After a very short paved respite from the energy sapping dirt, the headwind that blows across Lake Hodges will exacerbate the difficulty of the dreaded Hodgesmeergate.
Now 5-, 6- or 11-hours into this trip, riders won’t quite be able to smell the waffles and beer, but they will begin to smell the salt air of the Pacific Ocean being carried by that pesky westerly wind. Many will remember this rocky section from hell if they’re able to hark back so many hours earlier. Well, now they get to climb it, navigate the ever-growing rock garden and do so into the worst headwind of the day. At this point, fatigued riders can make all sorts of mistakes. Simple ones like choosing the wrong line through the water crossing or over the teeth-like rock section can spell doom and destruction. If riders do make it past all of these obstacles, there is another Feed Zone and the opportunity to quit awaiting them at the end of the Hodgesmeergate.