The cat is out of the bag...so to speak. Salsa Cycles and Guitar Ted dropped the word. Whew, glad the veil of secrecy has been lifted!
I showed up to Williamsburg, riding with Charles Parsons, shotgun in the 'winningest passenger seat in TI history'. You see, when the Gorilla, TIV4 winner, had moved to central Ohio he bestowed upon me the privelage and responsibility of riding with Charles to the start of TIV5.
While unloading my bike the Lincolnites poured out of one very large Suburban. Riders began pecking around the lot, it looked like a chicken coop with way too many roosters. Matt Gersib wandered over having heard of a secret weapon that I might be on. He ogled and reassured me that this would be our little secret. I kept my head down, one of few times that I'm in full on race prep mode.
Saturday, 2:30 AM. The alarm goes off. Mike, my bigger, older, wiser brother and I awake from our slumber. I start the coffee and break out my stash of rocket fuel to down some pre-race calories. Fed, caffeinated, and prepped we roll to the start line with a large posse.
The start line is dark. We all take our places, Guitar Ted and David Pals hop in the 'blue box'. Had I known it would be for the last time, we might have burned an effigy. We're off, finding our legs, saying hello's, and making introductions. My favorite line in the pre-dawn light comes from Dave Pramann; "Are those carbon wheels?" he says. "Why yes they are!" I reply.
Post race, I didn't even bother to clean the bike, the mud will fall off when it wants to. My time was traded between the Ti crosser' and my Fargo while I trained for Tour Divide. Post divide it became my go to for, well, everything while my Fargo was resurrected and my body recovered.
So how does it ride? Would you believe me? Isn't my opinion a bit biased? After close to 4000 miles on it, I'll say incredible! It's nimble, stiff, and forgiving. I was surprised at how quickly I recovered from TIV5. I attribute this to the ride of the bike. I can't wait to get my grubby paws on the Ti El Mariachi! Perhaps it'll be the bike that accompanies me on a couple of bikepacking trips this summer.