The thing about a recovery week is that there’s not always a lot to blog about. Unlike Dicky, I made audio race reports while I was out at TSE, so I didn’t have to remember the fine details of each stage so that I might blog about them once I was home. I did have a few nice recovery rides which allowed me to get cool photos like this:
I’ve also been gathering the necessary parts needed to re-assemble the Jet9 with some nice upgrades. I know I’ve said in the past that I wouldn’t get XX1 until the cassette options improved, but I realized at TSE that if I’m only going to ride it on the trail (vs. doing some road & trail training like I do on the Air9 RDO), the current offering should suit my needs. So, all I lack now is the XX1 driver for my wheelsets. Re-assembly starts today…
Over the weekend, I made an impromptu trip to the Syllamo Trails for a last bit of relaxation before getting back into my normal training schedule. I wasn’t sure how the trails would be since they tend to get grown over this time of year, so I stuck to the orange and blue since they tend to be the shadiest parts of the system. Matt came along. He went Strava-poaching on the road while I was in the woods. It just so happened that I caught up to him on my way back to the cabin:
Before that, I realized something really cool while I was on the blue trail-
A couple of years ago, a group of people (I have no idea who- all I know is that it was some sort of large, organized effort) went through one of the most notoriously technical and hike-a-bikey sections of the blue trail (the couple of miles on the “other” side of highway 5, for those of you familiar with the area), and made a bunch of smooth, easier re-routes to large sections of the trail, as well as removing all rocks and obstacles from the path. The trail resembled a nerf football in the coming winter (not that didn’t remain a very difficult ride- there’s a b*tch of a steep climb out there, and lots of super steep stuff that’s barely rideable even to someone who is very good at riding super loose/steep stuff).
Despite someone’s best laid plans to make the trail more accessible to more people, through the process of wind, weather, and mischievous Indian ghosts, the Proterozoic mountain is growing out from under the dirt, and the trail is once again becoming a rocky limestone beast. The trail still seems to be growing and changing all over, which makes it a slightly different challenge every time I make the trip out.
After riding and dinner, I decided on a spontaneous fishing trip down to the boat ramp on the White River. I didn’t catch anything, but the water felt nice.
Sunday, in lieu of riding, we went out to explore the southern end of the Sylamore Creek hiking trail. It’s closed to bikes, and, in the words of one of the older MTB guys here in town when someone was talking about poaching it… “Good luck with that”
Yes, Poolboy Matt was wearing short jorts, which he rolled up to “daisy duke” length at some point while fording the creek to get to the trail.
On the trip back, we discussed the gaping holes in my riding abilities. Namely, my inability to get a bike off the ground without the aid of clipless pedals. Matt decided I should learn on his BMX bike. So, last night, I donned the shin guards and launched off of a sweet ramp into the yard. It was pretty bad… but you gotta start somewhere.
My week of TSE reflection has drawn to a close. I promise I’ll stop talking about it, though, I have come away with one realization. I learned somewhere around stage 5 that my body was reacting to the repeated efforts with deep-seated exhaustion. However, if you were following Twitter during stage 6, you would have seen this progression:
Amanda Carey, Sue Haywood, and Andrea Wilson are wheel-to-wheel!
Women’s leader Carey is sitting on second place overall and current Bear Creek SRAM Enduro jersey wearer Wilson.
After a detour in yesterday’s stage by the entire NoTubes team Wilson is pushing the pace to try to solidify her position.
Carey and Haywood have opened a gap on Wilson
Sarah Kaufman next through. Taking time back from Wilson too.
I essentially went out kinda hard, knowing that there was about a 5% chance of success, and was eventually caught off guard by the sudden tech of the initial singletrack, resulting in my wrecking and going backwards through the field, followed closely by my body calling it quits for the week- 1.5 hours in to nearly 4 hours of riding with one more defensively hard stage looming the next day. I knew, in the first hour of “pushing the pace” that I was being a little reckless with my energy. I didn’t care. I didn’t like dying off half an hour later, but the awesome feeling of the first hour made the entire week worthwhile. The “not dying” part will come with more fitness and experience. I keep getting this movie scene in my head when I think about it…
I mean, I don’t really have any ominous messages to send, other than, “I’m not afraid to see what will happen if I burn my legs up climbing this hill.”