It was raining, huge dark clouds were everywhere around us. Full on walls of purple thunder were dragging along the hills. But we still headed out. We had to curl on back to get Sam more clothes and stop to get more air in his front tire. Even wide open and sitting on the side of the pavement somehow the rain didn’t open up, just peppered and threw graupel at us. Determination was strong as we were heading out to throw down a quick Growler Lap. The race is a week away and it is hard nor to get caught up with the nervous energy and fear of that many miles of pretty tough riding, with 300+ other folks.
Having just suffered through the 12 Hours Of Mesa Verde with a sore tight back that lead to some post race dead legs, I just am not sure what to expect in the Growler. Plus all excited and wanting to do another lap race, I signed up for the 24 Hour Nationals, at the 24 Hours of Enchanted Forrest, only 4 weeks away. Sometimes when I calm down I wonder what sort of fool bites off way more than he can chew. But I am me and I have to keep up my end of the bargain by living and trying. Yet what is wrong with me? I can deal with a good bit of discomfort and pain, but I am more than a little scared about all this.
The best way to deal, is go for a bike ride. Sometimes a sort of fast bike ride, and that was what happened today. After the awful grind up Kill Hill, I opened it up a bit on Main Street, and Josho’s. It felt good. Pushing the pace, cranking the pedals. Sam was wondering what the hell was I up to…he wanted to go sub race pace, yet he hung on my wheel so I just kept cranking.
Soon I backed off and let the pace ebb and flow a bit more, still cranking it hard at times to keep myself feeling honest. I even stopped to let us eat and talk with normal breathing. Today I felt smooth and quick, what we like to call being a Trail Ninja! It is such a temporary condition and needs to be enjoyed while it lasts. Oh it was fun. Being the excitable boy that I am I was unable to control myself towards the end of the ride and pushed Sam a touch too far. He was cooked by the climb up Ridgeline Trail and ate it a couple times on the tough tricky techy ascent. Sorry Sam, but when you got it you got to use it!
I am still plenty scared of the upcoming events, one after another, all hard. But the truth is I love riding bikes, I love riding bikes as fast as I can on all kinds of trails. I enjoy the competition and comradery of bike racing. Fear tempers my approach, but does not dim my enthusiasm. Today while my legs screamed up the climbs, my back sent angry messages to my brain, I grinned ear to ear as my tires carved the turns and hopped the rocks. Even freezing in the wind and rain I was aware of how lucky I am to have the predicament that I have. Thank you universe for letting me get through all the BS I once held so dear and to be at this point in my life.
What sort of fool bites off more than he can chew? The ONE who bites it down fast! I’m coming up from Salida for the afternoon of the Growler, looking forward to buying you a beer you won’t chew down.