How can you pass up the opportunity to race a race that ends in a beer garden? Maybe when the race starts at noon and the temperatures are heading towards triple digits, and you really don't need a beer to give you that 'light headed' sensation. Leavenworth, our very own little Bavarian town in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, is home of this tempting combination of sports - racing and beer drinking. I was vaguely disappointed that no one was wearing Lederhosen for the race.
Somewhere on one of the three 1800ft, 4 mile climbs I do believe I heard a strange sound, no, it was not far off yodeling, it was the sound of boiling brains (mine to be more specific) - well maybe not quite boiling, but at least a little light poaching. Or was it beer being poured in the beer garden? No, that wasn't going to start until later.... Wait, maybe I'd been out so long it had already started. No, better to believe that my brain was poaching itself. Thank God it wasn't yodeling.
For every climb there was a rather fast descent - smooth, bermy, with a few water ditches to avoid launching over. I felt cheated - a nearly 40 minute climb for a 12 minute descent?! What a waste of altitude. I was OK with that though because every time I reached the bottom I would pass Chris with his life saving bottle of water that I soaked my head and back with each time. It was bliss. At least until about half way up the next climb, by which time the water had evaporated. A couple of stream crossing tickled your feet with cool comfort each descent, but were actually evil traps, tempting you to stop and lie down in the cool flowing water. No, must not stop, beer garden at end.....
I lost my lead near the end of the first climb - Kristi kicked it up a notch and I just couldn't stay with her. My heart rate, already in the 190 BPMs just didn't have anywhere else to go. I also hoped that Kristi was making a mistake and would blow up later. She never did, I lost 4 minutes to her. She obviously needed a beer more than I did!