To say that the 2010 Crank the Shield course is wet and muddy would be to grossly understate how unbelievably wet and muddy the course really is. I can say with some confidence that 90 percent of the 200-odd riders still in this race (quite a few were lost after day 1) swam today, after doing an endo over their handlebar. That is because there are an enormous number of beaver ponds that are quite literally 4 feet deep, and when we aren’t swimming through beaver ponds, we are givener through giant pools of mud and water on the ATV trails. These muddy pools range in depth from a few inches to about 5 feet (no shit), and you really don’t know which it is until you go for it, or you loose sight of the dude riding in front of you as he is swamped and disappears. Oh, and the riding is pretty f’ing hard too, when you manage to stay on your bike, instead of pushing your bike through knee deep mud. This race is not for the faint of heart.
All things considered, John, Joe and I are all feeling pretty good, but our bikes may never be the same again after all this mud (Joe broke a chain and bent a derailleur hanger today). We are looking forward to finishing strong tomorrow – John is contending for a top 20 finish, and Joe and I are hoping for a top 3 stage finish, and hope to finish 5th or 6th (as long as the cramps and mechanicals stay away). The good news is that it is pouring rain right now, so we will be assured of an especially wet finish tomorrow!!