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Dennis's story: Rebecca's Private Idaho

BaseCamper Dennis Wojcik shared his experience at Rebecca's Private Idaho 2023.

Stage 1

I survived the Queen's Stage Race. Barely. 🤪 The single track was technical and at my limit. I was able to hold my planned pace up to the start of the single track but then started burning matches fast. Ran into a line of people walking up hills and had to dismount and walk too. Actually better that I did given how this sea level rider was feeling with the lack of air. I had a mishap going down the grade just after the single track; hit some soft gravel and went down and then got promptly ran over. Nice big rash/bruise on my hip and a cut on my elbow. Motrin and ice are in order. I was a bit gun shy after that and slower going down the grade. Overall a good day.

Stage 2

When I flew in the Navy we wore oxygen masks to stave off hypoxia. At RPI you ride a gravel TT to almost the same altitude O2 is required. I missed my sea level today. 🤪

Overall a fun ride rolling for 20 miles (uphill) for a challenging climb. My legs felt like bricks at the start after waiting in line, and I pushed a little too hard out the gun (yes coach Tim Cusick I saw your note about not doing it) but once I stabilized on a pace and breathing I made it up. Some people passed me, some I passed. All in all the highest and hardest climb I’ve done.

Oh, the views were nice going down too.

Stage 3

What a ride. The way my heart was jumping out of my chest at the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the top of the Trail Creek climb.

Part of it was I over dressed for the rain and was hot, and part of it was the neutral start was a bit fast (I have to learn my lesson). I did settle into a pace and made it to the top where it promptly started to rain. Hot jacket stayed on because it was what I had for rain protection. I pushed on thinking, well maybe I’ll just do the French fry, or maybe I’ll do some thing else, but I honestly didn’t like how that story would sound in the end. I pushed on to the Wild Horse aid station where Rebecca was. Rebecca Rusch thanks for the words and the push! I pushed on to the next stop hopping between groups for some cover. I had the Tim Cusick mantra of speed efficiency playing in my head. Well it worked. To my surprise I made it to the Copper Basin in time to continue! It was a beautiful loop I must admit. I am glad I made it in time. Well except for the cow poop. 😜 It was a hard going for a while mentally but once past the half way point (and some nice down hill sections) I was renewed. I was happy I made it and that I didn’t give up. Side note: this is the point where I had Namrita Brooke's voice saying eat and hydrate. That part of the training sure was helpful. At the Copper Basin aide station on the return tagged up with some fellow Base Campers. Ken Carl was awesome driving the homeward legs. The El Diablito section was interesting. It road more like some of the trails back home, but with nicer scenery. That was a challenge. Not looking around too much while riding technical trails. The final climb up Trial Creek was a slog. Had some rain again (kind of on again off again the whole time). The descent from Trail Creek was scary for me. Loose and wet. I did keep up with the cars though (but they were slow as well). The final paved section was fast and wet. It was kind of a nice break.

Overall I a thrilled to finish. I am surprised I finished. I want to thank all the Base Campers who were encouraging all of us along. It made a difference. Also thanks to the coaches, especially Jim Pomeroy who has been working with me.

A strange after note: did my club ride a week later with some of the fast riders. I found mentally things that would have intimidated me did not. Few hundred feet of climbing at sea level. No big deal. I am noticing both physical (more than the giant bruise from crashing) and mental changes post RPI. I like it!


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