Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Long Time Coming

While on Lair O' The Bear singletrack the other day I had a great moment when banking one of the trail's super flowy corners.  For all the days piled up like the bricks in my legs when fear strikes that I may never be a better rider or racer, there's always those opposing days to compete for the truth. In greatly executing the hard corner, something struck me so deeply that I eventually got choked up a few corners later.  I understood that the days I've dreamed of are being realized.

In 2004, I suddenly was devastated by an unknown illness that broke me down so substantially that I had lost 60 lbs in three weeks.  Luckily I was a basketball player then and weighed a healthy 40 lbs. more than I do now.  I remember at the peak of my illness, clutching my mother for fear of the mystery consuming my body and of the psychotic dreams from sleep deprivation amongst every other symptom in the book.  With the strength of my mother's nurturing when things were amuck, I vowed that if I ever made it, I'd go wherever I thought I should be.  That place was Colorado.  I had never been there and didn't know a soul in the state, but there were so many arrows pointing me in that direction like a compass of life.

That summer, I arrived in Denver and I cleaned off the spider webs from my brother's mountain bike and took it for a spin up White Ranch.  It was the first time in months that my heart had experienced more than 120 beats per minute.  I was in such fragile shape and during the ride, I felt like a 300 lb. human was stepping on my chest with high heels while I gasped for thin air through a paper bag.  I quit the ride after half a mile.  Frustrated by defeat, I went home damaged, but like all endurance athletes, there was something that spoke and told me to go back for more.  That voice still exists, but is only louder, clearer, and sometimes obnoxious and relentless but necessary.

Back at Lair O' the Bear the other day, all this was pondered within a few corners.  I realized that since overcoming the sickest of days, things are not only coming together, but I'm just getting started.  From the half mile sufferfest at White Ranch to my most recent Front Range Superloop I will never forget where it all started.  Thank you mom for giving me the strength to keep going!

Here are some pics that make all of the pain well worth it....

Thanks for reading and see you on the trails,

Summer Theme Song

Every time I hear this song, I either want to race or train if I'm not already. Nine days and counting until the first race of the season. Until then...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blogette: Awkward Phone Call

I recently received a call from my favorite bike shop in the world, Golden Bike Shop.  If I had the conversation on speakerphone, it could have gotten real awkward, real fast with my coworkers....

GBS: "G'afternoon Tim."
Me: "Howdy GBS."
GBS: "Your red nipples are ready."
Me: "Oh my, I couldn't wait so I got silver ones installed."
GBS: "Oh I see, thanks and take care."
Me: "Thanks, see ya."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blizzard Ride

Last Thursday, I was able to catch up with Epic Endurance riders Ben Welnak and Jeff Higham. It was quite the memorable ride that began in gorgeous 60 degree temps, but in the last 1.5  hours nearing midnight, we rode in blizzard like conditions.  According to the snow accumulation on my handlebar, snowing was coming down at a half inch per hour. I've wondered how a white fork would like on my Jet...

I need my Rocky Mountain Racing kit!  In trying to keep unglued on the climbs, I was constantly reminded of the Epic Endurance sponsorships while I'm still giving Mountain Dew free ad time.

The first climb in Ken Caryl was dubbed "Bitch Hill" by Ben which I soon found out why.  The second climb is Mount Falcon which luckily we didn't have to descend in the snow.  Toward the end of the 5.5 hour ride, our lights lit an infinite dirt path toward darkness which I thought had no end.  The tremendous amounts of snow blinding my vision made me feel like I was in hyperspace on the Millenium Falcon...

'Twas a great ride and looking forward to spending more Thursday nights with these guys!  Also, thanks Amy for the banana bread at the end of the ride, much appreciated!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Questions Answered

Right now, I'm not sure how, but I know when the time comes, I'll find a way.  In regards to mountain biking, there's nothing that excites me more nowadays than to work towards that discovery.  In preparing my body and more importantly, my mind, I've learned that my body is conditioned to the point that if I take care of my mind, my body will follow.  Out of the long, grueling winter workouts I've spent on the  bike, I don't remember the last time I've actually felt a muscle cramp, unless you're counting the brain, then yes I have.  During countless workouts, I've trained myself to agree that my training officially begins when the desire to quit entires my mind.  I can remember every deep moment of suffering I've charged into because ever since, let's just say the start of the year, I've laughed every time.  Maybe it's the endorphins, maybe it's the caffeine, maybe it's because there's a mild sense of comfort when I look down and see numbers that reflect how tremendously busy my heart is, maybe it's knowing that I'll live and for me, I've discovered there's not too many other ways to do just that.  So during the races, when my mind wants to become a spectator, I have no idea how I'll pedal another 29er tire revolution never mind another mile right now, but nothing excites me more than the mystery of answering the question of how to keep the mind rolling when I want to "pump the brakes" (thanks Jeff!) and sleep off the anguish.  I've been there before and I've promised myself to do everything I can to avoid reliving that experience.  What happens in Snowmass, stays in Snowmass! I've also learned from a post by super enduro rider Ben Welnak, that I must stay grounded and not allow myself to become an anxious racer and instead to "be in the mile" so to speak.  These are the locations and times of the questions and hopefully, Brett Ebben and I can start the season by finding the answers at the first race of the season and beyond:

April 9: 12 Hours of Dawn 'til Dusk
May 29: Original Growler (68 miles)
June 18: Bailey Hundo (waiting for acceptance...nervous!)
July 3: Breckenridge Firecracker 50
July 16: Breck 100
July 30: Winter Park Crankworx XC (20+ miles)
September 3: PCP2P (70 something miles)
October 1 & 2: 24 Hours of Colorado Springs Nat'l Championships
November 5 & 6: 25 Hours in Frog Hollow
*going lone ranger style in all races

See you on the trails,