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2019 Enchilada Buffet

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We agreed to take the event on so that it wouldn't die - but we have no intention of losing a bunch of money on it.  The donations don't even cover the cost of the burgers we buy. Anyone who wants to fund and organize a party, and/or tee shirts, is more than welcome to do so!

Antonio is correct - it really is pretty much along the lines of R&I these days - and if you enjoyed the beer, please visit Pinthouse, as they supplied it!

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2019 Enchilada Buffet Ride Report

97 degrees.

In Thumper.

Is not fun.

After my first EB in 2013, I vowed I would only do it again if I had a bud ride with me at a survival pace.  The soul crushing despair one can experience in Thumper after 60 miles is not something I care to do solo again . . . ever.  My only goals were to have fun and finish, while Javy was down for a long day just cruising on the bikes.  I had sent him the long range forecasts a couple of weeks earlier suggesting 90 degrees, to which he replied "it won't hit 90, I guarantee it."

Javy & I were on deck for 2018 but the rainout pushed it to this year.  The parking lot at Walnut Creek seemed pretty empty when we arrived compared to 2013 when maybe 120 riders attempted.  I was surprised to see only about 50-60 of us heading out for Zilker in the dark.  It looked like a Cat 1 starting grid with plenty of extremely fit bikers going with a couple of bottles and no pack.  My Camelbak's weight immediately pulled harder on my shoulders and psyche . . . I had definitely overpacked.

We rolled past packs of runners before dawn on Shoal Creek, with our blazing bike lights intruding on their Saturday morning ritual.  We met up with Brian along the way and he planned to ride a few segments.  Straight into BCGB without a stop at the trailhead, we settled into a nice steady pace, swapping spots with half a dozen riders.  Two uneventful hours later, we emerged from the Hill of Life and hit 360.  The cloud cover had been nice and I lamented that it would soon burn off.  We stopped at Hat Creek for some breakfast, and while the food was tasty, we probably didn't need to burn half an hour so early in the day.

Good thing we applied sunscreen because the clouds had indeed disappeared as we headed north on 360.  I envied the folks lounging on the shores of Lake Austin as we crossed the Pennybacker Bridge, knowing we had miles to go before we sleep.  But today was not for lounging, so we settle into spinning the granny up Courtyard.  After the turn up City Park Rd, our legs yielded so we walked the last 100 yards or so and were off to face Emma.

We started to see riders heading out and we pulled in right behind my buddy Todd who lives nearby and was going to ride with us around his home course.  Upon request he brought a pump so I could dial in my dropper post that was only coming up 3/4.  The day would've been much worse having to pull up the seat with my legs hundreds of more times.  On the trail we were becoming acutely aware of the intensifying heat every time we stopped.  Todd pulled us through like a champ and it was great to catch up with him.

Next stop was Jester Market for an extended pit stop with some cool air conditioning.  With a belly full of Subway, I was able to spin all the way up Jester, which I had walked in 2013.  We began trading spots with a rider and then arrived at St. Eds with Javy's GPS fluctuating.  We did the circuit backwards, just like I did in 2013.  Unbelievable.  If you haven't gone counter-clockwise, trust me, it blows.

I didn't even try to ride up Yaupon.  We rested in the shade with the Trail Angels, talking about Hendrix and joking about what lies ahead.  It probably took 10 minutes to change my socks as my legs did not want to contort in such fashion.  We grabbed some nutrition and bottles, deciding to leave our burdensome packs up top.  Even though we were the last in, the trail angels said they'd wait for us to exit.  Thanks y'all!

About 15 minutes later, after we reached the bottom of this hell hole, I realized my chamois cream was in my pack.  Let's just say the ensuing misery was commensurate to that of Thumper.  Thankfully a much chipper Javy was there leading the way with positive vibes and promises that then end was near.  I lost count how many times he said we only had a mile to go.  After nearly 2 hours we emerged to cheers and my much needed relief cream.  After a well deserved rest, we took off down the road.

The new pathway from Mopac was a welcome change from riding along Parmer.  There was a palpable feeling in the air as we approached Walnut Creek.  We stopped briefly at the truck to gather lights and drop the rucksacks that had strained our backs.  Javy's GPS was as tired as we were and our final run was a blur.  A coolness settle in and I felt as strong as I did 12 hours earlier.  I love nightriding and ripping along these groomed trails in the dark was on of may highlights of the adventure.  Nearly an hour later we emerged from the trees quietly.

Unlike 2013, there was no party going on, no music, no enchilada.  And that ultimately was the perfect ending - sharing a cold beverage with Javy reflecting on a tough, but nevertheless fun day on the bike.  Sometimes being dead last has its own rewards!

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