17 May, 2013

A Week Remaining...

Last Friday for the 2012-13 school year.  Kinda poignant, kinda unfocused, kinda already missing the kids (bandits or not!), kinda not looking forward to landscaping my backyard (curses to you HOA), looking forward to having my kids live with me more, kinda not looking to do a workday entering grades and cleaning shop.  Man, my district done wrung out every bit o'work from this kid.  That is for sure.  I earned my moolah, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time teaching and riding with my mt biking kids.

What's next?  More marathon mountain bike racing.  Didn't even get my USAC license.  I probably should for the CX season though; but that's not until September/October I think?

I am soo going to recharge my batteries this summer.

I am soo going to sleep like never before.

I am going to see a former student of mine get married.

I am sooo going to ride Gooseberry Mesa with Karen.

I am sooo going to do homeskillety things with my chilluns when they live with me.

I am soo going to California to see my brother and me Mum (yes, I am English).

I want to see me brah in AZ but do I want to go to AZ and go back to CO then head out again to CA (I think not!)?
My left hand is hypnotizing you!

 Rode with Kevin Saturday.  Got in 42 all purpose miles, mostly off-road.  Just a smidge under 5 hours, averaged nearly 9 mph.  The weather was nice!   Probably got in close to 4k' of climbing today too.  Next Saturday's the Gunnison Growler.  Tried to ride kinda hard today.  Our first of many trails we did was Mt. Falcon then we connected that to LOTB.  On the downhill at LOTB I saw a dude flying downhill and that was it.  I coulldn't let his actions go unchallenged so hit the afterburners to catch him.  We were flying when I caught him.

I guess one of the reasons why I  race is because of the thrill of the chase .  It can involve teammates.  It's basically rolling, road racing, pack mentality, lemming action and who within the group of like looking individuals with nearly the same equipment can impose one's will on you or others?  It's an alpha-thing, which truthfully (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) is a pain and pleasure principle which is a near spiritual cathartic release because you survived (the rate of) attrition.    So the front lemmings-usually where the alphas hangout-dictate the pace and the rear lemmings are at there place because 1)  they showed up late to the event (or had a bad call up) or 2) they are hiding weakness.  The smart ones know that wasting energy is detrimental to winning so they'll wait until initiation-another alpha imposing his shit-on-your-neighbor tactical move before they engage in the ritual of counter-alphaing, or if the pack is too large they'll risk life and limb to duke it out and see who takes the gnarliest sprint line with line stealing and the cutting off of others' lines by posturing with afterburners on full throttle. So, this dude said via his actions, Can you out-alpha me? I apparently have an Id that surfaces when I'm in race mode, and this hubris-type Id surfaces and answered Brah?  Prepare for the commencement of getting owned!  This is when all the Fall and Winter training become a physiological conscientious collective like those fungal spores that can coalesce and become a fruiting body because there's an advantage for a collective diaspora (get it?  spores?  diaspora)-a distribution of their genes-versus going it alone.  My fast and slow twitch fibers said brah, let's burn a match and catch this guy!   Big wheels on my Airborne make applying watts instantaneously responsive.  Since the singletrack was a smidge tacky from the previous rains I was able to hip turn and lean like a fiend to get every little acceleration possible whenever the terrain allowed it as I pedaled through the curves.  Around every little bend, the gap was getting closer, and closer, now I was on his wheel!  Aw deem, a hill's coming up and I rocket past the guy.  He was flying so we both chalked it up to training on the trails.  Okay so this might sound kinda like dick-ish move but I wouldn't have taken the bait if he didn't turn around and accelerate thus making it an official race (damn you Y-chromosome!).

I am not like this when I'm not racing.  In fact I'd like to think I'm a fairly mellow individual.  Just don't put a race plate number on me, a kit, and Airborne 29er underneath me....

That was okay though, a little speed on a long ride doesn't hurt.  Although I am noticing a bit of non-snappiness in my legs when I do the Meridian ($hit on your neighbor organized roadie ride).  The Tuesday I did the mountain bike marathon I got dropped when the hammeroids started attacking.

Once we finished LOTB we had to ride highway 73 to drop back into Morrison.  The residual endorphins from catching the guy made me even hyper-aware of catching slow moving vehicles to draft off on the the state highway going downhill into Morrison.  I was able to catch a draft off of a Nissan GT-R (Skyline) that was going slow because there was an SUV that was going slow in front of it.  I got a couple miles worth of drafting but my gosh those cars are low.  I had to keep my head on the same level as my handlebars to feel the draft.  Once the roads straightened out they got too fast for my 2x10 gear ratio.

We fueled up and went out to Mathews/WinterPark, then onwards to Apex Park.  Climbing was good.  My DS was climbing nicely although there was a Fred whom I passed and proceeded to wheel suck me.  My roadie self was having none of that so I dropped the chain onto a more difficult cog and rode away from him.

We descended Chimney Gulch and fueled up in Golden before our road ride back into Morrison.  We had a nice chat and sit-a-spell moment at the Loaf N Jug.  Kevin, my newbie teammate but longtime friend's really coming along and finding his XC legs. 

Let's see how all of this adds up for the Gunnison Growler.
I need a quiet moment please

07 May, 2013

Cuattro and Cinco de Mayo

Cuattro de Mayo aka The Elusivity...
This is my mantra (on my top tube) when my Id shows up on race day
On the weather cooperative days, I can get a pile of miles in.  My elusivity is the marathon mountain bike race called the Ridgeline Rampage-actually it's just getting in my first marathon event under my belt.  The weather here in Colorado-especially in the Spring-is downright unpredictable.  The meteorologists (people who study meteors) forecast about as well as my tea leaves do.  So the week I actually get a pile of miles in, it snows (and snows and snows!).  In fact it snows so much they have to postpone my race for the following weekend.  To make a long story short, I couldn't race that day but the promoter was cool enough for us to transfer our application fee to another race-Battle the Bear.  So I get miles in ready for that one (this Saturday); and take a guess what happens?  Yup.  It snows.  Again.  On top of that insult, the injury of cold creeps in.  It creeps into our bones when we're outside; it creeps into my house because I'm too cheap to turn up the thermostat, it creeps into my sleep underneath my blanket and sleeping bag when I'm wearing my flannel University of Texas PJs (Hook 'em!!) with a hoodie. Needless to say, I was able to get in an hour of power group ride in Lone Tree known as Meridian; and, I was also able to ride with my mountain bike club here at my HS where I showed them the new, manmade mountain bike trails in Greenwood Village, near the Cherry Creek reservoir.  We had a blast.

My next elusivity is rest.  As the school year comes to a close there's still a whole lot of learning going on.  So I plan and grade.  And grade.  And grade.  And grade.  I put in on myself though so I need to stop taking in so many assignments.   My Principal's shaking up things at our HS so this puts needless stress on my thought process when it hovers over things school related.

The next one up?  Calories.  Sheezus my tapeworm's going nutty!  The week I ride long miles reveals this latent effect on my hunger drive and general energetics.  I go strong mid-week then CRASH!  I need like a consistent drip of fuel to keep my metabolic fire going.  I feel like I'm a shark without a swim bladder.  If I stop moving and ultimately can't get enough dissolved oxygen into my gills I'll asphyxiate and sink to the bottom of my couch (minus the asphyxiation part).  Speaking of calories...

The next one, hanging with my honey.  We had a mid-week date where we went to a restaurant in Denver called Beatrice and Woodsley.  Very awesome date place dinner joint.  A colleague forewarned that the food's good but the portions are small (the French Restaurant part of them I suppose).  So when our first course of SPAGHETTI AND WHEATBALLS (salad of celeriac, parsnip, and parsley with steel-cut oat, feta, and lemon croquettes, tomato-almond gazpacho) arrived, after some interesting tasting cocktails, I had to stifle a laugh.  David wasn't kidding about the portions.  Next course wasn't so bad though-proportionally speaking.  It was a pretty durn tasty organic fabrication called SMOKED RICOTTA AND MUSHROOM CREPES (ugly yogurt crepes filled with smoked Jersey Cow ricotta, kale, and trumpet mushrooms with braised radish and mustard vinaigrette).  Still it brought a small smile to my face proportionate to this entrée (that's french for entrée).  Dessert was actually decent sized.  To wash it down with espressos, it seemed as if they broke into a little kid's doll house and stole her cups from her formal tea tray.  A thimble would've held more espresso!  The spoon to stir in the brown sugar cube (hecks no I wouldn't put sugar in my espresso!) measured to the nearest nanoliter (don't laugh I told myself!).  I had a completely sublime time eating and being physically close to Karen who sat on my right during this fine evening.  I switched to a southpaw so I could eat (and not hit her while craning the food to my mouth) and sit closely to her.  She is an audio-visual treat.

Okay I'm done bellyaching about my elusivity of things that are elusive.  I am excited though to get in my first race of the season albeit it has quite the emotional attachment.  Saturday I rode again to the Greenwood Village bike park easy and back to make sure the engine checks out.    

Cinco de Mayo
Before race.  All dolled up with fresh latex in the tubeless
The experience I received from today's Battle the Bear 60 (miler) should help me with the Growler.  My official time was 4h and 39 minutes.  Came in 29th out of 46 in my field.  Damn.  Quick bastards.  All of 'em!  I always get caught up at the start.  Rolled hard with the leaders to get the holeshot, even though there's a million places out there to pass it's that roadie in me that wants to dice it up with the leaders.  So I locked out the front fork and turned it into a crit start.  Lined up seventh when the singletrack started.  Other than hurting from placing as many watts into my legs it was fairly uneventful.  Painful; but eventful.  The coolest part of the course was on my last lap when the kids raced.   The dregs of our category who were caught up in the wave of U-12s (including me!) were impressed on how they could ride and stay in the tight single track and  the confidence they had negotiating the downhills.  If any of them were my kids, I would've praised them; in fact, that's what we did.  After we passed them, it was back onto shite on your neighbor mode.  Sadly, I got hosed on the last climb.  The mixture of the cold and hypoglycemia couldn't handle the stess of the climb.  Now on the flats, that's a different story.  Thought I could pass them on the wickedly fast finishing straights but it was too long to get up to terminal velocity.  Needless to say, I was satisfied.  Damn my category was the largest by far and had the most sandbaggers.  Live and learn.  My legs are ready for more please.  Thank you sir, may I have another?  Have you ever been passed by a pro?  They are the most polite people to ever hand your ass to you while you're cranking like a fiend on the pedals.

My hardtail an Airborne guardian, Penelope, was impressive.  I haven't raced her since last year so I was fighting her (as we were slowly becoming one) when we hit terminal velocity on the twisty downhills.  I went off-course on a particularly tight switchback (twice!) because those 29 inch wheels are so scary rolling fast! There was a flowy portion of the trail where I would pull away from people because it was just tight enough for me to hip turn and really lean into the corners (unlike my 'cross bike where cornering mannerisms are waaay different!) while silky-smooth pedaling with my toes down!  The final kilometer of the course was super fast and I was passing people like crazy (unfortunately they weren't in my category).  It was a great finish, I pushed it hard and didn't cramp-came close though!  The promoters fed the racers with Heed and Hammer products at the start/finish where I refueled and hydrated every lap (each lap was 10 miles long).  My training seems like it's going okay.  Here's to Cinco de Mayo.  Here's to Battle the Bear.  Here's to the Gunnison Growler.  Word has it (Karen's brother, Drew said) that there are some technical sections but the flowy, fast, non-technical portions are longer than the previous.  I need new brake pads if I'm running Penelope at the Growler. Curious though about bringing my other steed, the DS/XC-specific 29er affectionately known as Vivian.
Dirty.  Now my Id has disappeared and my super-ego tells me to clean it.  Notice the travel indicator...
PS.  Lost about 3 pounds of water weight as measured on/by the nurse's scale at my HS.  Exhausted yes;but happy?  Yes too.  Time to eat....