This is the dreaded sector where it all really begins (again). Hodgesgate is the trickiest, dirtiest, rockiest and most beastly stretchyet. There’s the water crossing, the ever-growing rock garden, the ruts, boulders, cactus, incredible lakeside views and a lovely dip in the lake that awaits riders who transcend its perils in one or two pieces. All of this hits you hard and you can’t imagine a beat down of this magnitude after only 20 miles. While the scenery here is amongst the best of the entire event, riders will only notice what looks to be a lunar landscape of rocks with small traces of dirt in between them. Pick your line. Don’t let it pick you. This is probably where tire choice will matter as much as technical off-road riding skills (see IRC Tires website for your rubberized policy). It may be difficult, but at least at this point there won’t be anyone around to help you.
It is here that riders will ask themselves two questions: “Why didn’t I train more in the dirt? And, “Why didn’t I train more?”