I promised to tell you about the next 24-36 months and why I am excited.
2016 has two races on the schedule right now. First is the Willmington Whiteface 100k, my annual local endurance race. I’m excited to get back and ride again after last years disappointment. I’m less excited about carrying my Zombie Apocalypse “energy reserves” through 9000 ft of elevation change, but it’s a yard stick of sorts. That’s June 4. My second scheduled race is the Hampshire 100 on August 21. Two things about this race. I did it last year and it was the most physical race I have ever done. Lots and lots of rocky gnarly single track. I’m not well suited for this race. It’s the race that I cut the course on (along with lots of other people). The prize for cutting the course (it was poorly marked and easy to cut) was free entry into this years race. I’m signed up for the 100 mile race. Why not right?
The last thing in 2016 is I am trying to see if I can get a group together for the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow. This race is done on the day we “Fall Back” and so IS the longest singe day race in existence. I know people who have done it and its supposed to be a lot of fun. I hoping to get a 4 person team together for this. We will see.
So 2017 is a year I am aiming for. There will be the Willmington Whiteface 100k, as usual. Then the A race for the year will be Leadville. Yeah, I want to go back. There are a number of reasons. First I have a friend who we are hoping will have a chance to do something really special that year, and I want to be there to support him in that. Second, the finish line of the race and I have some unfinished business to attend to. Yeah, I finished. Yeah, I met my goal time. Still I didn’t get to enjoy the finish. I have a plan and a goal for this race, but I’m keeping that close until I see how things go this year.
Right now I am looking at 2018 as an idea. I really want to do the Tour Divide. There are a lot of questions right now about that. (Like would my body hold up 😉) And more importantly real concerns from my family. Those definitely need to be worked out. But yeah, I want to do this.
I look at this list and laugh (cry) a little. Leadville is the highest mountain bike race. Frog Hollow is the longest single day race. And Tour Divide is the longest single stage race. I’m definitely stupid.
So I’m back in official training. Team Bohl has again teamed up with Coach Drew for another go at it. The goals for this training are to increase my “forever” pace………. I’m sure I’ll have something to talk about on Monday with a 5 hour ride (and a “idea” on what I want to do for that one) on tap for Sunday…….
I had a chance to go down to Florida a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t really a “fun” trip so when my brother said he could arrange a low cost bike rental for my stay I jumped at the stress releasing opportunity.
I’ve biked in Florida before, but it was road biking. This was my first mountain bike opportunity. Let’s get the “there’s no mountain in Florida so how can you mountain bike” comments out of the way. It is correct, there are no mountains in Florida. In fact there are no hills in the part of Florida I was in (Ft. Lauderdale). One of the rides we did (a “Levee Ride”) had ZERO elevation gain over 30 miles. But that isn’t what makes Florida unique from a biking perspective.
Up where I live we have a lot of space. It’s relatively easy to put 10 or so miles of trails into a 100 acre area. It’s more of a trick to do something like that in a 20 acre area. Southern Florida is pretty developed and space is a premium. Both of the places we rode (Markham Park and Virginia Key) are artificial areas that were created from material dredged. Because the areas are small and there isn’t a lot of natural texture, you have to engineer trails.
The end result is that riding these trails is kind of like riding in the equivalent of a skate park. They are fun but in a different way than I am used to (Also there were actual people using them. Sharing trails? Where’s my solitude?)
Now, let’s recap here a little bit. Trails. Florida. Made from dredged material. Dredged…Florida. The trails are primarily either sand or sand stone. Really they were not too loose, so lets go with the sandstone idea. There is the set-up. OK, so I’m riding along, and my front tire washed out. Now I’ll freely admit I wasn’t super comfortable on a strange (loose) bike and on new trails with a different kind of flow than I am used to. But that had nothing to do with this fall. There was a rut in the trail that my tire went into and then washed out. It was a rather undramatic crash. Definitely not GoPro material in any way. Except for the pain and blood. You see when you fall and slide on sand stone you are doing the equivalent of sand papering your skin (40 grit by my professional estimation).
I followed my SOP. Don’t look at it, it won’t help. But I knew there were issues on my leg and arm. Dave and I rode for a little while longer (after I MacGyvered my broken shift control back onto the handlebar) and then split up for a bit. When I finished riding I went to the trail head to wait. That’s when my arm started to burn. There was blood but also a fair bit of “foreign material” lodged in my arm. My brother’s advice was to make sure I got it all out in the shower.
I’m not sure if you have ever had to remove foreign debris from an abrasion but it sucks. (Quick author’s aside: this point came up last week in the class I was taking. Don’t rely on someone to adequately clean a wound like that on themselves. They won’t. Turns out people don’t like hurting themselves when cleaning ouchies 🙂 ). My shower was a grit your teeth event. In the end I was missing skin from my lower right leg up past my arm. I’m really not sure why it is that my least dramatic crashes end up causing the most interesting marks. Four weeks later and the scabs are finally gone leaving only the permanent memories of that trip. (The knee particularly sucked in that a knee is always actuating, especially when you ride. So it was a slow healing process for that appendage.)
In the end, my advice: don’t crash and slide on sandstone.
Author’s Funny Aside: While my brother was riding I was helping a new biker on a little skills course at the trail head. At some point the irony of me talking to him about mountain biking skills while bleeding did in fact cross my mind.
Just a quick note. Not ignoring you all. I’m just swamped and overwhelmed learning how to save people if they are injured far far away from “distinctive care” (i.e. people with more knowledge and real equipment). I spent my morning learning how to set fractures (including compound) and splint people who are out in the wild. I haven’t had this much information crammed into my brain in a long long time.
I’ll get back to you. In the mean time I feel like beating my head against a wall.
Then time for a mtb ride to clear my head. Then back home to read up more on putting joints back into place, dealing with a pneomothorax, and the difference between the symptom of shock and a TBI…..