4 in a row.

Jun 06 2018

There’s a turn and then you’re into the downhill, 4 jumps, another turn, 2 more jumps. This didn’t wreck me but the next one did…

It’s been a little more than a week. I’m fine now. My knee looks gnarly but everything else is good. Most of the surface road rash has fallen off. Still stiff. Sitting out the rainy weekend help, but now I feel like I’m starting from 0 again.

I cleaned both bikes after my MTB ride on Monday. The road bike was covered in grime. Noticed some spots of rust forming around the chrome. A couple of nicks in the clear coat I hadn’t seen before. It’s been 6 years. I keep saying it’s time to get a new one. Maybe it’s time to hang this one on the wall. It’s served me well. Thousands of miles, thousands of feet of climbing, taken me faster than I thought I could go. It’s time for change. I feel like racing. I don’t feel like wrecking a steel bike. A carbon bike? After all of this. Maybe aluminum. I don’t know. Something I could wreck and not feel awful about it.

The mtb was filthy, as it should be. Bottom Bracket, down tube and rear triangle hidden under a coating of mud and debris. There’s so many puddles so much mud in the trails right now. Rocky climbs are all slick with wet leaves and debris. We’re having our rainy spring weather at the beginning of summer. After it dried it off a tattoo of Wissahickon schist residue resurfaced. That’s a reminder of where that bike is ridden. Many of our houses are built from the same stone. It’s woven into our daily lives. The trails, the houses, the bikes, your gear, your skin, the minerals that pool at the bottom of the shower after a ride.

Yesterday I did a 30 mile tempo road ride to try and get my muscles together. Wind was blowing into me all the way out. Rode it out in the drops, spinning at low cadence and mid heartbeat. I felt slow. Stopped at 15 miles and pushed it back home. Felt a little better that way but my legs just didn’t agree with me. I hate knowing I was faster before. I need to ride more. Need to push myself back to where I was.

I haven’t really been the same since the pneumonia. How long ago was that? Two years now? I felt so weak then. Maybe I never really came back from it. Maybe I’m not the same rider I was before that. There’s a lot of self doubt that comes when you have no energy and you don’t get better. Your brain starts to play tricks on you.

I was so aggro before that. The trainer, the interval training, the hill repeats. Always trying to get faster. Some of it seems far away now. I miss that feeling. The hunger to be better than I was the day before. The narrow focus of it all. I wonder if I can ever get it back.

I need to get out of my head.

Today is the last practice for BCYC pickett team. The kids have all gotten stronger and faster. The crit race is Saturday. I’m expecting them to do well. It’s my first season of coaching. It was rewarding just to watch them get it. Hopefully I’ll keep this up through the summer. They inspire my riding. The kids are fresh to it. They are positive. They have the attitude. None of the bitterness or weariness that so many older riders get. No mental blockage-just the constant desire to get faster, to get better, to lead and to win.