DEATH MARCH REVIVAL
John Wiygul (2)
The Death March is probably my favorite bike loop, I’ve done it a bunch of times over the years now, and was stoked to try the ITT from Mulberry Gap. The epic loop is easiest from Thunder Rock, however, if you want to add a bit to it, try it from Kings Slough. But, if you really want a test, Mulberry start/finish is the ticket. Since, I tapered for a triathlon that was canceled, last weekend was the time to do DMR ITT for me, before the gates close until March.
I figured weather would be tough this time of year with winter conditions. But, it seamed dry enough, so why not. I needed to get a late start so the temp would at least be in the mid 30’s. Since daylight was really short, I needed to time it just right. My plan was to start at 10am and try for 6.5 hours with about an hour of extra light just in case I bonked or had a bike issue.
The first climb up Potato Patch went great, I went at a good clip and managed to have a record time to the intersection at a little over 50 minutes. That was a good confidence booster for the next few hours. Although, I was a bit worried when I was met with ice and snow on the road at the top, but figured it couldn’t be too bad. When I was about mid-way up Big Frog Road, I knew I was in for some wet roads on the North side of the course. By the time I rolled into Tumbling Creek, I was starting to feel really tired from pushing hard through the wetness. I backed off the pace and went into try-hard mode for the 10 mile climb.
The last mile of the climb to the descent intersection was the hardest mile I’ve ever done uphill. I just about went cross-eyed giving it my all at snail pace! I had the Zwift blurry vision all the way down to Mulberry, but managed to set a new official ITT record all things considered. I look forward to enjoying the DMR again, but with a little warmer weather!