Tuesday, July 28

Reflecting (dead) Pool

I don't want people thinking that I hate the Wildernesss 101 (Watts doesn't want people thinking I hate it either).  I'm just terrible at 90% of what the race is by nature. 

I can't hammer the flat sections and take advantage of the groups that blow by me.  Blame that on the fact that I was too stupid to remember my '06 experience and gear accordingly (shoulda been 32X18) and how little I ride on the road.  

There were zero climbs that required a hike-a-bike. Zero.  I'm really good at walking.  #humblebrag

I like my climbs longer, more soul-crushing... something where my @130lbs at X watts > someone @155lbs at 120% of X.  Also a climb long enough to create sads and cramps.  I like when others have sads and cramps.

Those descents?  How could I forget how rocky and steep and clusterfucked and rigid fork unfriendly they are?  Almost absolutely nowhere to give my hands even a couple of seconds away from lever squeezing duties.  I don't feel like I normally lose too much ground on most descents, but these?  I think I was going backwards at times.  So hard... never a chance to let the bike go, only insane attempts to keep my eyes in their sockets.  I'm not saying I woulda ran a suspension fork, just that I forgot how bad it was and was unprepared for such big sads.

The race is an incredible experience, quite the challenge, and worth doing if you haven't done it.  I haven't done any hundies aside from the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in years, and the atmosphere was exactly what I would want.  Not too many people, a soaking river, beer, quiet camping... my little friends.

But, as always, horses for courses.  I'm not the horse for this course.  In no way am I saying that if you picked the same single speeders and threw them on a better (for me) course that the results would be any different.  I just woulda been more stoked throughout the day.

photo cred: Tomi McMillar
Aid Station Brocery Shopping Tips:  You can easily transport a half-banana up your shorts, but don't try it with four Fig Newtons or a quartered Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Pie.  You can stick up to ten Pringles in your mouth at once... as long as you don't need to breathe for the next five minutes.

I most certainly love riding in this part of the country.  I wouldn't have gone to the Trans-Sylvania Epic six years in a row and am planning on my seventh if I wasn't truly smitten.  The air, trails, rocks, weather, streams, people, views, trees, ferns... superb.  Simply.  Stunning.

There were so many points throughout the day that I was trying to figure out just how I was going to unload my Shenandoah Mountain 100 entry.  In the moment, had I a smart phone and one bar of signal, I mighta put it out there for sale. 

Now, I'm kinda stoked.  The realization that two months ago, I was getting x-rays and popping pain killers... and now I'm feeling like, I dunno, as good as I ever feel.  Awesome.

I just need to get to Stokesville early enough to claim some hammock friendly trees.  No more air mattresses for me and my tossing-turning sleepstyle.

BTW: Anyone wanna buy an air mattress complete with a tiny pump?

I think I did a great job selling it.


Anonymous said...

how much do you want for that thing that hooks onto everything?

dicky said...

what thing that hooks onto everything?