Sunday, January 27, 2008

Andy of Maybury

(Okay, I know this is a really corny title for a post, but I couldn't resist. And yes, certain members of my family have called me by this nickname since I was a child. Before you get any ideas, though, if you didn't know me before I was 10, you are not allowed to call me this. I'm also sure that Maybury isn't spelled like this on the t.v. show, but that's the title of my post okay, so get over it.)

Today we had a team ride out at Maybury. It was Chris and I, Jake, Scott and Brad. We met at 10:00. According to a guy on the MMBA board, the trail was supposedly in "rideable" condition. Now, I don't know what kind of bike he has, but it wasn't very rideable with mine. It was more like hike-a-bike than riding, and there was definitely way more hike than bike.

I couldn't get any traction whatsoever, and I couldn't get enough traction to get up any of the hills. It was definitely good practice for cross season, because I was getting on and off my bike all the time. Right at the beginning of the ride, a guy came by on a snowbike sporting Surly Endomorph tires and Large Marge rims. I was really jealous of his tires, but he was walking up all the hills, too, and I bet his bike was way harder to push up a hill than mine.

I was mislead. Everything I read about the trail said it was 4 miles, and even pushing my bike most of the way, I thought I could handle 4 miles. When I got to mile marker 4, I thought it was probably close to the end. When I got to mile marker 4.5, I began thinking that maybe the trail wasn't 4 miles. When I got to mile marker 5, I was sure of it. That was how it happened that after about 7 miles and 3 hours into the "ride," I finally made it back to the parking lot.

(I encountered this crazy person hanging from a tree somewhere along the way.)

One of the biggest problems I had while I was out is that my pedals kept getting iced up. These big dome-shaped ice chunks formed in my pedals so that not only could I not clip in, I was having trouble even resting my foot on the pedal for long enough to turn the crank because my foot kept slipping off. (This picture doesn't really do the issue justice, but it's the best one I've got.)

So, it probably seems like I didn't have a very good time, but that's not the case. I'm really glad I went, for several reasons:
  • Despite the slipping and sliding and getting on and off my bike, it was actually fun for most of it.
  • I think that any time I have a challenge like this, it adds to my experience level. Dealing with different situations on my bike is very useful to my training, and the slipping around and trying not to fall causes me to exercise my bike-handling skills.
  • I got a great workout.
  • I got to hang out with my team, even though they were way ahead of me most of the time.
  • I really needed to get outside.

Tomorrow will be a rest day, because my legs are toast. It will actually work out pretty well, too, because we have a project to take care of.

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