My Friend Sarah and 40 Miles of Up!

Expedition Ozark

Before I go into my ride this past weekend I first must tell you a bit about my riding partner for the latest painfest.

I met Sarah almost 5 years ago. It seems like I’ve known her longer. A mutual friend and I were going to do an overnight brick workout. We wanted to see what the effects of sleep deprivation would be on our ability to race. We were thinking about doing a 36 hour adventure race. This friend is a personal trainer and one of his clients wanted to go along. So at about 7 pm on a Friday, after a normal day at work we put a canoe in the water at one end of a local lake. After a 10 mile nighttime paddle we portaged the canoe to a place we could hide it and begain a 20 mile hike back around the lake to where we started. I bonked hard about an hour into the hike but got moving again after a little food. Sarah seemed to enjoy leading us down the trail swinging a stick to knock down the spider webs. About halfway through the hike we started running low on water. She called her boyfriend and he met us at a road crossing with water, gatorade and snicker bars. It was about 2:30 in the morning.

We finished back at the car around 8 am. Tired, worn out, exhausted. Sarah was a trouper even running at the very end. Of course she is 21 years younger than me. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Sarah seems to enjoy the sufferfest workouts and races. My friend and I never did a 36 hour race together but some years later I did one with Sarah. She finished that one on bloody feet. That’s one tough girl. She got into cycling and went to work at a local bike shop. She leads weekend rides and does a lot of mountain bike racing. Sarah has had to deal with medical problems that 80 year olds don’t deal with. Did I tell you how tough she is?

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This brings us to this weekends workout. Sarah and I had done a 40 mile mountain bike ride several years ago on the forest roads out near Lake Sylvia in the Ouachita Mountains. It had been one of those affore mentioned sufferfest workouts. I was younger and Sarah was still learning. It was the middle of summer in the middle of the day. It was a long ride.

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Sarah is currently training for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. Much of the race is like the ride that we had done so last week she tells me she is doing it again to train. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t want her out there by herself or that I’m a glutton for punishment or (and this is probably the real reason) I didn’t want to miss out on the fun, I agreed to do the ride with her.

It was tough but we did it faster than we did years ago. We never walked the bikes but my granny gear did become my new bestest friend. Sarah beat me to the top of every hill but gratefully waited at any road crossings. (I’m still a better navigator!) Sarah is going to do great at Leadville. Anyway, here is a map of the ride. There is a 20 miler also. I’ve done it many times.


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3 Responses

  1. Joe-you make me sound like a super hero or something. You’re too funny. Thank you for riding with me!

  2. I thought you were a super hero or something. I wouldn’t go out on that ride with any mere mortal.

    I just noticed that looking at the map of the ride it looks like a fraternity paddle. THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?

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