When we last spoke, Ryan had arrived at the cabin to break Ozark solitude. We watched Gold Rush and mused over how shows on TLC (a.k.a. the LEARNING channel) used to actually be educational and not just a reality TV wolf in “educational” sheep’s clothing.
Unfortunately, rained moved in Friday morning. We slept in a little, I found a yoga video on Youtube to follow, and we finally made our way out to ride forest roads in the afternoon. Not long into our ride, we started half-wheeling each other on climbs. As tired as I was from the 4 hours of rock fights the day before, our ride soon devolved into full-blown singlespeed hill-climbing fights. 2.5 hours later, we coasted back in to trailhead parking lot- exhausted, cold, and covered in gravel road mud/sand. Short, sweet, and to the point.
Friday night, Kenny showed up. Saturday, he rode singlespeed with us (his first time to ditch gears at Syllamo), and generally kicked ass and looked like he’d been singlespeeding all his life.
(P.S. Yes, Kenny wears a full-face helmet. He broke his face pretty bad once, and he’s trying to avoid a repeat performance.)
The cold weather froze a lot of the springs that normally keep some sections of trail damp. That, combined with the dry air and sunshine, made for perfect riding conditions.
Ryan, who was beaten up from both the previous day’s climbing and his general downtick in recent training volume, went back to the cabin after 3 hours while Kenny and I continued on for two more.
Somewhere in the last two hours, I noticed that I was occasionally bottoming out my front rim on sharp trail spots. I’d been experimenting with lower pressures on an Ardent 2.4, and figured I’d just gone too low when I’d let a little air out earlier. Turns out, I was running 7psi (as measured by the Topeak digital pressure gauge). I hadn’t been bumping the rim immediately after the prior air-letting, so I attribute the somewhat sudden squishiness to a sealed-over puncture.
Also in the last two hours, I started to get what I call “stage race legs.” It’s the phenomenon that occurs when you should be getting more tired, but instead, you start feeling more like a Honey Badger. It makes you feel like a sponge for training.
Dinner from Tommy’s Famous pizza (best restaurant in Mountain View) was even more delicious than usual.
Sunday morning, I found the extra brain-rotting reality TV show about Bam Maragera getting married. As obnoxious as Bam Margera and MTV are, I can’t help but relate to some of the shenanigans.
After breakfast, Kenny and I went out for another couple of hours on the Green and Orange trails (Ryan was still feeling some back tightness, so he stayed home). I figured out that 14psi is the perfect tire pressure for an Ardent 2.4. I also realized that I’m not as slow descending on a rigid fork as I’d originally thought I was. My legs felt destroyed, so up every climb, I thought about the Breck Epic, and realized that under the layers of pain left over from 4 days of riding, my legs were stronger than ever.
Five days in Arkansas won’t be nearly as gnarly as 6 days in the Rockies.
(shameless plea/side note- the entry fee/camping fee/food fee of the Breck Epic will be slightly upwards of $1500. If you feel as though you’d be entertained by my Colorado shenanigans, feel free to send a few bucks my way on Paypal)
Riding with friends is equally as entertaining as riding solo.
Training camp 2012 was a smashing success, and I rolled back home to Memphis feeling both tired and awesome. After a little recovery time, training ramps back up for the lead-in to Southern Cross, which seems to have appeared suddenly on the race horizon in the past couple of days. Time to lay off the beer and cookies and start getting serious. Or something.