Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Do You Miss That Feeling?

I started a little thread on MTBR yesterday that awoke some old feelings. I realized that I haven’t felt like death was beating on my back door in awhile. If you have ever ridden your bike so hard (or done anything hard enough for that matter) that you thought you secreted every fluid out of your body, deer start licking you, vultures are flying overhead awaiting their next meal then you probably know what I mean.

My ultimate moments from last year were probably coming down Black Mountain in our 13th hour on the bike during PMBAR. It was the only time I have ever wished for a downhill to be over.

The second time I rode hard enough to catch the bug was when I was lying on the gravel, 75 miles in on the Shenandoah 100 puking nothing and shivering like I was racing the Iditarod. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the suffering from those two events.

So I dug up these old pictures from last year to try and remember the feeling. Let’s reflect shall we? So let me set this picture up. It was my first 12 hour race, it was hot enough to make Dr. Evil happy, I wanted to complete 100 miles in 12 hours. I completed 80 and this picture explains it all:

The next one I have is from the Assault on Mount Mitchell. I should have pushed myself a little harder last year but I still came in 45 minutes faster than the year before:

At least I was suffering properly in that picture, I had a beer.

Last night I went out and rode Paris. As I was headed out of the parking lot I saw Ty and stopped to say hello. We started chatting about the new trail and he was telling me they have some steep grade issues they are trying to resolve. They are looking to build some ladders to prevent erosion on the steep sections. Here is a picture of a “trial” (yes they are trying it out and it is not on the trail yet) ladder they are using:

It is hard to tell, but that ladder is at a 43 degree pitch. That’s pretty steep. Most likely they will incorporate steps along with the ladder for hikers. Ty was having some issues figuring out how they would incorporate them into the trail properly. I suggested using them for the steep section of a switchback. It is going to be a cool trail for sure!

One last picture from my ride:



Palmetto Solo said...

Ah yes suffering to the point of delirium. That is the barrier that all great cyclist have to hop, trample or trip over. I have some stories as well. I'll put my thoughts together and post a blog on a similar story. If you don't mind me borrowing your story starter.

ExtrmTao said...


As long as it's extreeeeeeeeme I don't mind 8-)

I am sure your sufferings are far more expanded than my own.

Hey, shouldn't you be working on your Honey list so you can come ride with me sometime?

Jill said...

Those are great pictures. I've never pushed myself quite to that level, but it is interesting how peaking through death's door makes you feel so alive.

ExtrmTao said...

Jill, you are telling me that the Sustina 100 didn't make death poke its head at you? You are one strong cookie.