Kandalore to Halibuton 85km
At the previous nights dinner Sean went over the course for the next day and promised it would be dryer which would be good cause there was a lot more ATV trail and less road than the first day.
It was the earliest start at 9 but we had to roll out of camp at 8:30 to ride to the start line which was at the same place we finished at on day one. After a quick call up of the top riders we headed out. We rode gravel road for about 1 km before turning left onto the "b" trail which was 14km of mud bog after mud bog after water crossing. We were riding on more exposed rock, which I guess was part of the Canadian shield, it definitely shielded the water from emptying out of the low points on the trail. We had a good start Matt and I got caught behind a couple guys and I was worried the second place team would sneak by so I put in a good effort to get into sight of all the leaders. Once I knew they were all solo guys I settled into a good solid pace with Matt.
I should have put this in the first days report but the Third place team was Bretton Matthew’s (whos like 15 or 16) Tomas Wood. The second place team was non other than the Long Sault Long shots. Paul Loughran and Mike Davidson. If you refer back to my 24 hour post back in august they were the team that we(BCC) battled with the entire race and lost by a hair on the last lap. And Paul was "my guy" that I was always chasing at the 24 hour. So I felt obligated to win it not only for Norco but for the BCC. We had 10 minutes after the first day so we wanted to at least hold onto that if not extend it.
Matt and I quickly formed into a group with Hamish Gordon, Terry Schinkel, and young rider Cory Hancock. This is basically what it was like, one guy leads and tries to find the best way through something and everyone else leaves a gap and waits to see if it was a good line, then depending on how the leader does tries a different line or follows. Sometimes you would make it through other times you would sink down to your waist. We caught up to the over 80 team as they were basicaly chest deep in water and mud never saw them again. Thinking back we should have stopped and pulled them out but they looked like good swimmers.
After an hour of that Cory, who was riding with a gps, gave us the bad news that we had only done 13 km. We all looked at each other as we did the math 85 divided by 13 = a long day of riding and we could only hope the course got faster. We stopped and refueled at the first feed station and found ourselves on a nice gravel road for a couple km which was nice before headed back into the rough stuff on our way to Minden.
Once we hit a hydro cut most of the bad stuff was behind us and the course became much more rideable. We gathered up Terry Vanden heuvel, who was starting fade a bit. I asked Cory if I wanted to know how far we had ridden and he quickly and firmly said no. I didn’t push and figured we’d get there when we got there. We came through Minden at about 3 hours in, which we knew was over halfway and it was a nice ride right through town, I was tempted to stop and try to find a nice coffee shop, but remembered it was a race. We came up to the second aid station which was 35 km to go. When we got there we found Imad who was riding with the lead solo guys for a while but kinda hit the wall and was chillin there. We did a pretty long climb out of the feed and I put the pressure on I really wanted to get to the rail trail. Which was the last section. A 19km slight uphill grade to Head lake park in Haliburton. I knew if I could get to that I could shut off my brain and just ride in. In the process we shed a couple riders and it was down to Matt, the two Terry’s, Cory and myself. We hit the rail trail and thanked our respective makers that we didn’t have to ride through anymore mud.
My endurance was once again tested as I really started to hit the wall in the last 5km of the rail trail. The Dutchman and Matt put in some hard pulls which shot me out the back and I had to fight my way back on. Matt noticed I was in trouble and pulled off the front and let Cory and Terry come through to sprint it out. As Matt pulled me in a couple seconds later. We were able to put on another 15 minutes into the 2nd place team which was nice.
A tough day for sure. A few people got pulled off the course for not making the time cuts. We loaded up on buses or a short ride to camp white pine for another amazing dinner and some very nice accomodations.
Quote of the day
"It will be a lot dryer than yesterday"