We started at midnight on Friday and did 8 x jebel hafeet (a 1,000+ meter mountain in Al Ain, UAE)
Up and down x 8 took about 12 hours and we finished around 1pm in 43 degree heat.
The last two times were miserable because of the heat and sun beating down on us.
After we finished, we drove the 2 hours back to Dubai … to eat and then do a 12 hour “fast” ride in the desert.
Because I fell asleep on the ride home, I did not drink enough after the long training, Marko didn’t either.
I hardly remember our dinner, but I didn’t eat much because I was so sleepy, and exhausted from the climbing …
The 12 hour ride started very well, and fast. Riding in the coolness of the night in UAE desert is peaceful … we did a couple large loops and stopped back at my truck after 4 hours to take more water and then again 3 hours later.
Unfortunately, I didn’t eat enough the day before, and did not eat enough on the first 7 hours of the ride, and I only have two water bottle holders on my new bike, (i forgot to put the 3rd one on it, like I have on my other bikes) and surely was already dehydrated from the 12 hours in jebel hafeet 12 hours before … so around the 8 hour mark in the middle of the day … with a very strong head wind hammering into us, both Marko and I, but esp. me completely ran out of energy.
We were 35 kms from my truck in the middle of the desert … nothing but sand and road around us for 35kms. And I struggled big time, my throat was so dry that I could no longer swallow (I have never experienced this type of dehydration before)
Marko had a little bit of water in his bottle, but the water was so hot it was undrinkable.
Then God sent us some angels … angels from Pakistan.
I saw a group of construction workers driving near us, and I waved them down to stop and asked if they had water, and the construction workers from Pakistan happily offered us water from their water bottles.
As most of my close friends know, I pride myself in rarely getting ill … and I wash my hands very often, and don’t even share a water glass with anyone … but I was so thirsty that I didn’t think twice about drinking water from the filthy cooler.
And it tasted so good.
Because of these gentlemen, both marko and I were able to drink a couple water bottles each, and safely made it back to the truck …
I have bonked before … but I never experienced this big time dehydration issue before … and I don’t remember feeling that weak, even at RAAM – but looking back, I was already dehydrated from the hellish 12 hour, 7,000+ meters of climbing in the heat from the day before, and then only had two water bottles in first 4 hours.
It was a great experience which I will never ever forget …
Although I am in much better shape this time compared to when I attempted in 013, this experience just goes to show how easy it is to fail in ultra-cycling.
And I must thank God again … for sending Marko and I those angels from Pakistan.