Monday, August 22, 2011

Hiatus schmiatus

I took a bit of a self imposed racing hiatus this summer and I am not sure what I think about that. Fool's Gold was this weekend and looks like it was a great time, but I'm glad I stuck around town to see My Morning Jacket.

When I say hiatus that is ignoring a couple alleycat races but er, I don't count those. They are cool and all, but it's not the same. I don't daydream fearfully about them the way I would about going to a too long race in a new, exciting place 

My reasoning involved some babble about the heat and saving money. I have not been able to avoid the heat and money is not exactly piling up here in the house, although I am damn close to paying off my car.

The hiatus has allowed for a beach trip with Melissa and some extra time around the house on weekends which has been awesome so I hereby deem it a success.

You see where this is going, the hiatus is about to end. I ponied up for the School of Hard Nox 50 Miler in Mississippi on Labor Day weekend. Yep. Mississippi. It actually looks pretty cool. The course has almost 5,000 feet of climbing, was cheap, and is generally regarded as "hard" by those who have already partaken.

Immediately after the money was plunked down the fretting began. What about training? That should happen before racing, right? I have been riding to work and going to ride where ever I want on the weekends. Or not riding and making french toast. Boris, Jacob, Lee and moi rode 9 laps on the Dead Dog trail out in Trussville that ended up giving about 4400 feet of elevation gain and enough roots to numb your hands and rattle your teeth. The ride was awesome and made me feel better about my new purchase.

So much for the carbon free bike

I bought one. I had to. I have wanted one for two years and got a good deal on a used one. I left on a skinny front tire for the first ride at Oak Mountain a couple weeks ago. Christ, that was brutal. It made me remember my 26er rigid days. The ride was rough enough my pump dislodged itself and I broke a bottle cage I thought was bomber. It wasn't. I then came to my senses and returned to my favorite front tire of all time - the Rampage. I stray from them time and time again even though they have not done me any wrong. Truly an excellent tire.

It's all good with the carbon wonderfork now and the bike just feels right. It rides like a bike, in a great way. I will do without the Mountain Bike Action style superlatives here - I trust it in the twisties and downhills and it seems to climb as fast or slow as I care to. I cannot go as fast on a rough downhill but who wins an endurance race on a downhill, anyway? Maybe someone faster on the dh than me, I don't know.


I am up to 40 minute runs in the dinky little Unshoes sandals. I don't ever get excited about going for a run but I no longer despise it. Running is just something else to do in the day, better than brushing my teeth or washing dishes but not as good as coffee or oatmeal. I guess I will keep it up.

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