat up again. The crew took my pack off and checked my water and noticed I hadn’t drank as much as I should have. We decided to do another IV bag and rest as another rough section was coming next. I arrived at RM-784 at 3:48am and was about a 30-minute stop.
RACE MILE 785-1071
After the 3rd IV bag, I was optimistic my energy level would serge as it had hours before. Surprisingly, I could not get in the groove for about two hours. I seemed to make a lot of small mistakes and my eye was really bothering me. This section was relentless with twisty deep whoops and very dusty. At this point, I was in the mix of several trucks and the top few Class 1 Buggies were passing. Each time one would pass, it seemed like forever before I had clear vision of the course. At night the cars that would come up on me were easily noticeable. As it turned daylight, I found myself constantly turning around to check for a four-wheeled monster. Sometimes I would hear them right behind me, jump off the course in a panic, turn around . . . and nothing, complete silence. I would get going again for some time, “feel” them again or see lights, get safely off course . . . and nothing. I kind of started to ignore this feeling after a while and focused on just seeing the course.
just my helmet light, turned all lights off, everything. Flat couldn’t see $hit. This was just before sunrise, so my body was feeling better, making extremely impatient and frustrated with how slow I had to go to be safe. After about 45 minutes of this slow fog section, it cleared up. I rode hard . . . feeling great for about 30 minutes, then another elevation change and bam! Crazy thick fog again. This time seemed worse and the rode was winding down hill to a town. I remember making a hard- left moving in first gear and fog was so thick I couldn’t see the seat when I looked down just inches away.
He said, “No way around, it’s this deep” raising his arm level with my handlebars. I said “Four feet??? No way!!!” He said a lot people fall, so don’t fall man. He said go slow, then fast, go in center. I was silent for a few seconds, then started the bike, and revved it up. People cheered as if I was the first bike they had seen all night. I got as balanced as possible, entered in 2nd gear and went for it, I got about 3/4 through hit a rock, the bike jerked left, I put my left foot down and sunk my leg to the bottom filling my boot with icy water, the bike lurched forward, whiskey throttling a bit and my right leg came off the peg and that boot touched the bottom also. I made it across, was yelling for joy in my helmet and could hear the fans cheering me on for the show. Now I was cold and boots were full of water. I was just relieved it wasn’t my motor full of water. Being really cold helped me unfocus on the pain, so I was happy.
(Friday morning). The next section was all brutal whoops to about RM-910 (arrived 9:22am). This was pure hell. RM-920 to RM-958 was faster roads and twisty to pit 19. Fuel only at this BajaPit, the Chase trucks were flagging me down expecting me to stop for a long stop. I flew by with thumbs up and they signaled back with smiles, knowing I felt good again. (After the race, Buddy said this got everyone pumped up, they were stoked to see my pace and body language on the bike changed for the better) I charged as hard as I could to RM-1013. Here I was spent again and stopped for a longer pit stop. This was the last time I would see the team until the finish line. The energy was great and everyone was happy to know we were so close. The text message updates were rolling in on every Satellite phone and everyone was in great spirits. Some tears were rolling already. I took in some electrolytes for the last time, re-mounted and took off. I was to stop at the next pit, (pit 21) for fuel only and skip the last pit stop and race to the finish. I had a great pace going and was really thinking of the
I could see scattered lights in the distance
waiving and hear people cheering. I
stopped and put my feet down to notice I
was in water. I turned my helmet light on
and I was on top of a rock waterfall shelf
and could hear water rushing off a ledge.
I turned the bike off to listed for a direction
to go and try to see where people were
at. I yelled out “Dirección, dirrección?”
I could hear “Aqui” and laughing. Also,
could see flashlights running towards me
from my right and waiving the flashing
in a circular motion. I started the bike   up and my body felt as if it was fresh   finish feeling I was going to get. Before I and inched forward praying to not fall
The next sections were faster and had a few road crossings and quick on highway, then off. I was grateful for at least some smooth course as I watched the sun come
 Just before Loreto (one of my favorite
towns), RM-800-ish, the fog was rolling
in. The only fog I have experience with
is racing in Baja. The fog this night was
a complete black out. I mean it was
three miles per hour on a cliff side road
looking straight down to stay on course.   to me, “Is there a way around? How deep?
off a cliff. I had no clue what straight, up or down was. Just knew I was on rock material with about four inches of flowing water under me. It seemed about 100 yards, but could have been 20 feet, before I cleared this section. I was shaking in fear from this, really the only time I was scared . . . well, the most scared, ha.
Twenty minutes later, after twisting and roaring through this village and crossing about eight small water crossings, I came up to the big one. When I came down the hill, I saw a sea of cars, campfires and thousands of people cheering and flashlights everywhere. The people were lined on both sides of the streets with all eyes on this river that I was to cross. I rolled up slow and shut off the engine. People were all around me cheering, high fiving and excited. I asked the closest man
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