Leesville Gap M123 35+

Two years ago this was one of my first bike races.  I couldn’t believe we were racing on dirt, gravel and blown apart roads (chip sealed to death, plenty of fresh potholes, “California Pave”!)  Then I did Challenge, Copperopolis, etc. and stopped freaking out about breaking bikes, wheels or flatting, and really started to enjoy these tough courses in their own way.
Anyway, I knew I’d be racing w/out teammates, and half the field would be iron data dudes (all strong, and good dudes, just a lot of them relative to small-ish fields of 25/30 guys), and I just didn’t want to deal w/ any tactics or road racing hooh hah at the expense of a steady and hard 3 hour workout.  So I decided a couple days before the race I was going to attack from the gun and very likely ride by myself until, who knows.  A new experience for me, just go ride off the front and see what happens.  I saw it was gonna be 100 degrees, hmm.  Whatever.  I guess that will tell me something too.
So, attacked (well, just kind of tempo’d) off the front after the neutral roll out.  Rode steady and alone for 50 minutes or so off the front and through much of the crappy road section.  Boy it was getting hot.  Or I was sweating a lot.  HR was starting to get up there and power was flaggin a bit.  HEAT?  Got caught just before the climb, of course, and was subsequently tailed off the selection half way up.  Kept riding alone, at 30 seconds gap, for 15 miles.  Couldn’t close it. Power and HR were all out of whack now . . . so I can review:  Overheat and redline, there is not going back to efficient power.  Must lock this in for endurance mt biking events to come.  Digression.    Brain was melting at 90 minutes.  Rode alone through the finish.  Raced alone for 95% of this race, got 6th.  Good experience.
Incidentally, “Ticks and Leaches” by Tool  reverberated through my heat induced hallucinations during the last 30 minutes of the race.  I love that song.  Add it to your interval mix, for reals.  “Is this what you wanted?  Is this what you had in mind?  Well this is what you’re getting.” Trust me. Two times straight through and complete if you are new.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RelR85j09XY
Finally, I caught this unique bike transport on the drive home.  Burning Man is not for two months man!  I enjoyed thinking about which Marc Pro – Strava dude was most and least likely to ever be rocking this set-up.   Votes?