A prompting from a friend, a stunner weather forecast, and a last minute decision landed me at the start of the Sp’akw’us 35 on Sunday. It became my third mountain bike race of the season in what appears to be my 2018 impromptu summer racing career. Recreational (otherwise known as the back) was where I settled in and waited for the gun to go off (or what ever happened up there near the front that I wasn’t really paying attention to) to signal that it was go time. I gave myself huge bonus points for actually being near my bike and not in the pond practicing my doggie paddle while attempting to cool down from the Africa hot temps that were already upon us. After a lap around the grass (which I could have done without) I headed off on the trail and to the much welcome shade of the forest. 5 minutes in, I’m hot, sweaty, and run into a guy I know that happens to be out trail running. He runs along side me as I ride up the course. We chat and it’s a welcome distraction. The runner friend peels off on a different trail and at 15 mins in I realize that I’m about to be in a world of hurt. Full body chills on a hot ass day are only a good sign after having jumped into a glacier fed lake, not a few km’s into a many km’s adventure. I managed to get enough nutrition and hydration into my system quickly and after another 30 minutes or so went by, it appears I had averted epic meltdown and was feeling decent again. Just when I was thinking that I dodged a bullet was when my feet decided that they didn’t want to miss out on the misery party. Fiery hot and in pain I kept them moving and began to question if I need shoe tying lessons or what? My feet have hurt like this in the past after a long descent but not on a climb. I’m trying not to think about my feet. I can’t think of anything but my feet. I hit the not singletrack portion of the climb and my feet have a brief moment of relief. A short while later I come across a snack station. I welcome the chance to get off my bike, eat some salty chips, and enjoy a nice catch up with my friend Cuz who randomly happens to be there. With renewed spirit and happier feet I carry on. Eventually i make it to the downhill.