I hadn't planned on doing the Double Dare this year. Instead, for the first year since 2006 I'd decided to pass on it and instead was planning on running Pitchell the following weekend. Then I slipped on an acorn and sprained my foot. And then Yuri called and said he had already registered us for the Double Dare. It was only then that I considered it and after recollecting the previous seven or so times I'd raced the DD I decided it was too much fun to pass up and told Yuri I was in, for fun only.
Such an undertaking would require training, and since PMBAR in the spring my idea of mountain biking had been to throw a couple of beers and my Tenkara rod in my pack and pedal for a few easy miles to a fishing hole, I felt the need to actually ride a bike before the race. So, the weekend before I went out with Jon for a hardcore training ride. We met at Fisherman's and then and rode our bikes all the way up Wash Creek road to the parkway.
I had thought that Big Creek sounded like a good training ride sort of trail but once I realized just how far away it was Trace Ridge sounded a lot more reasonable. That trail led us back down to the river and since it was approaching dusk and we had our trusty fly rods with us we were left with no choice but to fish for the rest of the training ride.
And what good fishing it was. After catching (and releasing) my fair share I broke down my rod and drank a beer while watching Jon catch a few more. When he went to break down his rod he accidentally caught one last fish at his feet. He then he handed me his rod for one last cast. I immediately caught another fish. We declared that good enough and finished out the hardcore training ride with a few miles of gravel back to the cars.
With my training completed the only thing left to do was meet up with Yuri in person to discuss our party plan and other important logistics. We met up on Wednesday to ride Bennett and North Slope to celebrate the opening of the seasonal trails and to formalize any plans we might have for the race.
You would think that when that ride turned almost disastrous we would have pulled the plug on the Double Dare, but I didn't think anything could go much worse than somehow losing each other on the gravel climb up 477 and not getting to ride Bennett, but I committed to it and that was that. The rest was yet to come.
11 hours ago