Twitching for Spring

Inserting song lyrics. Bear with me:

The lights of the city
Look good when you’re leaving
You don’t even count what you lost
The streets and their madness
Make my heart so sad
They will never be worth what they cost
Take me to the mountain
I want to see the other side
I’m through with the struggle
And tired of the trouble
It’s high time I left it behind
I’ve walked the mean streets
Just counting my heartbeats
It’s easy to lose your mind
I’ll break the chains that bind me
For my soul is deep and wide
Oh give me one golden day
And I won’t care where I’ve been
Oh let this world slip away
And I’ll start all over again
I will start all over again
As sure as the sun keeps rising on me
I’ll find a place where I ought to be
Oh give me one golden day
And I won’t care where I’ve been
Oh let this world slip away
And I’ll start all over again
I will start all over again

– Diamond Rio, “Start all over again”

Sometimes lately I just ache for spring. I know this is a common sentiment based on the discussion with my GVTA board members last night. We are ready to ride ice/snow/mud-free trails. It’s giving us twitchy withdrawals.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to ride my Giant Anthem WX on the Lunch Loops this morning. Home field advantage. I don’t think I’ve done a familiar ride since I got my dropper on, so I was excited to give it a go on a couple of the challenging descents.

I got out early, right after kid drop-off, so things were really frozen. That’s the only time to ride now or you’re in mud and mucking up the trails (yes, I censored my language there, but you know what I’m thinking).

I started up Pet-e-kes, did all of High Noon, Raven Ridge, Coyote Ridge, Ali-Ali-Loop, then Miramonte Rim. Back up Coyote, Ali Alley, and dropped Curt’s Lane. That was the first segment. I really pushed myself up the Pet-e-kes climb and Strava tells me I was about 1:30 behind my best time. So not bad! My 8th fastest time, out of 41 times I’ve recorded it with Strava. Ha ha ha! Do you love the competitive athlete in me?

High Noon was pretty snowy and I passed a guy with a fat bike coming the other way. Pushing his bike, which is precisely what I would be doing in his position.

Really, the whole ride was a blast. I cleaned a lot of stuff and I realized, I have grown. I know this is probably a common theme with this blog, this experiment, but sometimes I’m riding something and I’ll clean and obstacle so easily and remember a time when I had looked at that same section of trail and thought, “No way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks could I ride that!” Yet here I am. Riding THAT. And today I felt fast, even if I wasn’t the FASTEST I’ve been. I felt confident, and I think that’s what matters most.

Well, I should say I felt confident until after dropping Curt’s I decided to go ahead and ride up Tabegache up Moto then drop Moto. It was starting to thaw so I had to be quick. The climb was icy, but a lot drier than the last time I had ridden it. The top of Moto was almost entirely unpacked ice and I lost my back tire more than once. I was scared. I was thinking, “Wow, Elisa. Dumb dumb dumb.”

The big achievement of the day was the fun, the confidence, the insight that even though I’ve been fighting a sinus infection for 3 weeks and have really let myself go since I had surgery the first of December, I’m still in fighting shape. Or I can be by race day.

Just for fun, because this was one of the rare times I utilized Strava, let’s do a little more analysis. Here’s my ranking on Miramonte Rim (clockwise), of which I am still the fastest woman (QOM):

1 Tue, May 14, 2013 10:22 9.9mi/h
2 Tue, Mar 26, 2013 10:39 9.6mi/h
3 Thu, Apr 4, 2013 11:30 8.9mi/h
4 Wed, Jul 24, 2013 11:44 8.7mi/h
5 Thu, Jan 23, 2014 12:24 8.2mi/h

Not bad. Last may when I set that stellar time I was in full-on-ready-to-race-and-win-Xterra-Moab mode. Okay, I was significantly slower today, but I’m also not in as good a shape as I was then. Less impressive when you realized I only have it recorded on Strava 12 times. Hm.

Let’s look at the high achievement today: Curt’s Lane. Today was my fastest time ever (and yes, Dave, if you are reading this I was BLAZING. He always freaks out with how fast I drop Curts).

1 Thu, Jan 23, 2014 2:20 13.3mi/h
2 Mon, May 20, 2013 2:27 12.7mi/h
3 Wed, Jun 19, 2013 2:28 12.6mi/h
4 Tue, May 14, 2013 2:33 12.2mi/h
5 Thu, Mar 28, 2013 2:34 12.1mi/h
5 Tue, Apr 23, 2013 2:34 12.1mi/h
7 Wed, Jul 24, 2013 2:37 11.9mi/h

Significant improvement, yes? I blame it on my sweet, sweet dropper seatpost. It’s bike gadget love all up in here. 1300+ feet of climbing, too…..Strava also says I hit a whopping 27 MPH…hm…I wonder how that interprets on less technical terrain? I guess we’ll find out!

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Check out those Monument cliffs in the morning sunlight. Love love love.IMG_5495

Bike shadow.

IMG_5502Obligatory selfie.