What do I say about today's ride??? Well, Craig and I decided we would ride the Chino Grinder course and each of us would ride a proposed section, so we were riding together, but we weren't. I road my CX bike and it made a huge difference on all the climbs and it was super quick on the descents. I had made record time to the base of Bill Williams Mountain and I wasn't even pushing the pace that much, just keeping it steady. I stopped ate, took some pictures and headed up, Craig had not caught up yet. Craig was on his "affordable gravel bike", so he was at a huge disadvantage. I climbed the mountain in 1:01,making my turn around right around 4:41, I was pretty stoked. Until that point, it had been blue skies and perfect, but things were about to change drastically. As I was trying to shift in my big ring, I bashed a rock and blew my rear tire. This was the beginning of the ride changing to the most epic ride I have ever done. I changed the flat, but had trouble with my "big air" and only made it down half way until I had another pinch. I changed the tube, now I was out of tubes and CO2. I made it to the base of the mountain and the weather had turned angry. Obviously, I have pissed someone off... I had no choice but to ride right into hell, the rain was coming down in sheets and the temp was dropping quick, the only good thing going for me was a rare tailwind going down the hill. Then it all started to change in a bad way, lightening was striking all around, it turned pitch dark, the temps dropped so low, I felt it was going to snow.... not too much later, it started to hail, the hail got bigger and bigger, then suddenly it just opened up on me. The video tells that story very well, I eventually made it through and it turned hot and I dried off quickly. I stopped and took a picture from behind, it looked like Armageddon (see pic I will post on Facebook)! I still had a massive tailwind and I hit the dirt flying, I was trying to be careful, but I eventually banged another rock and flatted. At this point I was walking. I walked about 8 miles in the rain which caught back up to me and it was torrential. Eventually a group of kids picked me up in a pick up, I threw the bike in and they said, "can you ride in the back?" Of course I agreed and the next 15 miles was the most fearful of the entire day, we were doing speeds beyond safe in rain and we were sliding everywhere. I eventually saw Craig on the side of the road, he had completely run out of go go juice, eventually we both ended up at the truck and once again talked about how this course is always an adventure and always a learning experience. We left at 7am in the morning and we were pulling out of the ballpark at 5pm. All I can say is... what a day! I am so glad I get to experience life this way, I truly felt I "lived" today. Even though this climb probably won't be added to the race, if you have a chance, ride it yourself, you won't be disappointed in the accomplishment it will bring you.

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