It’s hard to write a blog about mountain biking when you aren’t actually doing any mountain biking. Between the rain, my family vacation, and getting sick, it’s been hard to get a taste of singletrack here in Ohio.
Everyday I receive email updates about trail conditions and it’s more bad news.
“Trail Closed” at Chestnut Ridge.
Alum Creek P1’s update: “P1 is still being ridden and destroyed since folks decided to ride and the trail is still not rideable but now has even more ruts in some places. And yes there is still a tree down. PLEASE do not ride or run the trail. We know it is frustrating. No one knows this better than we do. Please be respectful of the trails.”
Great Seal State Park “Heavy, heavy rain coming down at present with much more tonight and Saturday predicted. All trails will be a mess and should not be ridden until a few days of no rain and some sun occur. Thanks.”
The OMBC XC race at East Fork State Park was cancelled after a deluge. That event was going to be the only day of mountain biking on my riding calendar for a while. I was really looking forward to it. Bummer.
Summer is finally here and it feels like it’s being quickly wasted each time a rain storm hits us.
Obviously these are first-world problems. California is stuck in a drought and despite the fact that they can probably mountain bike any day they want, the lack of rain is causing much bigger problems.
But, I reserve the right to wallow in my misery for a moment.
It’s hard to train for mountain bike races when you can’t actually ride on the trails. We can all ride on the road in the interim but this is not a perfect substitute for winding through the woods. Road riding doesn’t train you for the upper body strength, technical skills, and stochastic nature of the trail.
Last Saturday, Cory Knight and I compromised and met up on the Olentangy River bike path for a long ride. We both rode from our houses, which are 20+ miles apart, and met up in the middle. It was a tempo workout where we kept Cory’s heart rate in his target zone and attacked the hills (although we really don’t have many hills in C-Bus).
It wasn’t singletrack, but it was a lot of fun. In fact, maybe it was just what the doctor ordered. A change of pace.
There was no singletrack, no long drive to the trail, no time wasted waiting for the meet-up. It was kind of like being a kid. We just hopped on our bikes and tromped around town without a care in the world.
Honestly, training for expert races all through the winter was starting to take it’s toll. I was getting a little burnt out. I needed more fresh air and exploration. There were too many rides in the basement, too many intervals, too much high-intensity – not enough hanging out, not enough variety, not enough fun.
We still had a challenging ride. I logged 70 fairly intense road miles on my mountain bike. However, we spent plenty of time riding side-by-side chatting and being social. Afterwards, I felt refreshed. I was exhausted from the effort, but I felt more excited about riding my bike. Every time I start taking my riding too seriously I need a ride like this to put it all in perspective.
Tonight, I’m headed to Cory’s garage. He offered to help me out with a few issues on my bike. I plan on taking a growler of beer. We’ll wrench. We’ll drink. We’ll hang out. Good times.
I was bummed about all the rain, but now I’m more pumped than ever because of the break it gave me.
Thanks to Cory for being a good bloke to hang out with.
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