The climb out of Turah is almost 3,000 feet in only 10 miles. And without water or friendship really does not top my list of favorite rides. At mile 126 of the RMVQ I sat beside the Clark Fork and contemplated quitting. Yes, again. I decided to weigh the pros and cons.
Pros were that I could complete the RMVQ and garner the accolades of all friends and family. That kind of fame is nothing to shake a stick at. Another element to consider is that to call in the troops to rescue me meant that my partner might miss her race. And related to that, if I hurry, I could come out at Pattee Canyon just as she was nearing the finish line.
The Cons were that I was going alone which any other time would be perfectly ok. But this time I really had hopes to see a friendly face. 3,000 feet of climbing is another Con I guess.
The more my butter coffee crossed the blood-brain barrier the more I could not come up with any reason I should quit now. Riding up this monster seemed perfectly doable and in an insane glimpse of optimism … could be FUN.
So I rode it. And it took a while. So long in fact that I was no where close to making Pattee Canyon for my partners race. So long that my partner finished her race and was able to go looking for me. Unsuccessful she went back to town and got the car.
Meanwhile I was out there riding. Not only up the climb but then also the traverse from Miller Peak to Pattee Canyon. And I did it without feeling well. Without taking photos or twittering. Just a zombie biker looking to find the path to another world. I was in a bad place.
I found her in the parking lot reading her book. As I approached the driver’s side door I could see she was already well over half way through a new book. I wondered how long she had waited. She spotted my shadow and jumped from the car to greet me.
I walked over to some shade and sat down. If no one was going to ride the last leg with me I saw no reason to continue. Again looking for a reason to quit. This year’s motto is “the quitter”. I don’t care though. I was in a bad place.
“Do you have ANY food with you”, I asked.
“No … I didn’t think you were eating normal food”
“I don’t think I want to finish this year”, I grumbled then looked up to see her looking up towards University Moutnain.
“But, it is right … your close … but I understand”, she looked concerned. “Oh WAIT! Don’t we have those leftover pickles somewhere? And I think I have some honey in the jockey box …”