WHAT GOOD IS BRAVERY?

WHAT GOOD IS BRAVERY?

WHEN I INVITE YOU THRONGS OF READERS, plus all my local riding pals, to do something seemingly impossible, I get a lot of No thanks because...

... who wants to fail?

Nobody. 

Oh, except those want the thrill of owning a monumental personal victory.

It takes guts,
perseverance,
and determination...

... to attempt the diabolically divine.

Which is exactly how my friend and fellow sicko Kevin described the adventure.

From the misty shores of dawn at Dana Point,
to the lofty views 8000' above the world at sunset...

... just taking a crack at it says all you need to know about the brave who went us.

And that's the problem.

Bravery can get us in all kinds a trouble.

Like the guys who left before sunrise,
who'd never ridden the route,
who had to perform surgery,
on a bad shifter.

Bravery can also save our baconflavered gel pack...

... by causing us to look at unplanned challenges and say Bring It!

What else was unplanned?

Spencer getting a nail through his tire, 
which ripped the rim tape ruining his tubeless set up.

Me knocking my derailler hard enough to massively deform the hanger, 
ergo no shifting.

But, when we're determined, we solve the problems...

  • So, Michael goes door to door begging for plumbing tape and finds an off-duty plumber
  • Wilt, who joined our group along the way, directs me Cyclery USA for a masterful repair

... and we get back on course.

Bravery can give us unwarranted confidence.

While we enjoyed a hamburger, fries and Coke before the final 9 mile climb up a rough and rocky fire road...

... it was warm and we were feeling great.

We rolled out with tons of sunlight,
some windbreakers,
and swagger.

We were ready to conquer the beast.

Figured it would take about two hours.

It was 80 degrees at the bottom.

Four hours later, 
in the dark,
42 degrees.

Not the worst...

  • We were exhausted
  • Freezing
  • Hungry

... and LOST!!!!

Our meager headlights,
lack of solid geographical info,
and the mind numbing cold conspired...

... to ruin us.

Some of us were brave.
All were calm and supportive.
To be honest, I was losing touch with rational thinking.

We'd rolled at 5:15AM,
it was now after 10PM...

... and we made about a million reroute decisions the final miles.

I texted Surfergirl,
Drive to Snow Summit,
crank the heater,
bring blankets.

We could see the city lights,
couldn't get there.

Until we did.

Finally we attacked a fast, flowy singletrack...

... like a lumbering, frozen caterpillar.

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Huuuuuge, thank yous to Surfergirl for awesome swag support...

... and the brave souls who took on the challenge to do something impossible.

I'd never do alone.

We didn't all make it.

Not uncommon.

We all failed our first 2 tries.

To a rider, all are committed to return...

... and conquer!

---

Now that we've completed the Surf N Summit in October and May,
we've determined May is the optimal month.

You're invited to do the impossible with us next year.

Plan accordingly.

 

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