One of the last times I rode West Ridge outside of a race it was so hot I had to stop and wring out my helmet and quiet the deafening echo of my heartbeat in my head. Riding the Ferrous (single) and the body English and stubbornness to not put a foot down or stop almost made me blackout. A 32:16 under me, not the best choice for that climb, but at the top I felt cleansed. Relieved of some weakness that had been lingering for some time, always better to try things the hard way. Like I said stubborn. Over the top the rigid fork and long descent again cleaned me a little more. The smile was sometimes hidden behind my gasping for air but it’s always there. I see the pictures from races and though I lack the Chris Horner/Ivan Basso smile-grimace I know I’m happy, always better to try to put out a good effort and appear smooth doing it, opposed to the bleeding out your eyes in a look of awful pain.

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