Yesterday I called Bear right after the finish and, understandably, there weren’t many words except, “I finished, dude. I made it.”
It was an epic, 6-day journey in which the shortest start-to-finish day was around 7 hours. Bear was tested in every way—endurance, technical skill and, most of all, the drive to keep pedaling (or hiking) when it already felt like he’d given everything.
Bear, we are so proud of you! Well done, young brother.
Here’s a photo gallery from the final stretch:
The bike is built and the cranks are turning! Bear joined a preliminary ride with a crew that arrived at Ground Zero early.
Here’s a description of the warm-up ride he sent us. Photo gallery below.
From camp we took 2 turns before the climb started, so it was definitely real. I was riding with 3 guys from Oregon and they are super rad. We had good discussions up the never ending fire road and cow pastures. We also ran into a herd of sheep and they had two giant mountain dogs guarding them so that was cool.
I volunteered to lead to pack down and immediately I was challenged to stay on my bike. If I could describe the tail it would be ‘Pilot Rock on steroids’. Many people by the end were smiling and also questioning why they were here.
Overall it was maybe the sickest trail I’ve ever done and it wasn’t even part of the race. Lots of loose, scary rocky switchbacks all the way down.
Bear made it to France safely with only one issue: a broken dropper-post lever. Thankfully there was a bike store 20 minutes away and he was able to get a new one quickly. Sounds like it’s been rough…here’s the update he sent:
Today is relaxation and wine drinking with friends. Swam in their pool and ate some amazing local food. Dinner later then sleep. Building my bike up in the morning before we go back.