The time has come. There’s a lump in my throat, I’m pacing anxiously through my house, I haven’t been able to sleep well the last couple of weeks. Tomorrow morning, Jeff and I will head to the airport to travel across the world to Kathmandu, Nepal. Months of preparation, obsessing, tough training in the dead of winter, details, details, details… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the what ifs, the fear of what I forgot? These are all out of my control. I’ve done the work, I’ve done the research. I am as ready as I can be!!
I got an Evoc bike bag and I have to say, this thing is freaking AWESOME! It’s the easiest time I’ve ever had packing my bike. It didn’t take long, there was no screaming and exasperated cursing. It’s perfect.
The hardest thing this week is deciding what to take. Read on for why… but basically we are only allowed 22 lbs of gear for the majority of the race including the weight of the gear bag, a sleeping bag, and everything you’d need to survive for 6-7 more days. A sherpa will carry it to village to village. I will be using the Garmin Etrex 30for navigation.
See that full blue Patagonia duffel? I’ll have to take HALF the stuff out of it and send it back in another bag to Kathmandu after 4 days. Crazy crazy crazy. I will not have nearly what I feel I “need” which is scary. It’ll bring a new definition to bare minimum! That is actually what I am most anxious about… that and peaking out at 17,769′!!!
I stole this off Jeff’s blog, but it’s the basic info on the race:
– The race is solo. No teams.
– 11 stages total with 1 acclimation/rest day at 12,000 ft. This comes after Stage 7. Final stage is a celebratory group ride to the finish.
– Only 15 international athletes are allowed to compete. Remaining are Nepali. Expect no more than 50 racers total. The services along the route can handle no more than 50 people, hence the limit on the field.
– No tent camping. We stay in tea houses along the route, which are very similar to hostels here in the USA.
– We are allowed 44 lbs of gear for transport for first few stages, which is transported by trucks to the overnight villages. This is then cut to 22 lbs as our gear is carried by sherpas to the overnight villages and tea houses at the higher terrains. Any gear that does not fit in these weight allowances must be carried on the bike by the riders.
– Stages are relatively short compared to most stages races, covering 15-30 miles a day. But, the elevation, terrain, hike-a-bike, etc, make for roughly 2-4 hour days on the bike. Some days shorter…some days longer. Terrain and health will dictate.
– The purpose of the Yak-Attack is to give the Nepali riders an international field to race against, to finance local businesses along the route, raise awareness of the diversity of activities available in the area, and to create and concrete bonds between international communities, individuals, and Nepali athletes.
– Lowest elevation we compete at is 4,200 ft. Highest elevation we will get to is 17,775 ft! Highest I have ever been is 14,400; Mt. Elbert west of Leadville, CO
– Mountain Bike UK magazine lists the Yak-Attack as one of the Top-5 hardest mountain bike events in the World!
For the twitter links, Sonya and I will use #yakattack during the trip.
So for now, this is goodbye! I’ll talk to you all in 3 weeks. I have a feeling this will be a once in a lifetime experience and I am so fortunate. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your continued support.