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So here I am at Oakland airport, waiting for my flight to Salt Lake City where I’ll meet up with Jill (yeah!). I am still in denial of the upcoming plans … even as a duo, a 25 hour mountain bike race is so far out of my comfort zone I still have a hard time believing I actually signed up for this. Jill properly chronicled the the process here, the only thing I would like to add is that I was NOT drunk or otherwise intoxicated beyond the usual Jill-induced euphoria.
I am currently utilizing my biggest strengths – ignorance and naivety – to tackle this race, and consequently I have not trained for it one bit, based on my firm assumption it won’t make any difference either way (I am however tapering and over-eating!). The last time I have spent any significant time on a (road!) bike was in 2003 training for my one and only (and very slow) Ironman, and believe me, that’s all gone … and remembering back it won’t be my legs that will go first, but my butt, hands and – quite possibly worst of all – my screwed up back will probably induce exquisite levels of pain (then again, my legs will probably chip in soon enough). Of course I will also feel extremely silly when having problems with the simplest technical aspects of the course, which leads me to think about attaching a fake beer bong to my helmet as an obvious excuse. The original rationale – finish one lap and I finish – sounds comforting at first, but my ego and desire to maximize my experience (especially with Jill) probably won’t let me quit unless I really have to …
If anyone has a few bottles of ibuprofen and a spare kidney or two, please let me know. I’ll need all the help I can get …

But in all seriousness, I love the feeling of the unknown, the fear, anticipation, not knowing how far I can get – but being certain that it will be intense and unforgettable, beautiful and unique. Really, it’s life at its best – and doing it with Jill makes it just so much better.

I also will try to work on my TDG report in the times I am waiting for Jill – if I am able to – which, as she pointed out, may lead to some strange passages: “I went up this extremely steep pass, amazed by the view of the Gran Paradiso massif – ouch my ass hurts! – ¬†and then …”.

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