Today was tough. Much tougher than we expected. As soon as we began, it was all uphill. Our elevation began at 4200 feet and we didn’t stop climbing until 28 miles and 3100 feet later. By far, this was one of the hardest climbs we encountered up to this point on the route. The riding was bearable, the grade wasn’t too bad and there was even the first ever GDMBR Pinecone Homerun Derby. It wasn’t until the last 2 miles where things got tough. We turned off the main road and onto an atv section that was super rocky, rough and steep. We had to walk/push our bikes through most of it. It was very slow going and we lost a lot of time. Finally, we made it over the top and were met with an equally steep and rocky descent. Once we navigated our way down and made it to better roads, we chased the fading sun, just barely making it to a campsite before nightfall. We ate our food, drank whiskey, and crashed.