Monday, April 14

Ready for whatever

I knew things weren't gonna be easy before they even had a chance to be stupid.  March was limiting, difficult.  Too much fun, not enough time for long rides, too cold for early morning miles.

I knew what this would set me up for in April.

Trying to drop weight and increase saddle time becomes a balancing act.  Trying to stay on that's knife's edge of fueling my efforts but not eating everything in sight.  With the move coming up (by that I mean it starts tonight) the big stuff goes Saturday, Sunday will be spent trying to make things workable to begin the work week all over again.  While I'm thinking about it, I should mention the internet goes down here some time this week.  Blogging will screech to a halt for a few days, perhaps quite unexpectedly.

I was thinking I'd use that extra free time in the morning later this week to get in some more miles, but with lows in the 30's and intermittent rain coming up for no good reason... not happening.

Fortunately, I got in two rides this weekend.  One that stayed within the limits of my caloric intake, one that exceeded it by about twenty minutes.  I made one entire loop of the Whitewater Center (plus the not yet opened stuff and DS track) on a very large slice of homemade vegetarian sausage pizza.  Came home, cleaned up, headed out to watch the uptown criterium.  I should mention that I had to take a hiatus from my "purchase no beer to go in thine own fridge" hiatus because Friday stress levels were high and going to a crit without beer is like not going to a crit at all.

Between the ride and the crit, this happened.

I wanted to try the Thomson drooper with the rigid crabon frok in Pisgah before I mount up the Fjox fjork for full-on PMBAR/Pisgah 111/55.5k activities.  Coling, Nik, and Joey... all in the Honda Fit of Rage, bottoming out on gravel roads along the way.  There was no plan and then there was a plan that sounded stupid enough to do.  None of us had ridden Bracken Mountain yet, so why not do it... and try to bag a seasonal trail that will be closed in a few days.
It seemed like a good idea looking at the map.  In the parking lot, Joey looked at the kiosk.  Seven miles of gravel and an impressive amount of elevation separate the end of Bracken from the fish hatchery.  No matter.  The ride will go longer than I woulda thought looking at the squiggly lines on paper.

My morning Pop Tart calories were gone on the first climb.  We got to the gravel section... mostly downhill.  My small bag of kettle chips that I ate in the car are burned up.  Run into Shrimper going the other way.  Get to the hatchery.  Run into Jordan and Bonnie.  Head out to Butter, Long Branch, Cat.  Drooper utilized and enjoyed.  My three gel packs are gone.  Back at the hatchery, The King of the Pasty White Bearded Hill People is holding court.  Stephen Janes, Todd Branham, Patrick McMahon a bunch of others... on a similar but way smarter route for the day.  We go to climb back up the seven mile gravel road behind their group.

Concerned that I am now in a time VS remaining calories crunch, I throw some anger into the climb.  I caught up to the Pasty White Bearded Hill People as they calmly rolled up the back of the mountain at a talking pace.  I kept my head down, occasionally looking under my arm to see a rider behind me.


How is he doing this?

I put in an acceleration.  He's still there.  A longer effort produced a gap, a small rolling descent and he was back.  More accelerations.  More little gaps.  More shutting down of the gaps.

I was starting to feel my stomach binding up into a knot.  I recognized some mud that I remembered being close to the top and gunned it.  When I got to the top, I looked behind me... I was alone.  Seconds later, Todd Branham came rolling up.


I was trying to crush my friend and ended up crushing myself.  At least it kept my mind busy on the way up the back of Bracken.  I was wasted by the time we go to the top for the final descent.

photo cred: Nik
Back at the car, we all agreed we were blown.  Only something like a (corrected) forty miles turned us into toast.  Bodes well for our PMBAR future in three weeks.

1 comment:

Eric Wever said...

Bizarro world. You were in Pisgah at the same time I was hipster watching at the Common Market.