16 June, 2013

more bike riding - I love to play

Land Between the Lakes last weekend. It was the White Lightning XC race, that follows the Canal loop. An attempt at racing in pouring rain only to crash and bump my head about mile 3.5 or 4 continue to finish the lap and then DNF. Head just kept hurting worse an worse. All in all it was a great weekend. Unfortunately several of my friends also DNF.  But others did and anyone that can race 30+ miles in pouring rain are superstars in my book! 

I bought a single speed MTB. I have several friends that ride single speeds all the time so I asked why. top answers consistently are that it will make you smoother and increase your power/strength. I shopped and priced and on limited budget purchased the Cannondale SLR3. it came with a rigid fork named FATTY. I ordered a Reba shock for the front but headset was delayed in arriving. So I took it to Cherokee the evening I got it and rode the loop. So much fun! however, my hands and arms were beat up and hurt all night long riding with no front suspension. This is the first hard tail I've ever ridden. it is definitely a different ride than my scalpel. I found a pair of flat pedals that have a thin profile but large platform at 100x100 cm. Now I need the shoes to come in. I've been wearing my old running shoes because they have the fewest lugs and are fairly smooth and worn in the bottom. but they are worn out and I should have shoes with stiff soles. 

I had this thought I might go to Ben Hawes after the LBL race on the way home but with the rain and muddy bike and me I came home and cleaned everything straightaway. Trashed the BB again! so annoying but inevitable. 

There was a DINO race this weekend at French Lick. Wasn't into the idea of racing so instead I packed up the car and went to Brown County State Park in Indiana. I took both bikes with the intention of riding SS on Saturday up top and then the Scalpel on Sunday for all of the climbing. I rode Limekiln and Walnut from the camp site. Got a late start, but didn't really have a timeframe in mind. By the time I got back to Limekiln I realized I had the front shock locked out! Hah, that was not smart. But riding Limekiln back to the campground was fast and flowy and so much fun. I even caught the slightest bit of air at one point. :)  I need to get used to the flat pedals though. A couple of times my feet flew off of them and that made me a tad nervous. Once I got back to the campground I grabbed a snack and a beer. Thought about what I'd just ridden. Then took off to ride again, but explore Schooner Trace. This is the Expert trail at Brown County. LOTS of rock garden areas, some man made and some natural. There's one section that is so off-camber I couldn't tell much difference from the trail to the hillside. I walked that. It was a long way down. I walked a lot of this trail, but rode as much as I could. I got to the road crossing and didn't see the trailhead on the other side. I should've looked harder. Took a detour down the road and then had to climb back up. :-)  By the time I got back to the campsite it was 8:30. I had a nice fire, meal, shower and beverage. Slept in until 8:30 this morning! By the time I ate and got everything together it started to rain. Missed the opportunity to ride Green Valley. My legs talked to me off an on all night. They were very tired this morning. But first I explored some of Brown County I hadn't seen before. Ogle lake is pretty and made me wish I had a kayak or canoe.I walked up to North Tower and caught the view. 

Driving south on I-65 on a whim I jumped off at the North Vernon Exit. Started checking the weather maps and thought I saw a dry spot. So I drove to Versailles. It has a little elevation, but nothing terribly steep. I thought about it and decided to ride the SS again. I have it for training, no time like the present to stay focused. I was slow, but not as slow as I thought I'd be. Actually a couple of Strava segments I was only a minute or two slower than my fastest time there. When I got back to the car and started loading the bike it started to sprinkle rain. Once I got changed and behind the steering wheel it started to pour. Seems everything works out for the best most times. I don't like driving in the heavy rainfall, but just relaxed and took my time. Got home and eveyrthing was dry, but dark clouds were fast approaching from the west. Again, I got everything unloaded and into the house before the storm hit. 

I am tired and my legs are sore. I have a smile on my face though and very grateful I can do things like this still. The saddle issue seems like it will be chronic for the foreseeable future. I think I'll just ride as much as I can an try to ignore it until I can't stand it. 

I thought a lot about my Dad this weekend as I rode. I miss him. I hope all the Dad's out there had a wonderful holiday today and hopefully got to go play.


Me getting ready to drive home after weekend of riding SS MTB. not flattering picture but honest and real. getting old

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