Well friends, the big day is finally here. I had a bit of a scare with food poisoning the last two days, but that seems mostly resolved. In the morning I head over to registration, afterwards we all load into vans/trucks with bikes and drive 6 hrs to Talas for a 10pm start.
The Silk Road Mountain Race is going to be by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The course is truly demented. It’s 1,155 miles long with over 100,000 ft of climbing. There 14 mountain passes above 10,000 ft; 4 go above 12,000 ft. Besides the altitude, I’m expecting heat, rain, snow, river crossings, mud, bogs, nerve wracking heights, crazy descents and lots of bike pushing. (Also lots of route finding but that’s the one thing, I’m not worried about.) All of this I have to do without asking for help while carrying camping gear and food.
Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m more excited or scared. This is my adventure of a lifetime. I’m so excited to see Kyrgyzstan, especially the people. But I’m equally terrified that I will not have the ability to finish. I’m a decent cyclist, but I only have average talent and I’m most definitely not built for all the climbing. My only real strengths are that I am really good at pushing myself and I tend to laugh when things get miserable. I think I have it in me to finish this. I hope I’m right.
No matter how this evolves, I promised myself I would do my very best and never give up. The reason you do big things like this is go outside your comfort zone and find out who you are when pushed to your limit.
Well, with that self-serving pep-talk out there (Go Ed!), I’ve got 15 days to complete the route. My first goal is to make it to Checkpoint 1 at mile 330 before the time cut off on Wednesday, Aug 18.
Below are some links – dot tracker, race website, blog page and my instagram. I’ll post pictures etc if I have energy and happen to find a cell signal.
Dot tracker: https://srmr2021.maprogress.com/?bib=20
Race website: https://www.silkroadmountainrace.cc/