An 85 mile loop today with a time limit of 7 hours and 32 minutes. The weather is again sunny so it should be another great day in paradise. Todays ride was lots of road work, beautiful single lane roads, single track through forests with the moors starting to dry out. The parts of moors where the snow is melting are still very boggy so you try to stay away from that part. The scenery was just stunning today. I feel like a rubber necking tourist except I have to keep looking at where I am going.
The sections had lots of sharp rocks today. Riders were crashing everywhere in the sections with lots of broken levers and smashed sprockets. I broke a rear brake lever and bent the gear lever. I am now riding very conservatively the main aim is to finish on time after attempting each section. If I am not lined up perfectly for the rock or the big step I just take a five. Some of the creek sections are so slippery if you get off line and onto the mossy rocks. The sections then went back to more rounded rocks but it was still hard, really hard.
I have noticed a lot of riders in riding in groups. It helps heaps to have back up. I think over half the riders have back up vans meeting them around the loop. The vans carry spare parts, food and dry clothes. Some guys even change gear just for the road sections. There are not to many riders like me doing it on their own.
Tomorrow day 4 is my early day. I am riding straight after Dougie Lampkin as his brother pulled out before the event. Riders leave at 1 minute intervals. I get to the first section just after Dougie and he is there with his entourage. I then try to get ahead of them as the queues are severe.