day three of la ruta broke me. i came into it after a kickass day two. i though i would clean up on day three. the shortest stage. essentially one big hill that i presumed would not be steep. off the start i rode through town with kevin, then let him go when the road got steep. i assumed it was going to mellow out any minute. and i kept assuming that for the next 20 miles basically. i can't really remember as everything is kind of hazy from that day, but i think i caught up to kevin at some point on the first climb, thanks mostly to my long legs and absurd walking speed. i let him go after the checpoint though, as my legs just didn't want to turn the pedals over.
the nice part about all the walking is all the views it awarded me. the not so nice part is getting passed by everyone and their grandmother. litterally, a 65 year old woman rode past me half way up the second part of the climb. there was a light, slushy snow falling at one point which made me decide to put the only extra piece of clothing i had brought with me, a long sleeved jersey, on. got to the top. sat down. ate a bunch of food and tried to mentally prepare myself for the rolling 8 miles before the 12 mile downhill. then it started raining.
i decided to go. almost immediately i started getting alot of sand and grit in my eyes. it's gotta be something to do with my riding stile, but i ALWAYS end up with more dirt and everything else on me after a ride than everyone else on the same ride. i don't understand it, but it's a fact. anyway. i would pass some locals, then get a bunch of crap in my eyes and have to stop to get it out, they would pass me back while i did this, then repeat. then my bottle/cage/pump fell right off my bike. collected and pocketted them and continued on. then my legs stopped working. then my hands stopped working. then i started getting generally miserable. then i started shiverring, and i couldn't stop.
within a few hundred meters, i was walking the flat sections. the guy who seperated his shoulder on day two and was riding with one arm passed me. i started telling people to inform the staff at the next checkpoint that i would be bailing. i eventually had to hitch a ride there with a locals support vehicle. the three guys in the truck were a load of fun and super nice to me. they beat the living hell out of the vehicle though. cased the transmission at least three times, and bent the transaxle by the time we got there. 8-10 cups of hot sugar cane water and two hours of sitting in a heated ambulance later and i was still shiverring and dissoriented a bit. i was afraid of day 4...
i bailed at checkpoint 4 around 12pm. no official finnishing time or position.