Dirt Rag Magazine

An offering to the forest

By Barry Wicks

Flat tires are starting to really cramp my style. One flat tire can be attributed to many things. Five in three days is a curse. I think I need to go down to the chapel by the river and make peace with the forest nymphs tonight.

At least the trails were awesome. We did a ripping 20-mile lap of buff, bermy, rolling singletrack twice. Things started well, I was sitting second wheel and having fun, but then the horrible sound of air escaping hit my ears as we descended a smooth gravel road. I am running the burliest tires I can get, with extra sidewall protection and everything, but it just isn’t enough I guess.

Kris had a descent day, making time on Bishop, who had flat tire issues of his own, and now the top 3 on GC is separated by only a few minutes. I still have 3 more days of racing left, and if today was any indication, I should be good to go as long as I keep the air were it should be.

After my flat I was closing time on the front group and feeling good, riding lap 2 about 2 minutes faster than lap one, excluding the flat. Friday is the queen stage, so I just hope to get through tomorrows super d stage unscathed and finally get to race my bike for real that day.

Time to go make an offering up to the forest and take a nap.

More from TSE: Read all our racers’ exclusive dispatches from the race.


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