I sat there in my swivel chair, staring at my monitor. The Boddingtons pub ale getting warmer by the moment as it was slowly sweating a small pool of water onto my desk. Glaring at it, as if to say I’m better than you, a half full bottle of Jack Daniels sat perched off to my right. A mild fog clouded my thoughts as the two battled it out in my bloodstream while I lounged, trying to think of something more entertaining to write than my usual rambling merely describing some ride I’d gone on. Ironically, I’d actually done a pretty fair amount of riding recently; certainly more than I had ever done before in a weekend and while a huge portion of it was road, it doesn’t detract from the fact that I’d ridden 50 miles over the course of just three days. Surely not a huge feat for many, but for me, that really was the most I’d ever ridden in a weekend.
It started with this crazy bike to work idea. See I’m not roadie, I mean, I really am not a big fan of riding my bike on the street; but if I pause to give it a fair amount of thought, I’d spent a huge part of my life riding on the road just to get to dirt jumps or around town. So I suppose it wasn’t an entirely abstract concept, but just the same, riding to work was a good 15 miles each way for me. A buddy of mine I work with rides a mountain bike on the road, in fact given his lack of dirt experience, even he would call himself a roadie on his mountain bike with street slicks. He lives roughly at the midpoint between my house and the office, so it made sense to hook up with him at his place and ride in on bike to work day. Though, considering that I had a good 20+ miles in store over the next two days, I probably should have just driven to his house and ridden the rest of the way. What can I say; sometimes I hear that voice from Gattica in my head saying,“save nothing for the ride home.”
So I pedaled off to his place, and sparing you the boring details of a ride some of which I’d later come to lament, we rode in to work together without major incident, and on that same token I made it home without any problems either. I did however learn something about targeted fitness. See I‘ve got big quads, I don’t know, must have come from BMX biking so much as a kid, combined with 25+ years of martial arts. I have spent a lot of time on bursts of power, exploding to hit enough speed to pull a jump, or to overwhelm an opponent with kicks and punches, but truly sustained activity eventually wears me down. So for example at a green light I can pretty much dust most cars leaving behind any roadie, but after the turn and just a few feet beyond, they, like my friend, pick up and maintain a pretty high speed cadence I just can’t hold to save my life. At least for now that is, which honestly is why I started doing these pedalfest XC type rides.
However, enter day two of my weekend mile-fest. So that same buddy who was pretty much leaving me behind on every long stretch of road, went mountain biking with me on Sat for a nice 12 mile loop. And needless to say, while I sat at the top of basically every steep climb just casually sipping water from my camelback, he reached the top looking like he was ready for Charon to ferry him across the river Styx. We finally rode out the rest of the trail, and he had a good time overall, aside from some issues adjusting to grip shifters. My riding didn’t end there however, as I was to meet up with one of my mountain bike clubs for a Sunday ride-fest at Rockville.
Now Rockville is pretty awesome, and honestly, everyone in my group that went, all 23 plus of us, were pretty damn fine riders. Rockville has some pretty ridiculously challenging stuff as far as your average rider is concerned, and to see self proclaimed newbies riding the stuff we were hitting out there, all I can say is that I am thoroughly impressed.
We rode a pretty good variety covering long drawn out climbs that had even the fitness buffs dismounting to push their bikes uphill, to some sweetly rocky downhills that had me wishing I had a full face helmet on. But at the end of the day, when all was said a done, and we’d ridden most of the park, we all had a damn good time, and in spite of the fact that my legs didn’t fully recover till about Thursday, I can only say I had a great time with some great riders. Of course, it did mean I didn’t really get any riding in during the week, but there’s always tomorrow. :)
I’ve inserted a couple pictures from the ride that were taken by other riders, I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you who took what, but credit does not belong with me for any of these pictures.
Caught mid-chew lookin’ gimpy at the head of the table; that’s me with the tattoo back there