No idea where this will go, but after todays lunch ride and how awesome I felt after I unclipped post ride, I wanted to write it out for myself.
Middle of last week it was apparent that the weather was going to be atrocious in Pisgah for the race I got lost at last year, the 55.5k. All year I was looking forward to redeeming myself, buying a dropper post JUST for this event (still not sure I’m sold on it for all my riding, but we will try), swapping over bigger tires and a wider bar, blah blah. I cleaned my camelbak, I had my garmin and camera charged, I was beyond stoked to do this. Then Thursday I realized, it isn’t going to happen. A race I was hoping to finish in 5:30-6:00 with way better fitness and dry conditions, now with my current fitness and torrential rain? I wouldn’t say I was depressed because that is a really heavy word, but I was really really bummed. Like, what am I going to do now? I have the freaking cue sheet from last year on my desk and I think about all the descents, the climbs, the river crossings, everything. I made sure I was super rested so that everything was going to go swell. Now, nothing.
The good news was that the big Morrow Mountain ride was that same Saturday. They call everything “assaults on” down here, not sure why, it’s kind of malarky. Assault on Chipotle, Five Guys? I check in with some of my buddies and they are all doing it, so fuck it, lets do it.
Over 250 people were at this ride, $2 entry fee, can’t beat it.
Theres about 50 people in front of me too.
I did this ride almost a year ago and again, much different Peez. I still wanted to ride with the front group. Theres a hill called Chicken Shit Hill that is a half mile long but steep, and I was hoping to be in the way front when we hit this hill. In the first 30 minutes I find myself being my old self and in a 3 person break at the front. WTF? We climb Chicken Shit (or so I thought) and drift back as I always do into the main group of 40 or so people. I soon realize that this was not the hill I thought it was. I was pretty cooked. I try my technique again but this time I cannot latch back onto the front group, and a small group of 20 forms that is more just tempo’ing things out. Sort of a bummer but either way.
Ride climbs up to Mount Morrow which isn’t steep but has one killer switchback in it and feels like climbing Harriman but way shorter. As we are coming up, the front group is coming down. At the top a fine volunteer a cooler with fig newtons, Gatorade, water and soda.
View from the top. Pretty damn good for only being ~1 hour from home.
Refill a couple of bottles after 33 miles and 1:38 of pedaling. Chat for a little and see some people I know, but I try not to hang around too much. I chat with Jerry (picture Mitch/Iggy/Frank all in one person) and he says he is waiting for another one of our friends, but I decide I cannot wait any longer, otherwise I will just shut down and not GAF. I chat too much and get on my horse about 30 seconds after my group left, but with the descent down the mountain I’m sure I will catch them.
I don’t. I’m riding by myself. For about an hour. It’s hot, I have no motivation. How is this possible? Time by myself and I just think WTF I’m doing. I hate riding the road by myself. I should be ripping some sweet Pisgah ST right now, but mother nature sucks the big one. At some point a group of TWO riders come up behind and we chat a tad and roll in. I don’t feel that this was a waste of my time, and any time you can get 60 miles in before 11:30, it’s going to be a good day.
The front of the group is a legit road race, Cat 1 dudes, not sure how I hung last time we did this. The last time we finished in 2:38, this time, 3:03. I should have waited and rolled with a group, but I’m stubborn and think that I’m still the same person I was last year. Woops. Pick up some mulch from Home Depot and shit.
Sunday I snuck out for a solo MTB ride while Mandi went to Target or something. I ran into two people I’ve met through cross in the parking lot, which made the ride that much better. We chatted, I learned one did the tour divide at least twice, which is pretty badass “did you know” fact. Faster than I thought we would go, but faster with company versus riding solo and slower is cool. I’m cooked now and look forward to relaxing the rest of the day with the famalam.
I come home text Jeremy and Utah asking if they won, and heard SSaP was a total shit show. And to top it off, Utah decided to go tree surfing. Ugh. Felt super bad and hate seeing your homies hurting. Not sure what came over me, but I really questioned the whole racing thing. A combination of skipping my Pisgah race because I didn’t want to die, getting dropped at Morrow because I’m not as fit as I was and hearing Utahs arm looks like bait was a strange combination of emotion and feelings.
I didn’t ride Monday because Jackie boy had his 6 month check up (only gained 1 pound since his 4 month and grew 2 inches, guess he trying to watch his figure) and Tuesday it rained. It was probably the first time I seriously though about the fact I need a new hobby. Not being able to ride made me realize how much time fitness takes up and missing two days (granted I really wasn’t going to ride Monday) made me feel like I was missing something and losing fitness. I also think, what I’m calling “The Southern Winter”, is preparing to have an impact on me. Last week it was getting borderline uncomfortable in the high 80s/low 90s, and it was only May. June and July, hell even August could just be scorchers. After the 4 Hour race this coming Monday, I really have nothing circled on my cycling calendar. I think this was factoring into my feelings too.
Being home all day solo leaves too much time to think of things. New hobbies, selling bikes, maybe I could pick up knitting, growing a bonsai tree, etc. What the hell am I doing? Seriously?
It was sprinkling this morning and scattered rain showers all over. I got all my shit together out of habit for a lunch ride and as I opened the garage door, I saw some more sprinkles. Really? Is this how it’s going to be today? I didn’t look at the radar and it was cloudy, but man…. I head back in, grab a sandwich bag for my cell phone and say fuck it. I’ll just go through the motions and if I get rained on, Kevin will think I’m badass and I can just jet home if it gets bad.
It never rains, it’s overcast, and the temperatures are perfect. I felt great. I needed this. I wasn’t ripping it but just riding, and I was happy. I enjoyed my ride. My mind didn’t drift into negative spaces, but positive ones. By the time I got home, I felt normal again. I think the lesson I learned was that you cannot make decisions that could effect your hobby based on a week of experiences. The last 4 days was super bummer, but either I forgot how bummed out I was, or I’m back on the upswing of things. Or I’m just tired and realize after Monday the pool opens and I can work on my tan game more.