Just spent some time reading the last of my very sporadic posts.
What a plonker! I wrote that post, as I do with others and this one - as a way to record how I'm feeling at the time. I was laying down the gauntlet to challenge myself. Now that its done it feels strange to read the strength of conviction I felt at that time.
So - How did it go?
Pretty good I think. Finished 5th or 6th if I take into account that Jay Petervary started the race a day or two later and got up and past me and almost everyone else. What a ride - got past me on his birthday - We enjoyed a birthday lunch at the McDonalds in Cuba before he sped off later in the day.
Although I doubt that my training lived up to the intention of my post I certainly was there to do the best I could. I did what many have done in the quest to be faster - I spent heavily on a new bike setup.
And it was good!
Salsa Cuththroat in silver/blue. Built up from the frame with double chainring DI2 11 speed running drop-bar and road-style shifters. Add some disc brakes, dyno hub up front, tubeless Maxxis Icons, good quality bearings in all the important places and all important butt cradling rocket-V seat and I was good to go!
A Salsa top tube bag and matching frame bag joined my well-worn porcelain rocket front roll and seat bags.
My previous two divide rides had been completed on my Rohloff sporting El Commandante. Flat bar but in every other way much the same setup as the new machine.
The difference in weight of the two machines was a factor but it was the comfort factors that really made the difference. The compliance of the carbon salsa made the riding more pleasurable. The drive system performed well once I worked out how to use the clutch on the derailleur....
I ran one chain on a fresh set of chainrings and cluster. No changes and no problems the whole way. Towards the end I felt a little anxious about possible chain breaks but I think my legs were generating little in the way of measurable wattage by that time so it wasn't under much load..;-) All my gear went well. Mostly just luck but I do take considerable care to make sure everything is in top condition from the start.
I love the DI2 - Easy changes beginning to end. I charged it a couple of times from my cache battery that was charged almost entirely off my SP dyno hub. It just worked.
My hands didn't fare quite so well. The little and ring fingers of both hands were numb for months afterward. I have since swapped to a shorter stem that I think takes some of the pressure off the ulner nerve. I thought I was changing hand positions and that the bars were wrapped well enough but this proved not to be the case.
Would I do it again?
Hell yes - This year as it happens:-)
I have no idea - but I will be there 8th of June 2018!