Monthly Archives: May 2014

Beti Pre-Ride

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“Why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”
― Jane AustenEmma

Today was all about how totally crapily I have prepared for this race. I’ve been sick for days and this morning I was in the shower and had a massively painful coughing fit. I almost passed out. This infection has decided to creep its way into my lungs. The coughing has made me lose my voice almost completely.

But that didn’t stop me from getting dressed up and going to a trail monitoring training, then throwing my stuff in Dave’s truck, picking up Melinda, driving to Lakewood, and doing a little pre-ride of the Beti Bike Bash race course.

On a typical day the course wouldn’t have held much of a challenge for me. Smooth, unadulterated dirt trails with the only technical challenge being the optional jump between lanes over the grassy knoll.

But the climbs…oh the three short climbs….slaughtered me. Now, I’m not the strongest climber in the world, but I’m far from the worst. And yet I found myself struggling, panting, aching for air to fill my lungs and to be used to work the muscles. I just couldn’t make it happen! I used my inhaler. I coughed and coughed! But the bronchials were too far gone. Too far. Gone.

There was one point Melinda snuck in front of me, dropped the hill pretty quickly, and I heard Dave’s voice behind me, “Go get her wheel.” So I did. It felt good to know that I had at least SOME speed in me. In catching her wheel I was thrown into a challenge I haven’t experienced in awhile- speeding down the trail with my only view being her wheel and the 6 inches behind it. Tripped me out.

It was enough to help me feel that I could at least finish the race on the morrow, and also to understand that it would be far far from my best performance. Again- I was unprepared. I have become slovenly. And my body is suffering.

I didn’t stop for pictures. Dave got a few but I haven’t been able to gain access to them yet. But trust me- the fields were green, the rainbow was breathtaking, the rain came and went like angel kisses. It was 3 parts bliss, 1 part suffering.

The one where we take the kids out like we’ve been saying we wanted to so we did

“If I could only find a note to make you understand
I’d sing it softly in your ear and grab you by the hand
Just keep it stuck inside your head, like your favorite tune
And know my heart’s a stereo that only plays for you”

Stereo Hearts, Gym Class Heroes

Don’t know what that song has to do with anything except that it was in my head the whole time we were riding. We’ve been talking for awhile about taking all the kids out to the Secret Stash to do some riding, and eventually give them some coaching/training.

Well today we did it. Always hardest, I think, to get the inaugural ride up. Then each time it becomes easier and easier. Next time we’re going to invite more friends with more kids, and soon we’ll be making it a regular thing- kids riding bikes on dirt.

My kids did okay for being on challenging bikes (Connor on small wheels and no gears, Tim on a bike that struggles to shift). Their little bodies just aren’t used to the work of pedaling and I’m afraid I haven’t been a good teacher of the “no-whining” rule. They got better as their bodies warmed up to the work (don’t we all?), and Connor was hilariously enthusiastic on the downhill.

Trinity was even trying some jumps by the end! Oh to have the fearless joy of a child. I think I’m going to do my best to rekindle that this weekend. I’m actually going to do a mountain bike race! photo 1 photo 3

elisa jones mountain biking


“Bitter sweet thing.
Could this be a dream
Or just the same nightmare that keeps me awake?
Feel it in my brain.
A tall shot of pain.

Got a pounding on my brain.
So I drowned it away.
When the sun comes up tomorrow you can find me doing the same.”

Drink You Away, Justin Timberlake

Being sick yesterday, Sara let me postpone our ride around the Magellan Loop. When my alarm went off at 5 am I was feeling….better. Maybe not whole, but improving. So I justified the upcoming three hour ride.

I picked Sara up about 5:30 and we were riding by 5:45. Dropped down Third Flats, up and down by the banks of the Gunnison, the long climb up Windmill, drop with a handful of ups to Rough Canyon, then the final long climb up to Bangs, and 39.1 MPH on the road back down to Third Flats.

It was an abbreviated version of the ride I did last Saturday, and it was Sara’s first time around the loop. And can I just say it was so so so much more fun with her along? Don’t get me wrong, I totally get some zen moments when riding alone, but the experience shared with a friend is super cool too, and it’s something I think I’m just coming to really appreciate.

I also appreciated her patience with my suffering. My heart rate felt like it was skyrocketing at regular intervals and I had to take long minutes of slow pedaling to recover. She kicked my ass on the climb up Tabeguache! And here’s how I know she’s my true friend: I felt no competitive feelings, just proud of her! It wasn’t “Oh, I’m so sick, I should be able to keep up with her, why aren’t I better, I should be better, or at least as fast as her…blah blah blah” It was “Wow! She totally took off! She’s climbing like a pro!” I was so proud.

Of course we both ended up uploading our rides on Strava. Hers posted first and it showed her as the QOM for the loop, and when I posted mine it showed me as 15 seconds faster. But here’s the funny thing: SHE WAS TOTALLY FASTER! And now you all know because everyone reads this little blog, right?

The sunrise was a brilliant deep looking over to MORDOR!
The sunrise was a brilliant deep crimson….like looking over to MORDOR!
Windmill on Windmill Rd.
Windmill on Windmill Rd.
We took a little break here.
We took a little break here.
Yup, Sara took this one. Awesome, right?
Yup, Sara took this one. Awesome, right?Wind