Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pushing the Limits

In the past week I have set some more personal records. I put in a 30+ mile mountain bike ride Wednesday, and biked a total of 90 or so miles all week. Yes that is less than some people can pound out in a day but as a personal record I was very pleased.  

As many of my friends know I am a very competitive person, especially when it comes to biking. I struggle sometimes to not shoot past one of my friends who is not in as good of shape as me and leave them choking on my dust.  Usually I am able to restrain myself and not be such a jerk that they never ride with me again. Of all the people that I bike with there is one who always shows me up and constantly criticizes me when I can't keep up during a 5 mile climb. "You must weigh at least 250 lbs to be biking that slow!"  "You mean you had to get off your bike and push on that last climb, I didn't have any trouble!"  If you are wondering why I would bike with such a boorish individual it is because I have no choice, he follows me wherever I am and will never shut up.  Normally he doesn't say much until we go biking, then he is nothing but nonstop chatter about how pathetic I am.  Of course I am speaking of the critical voice in my head that pops up to spur me to go faster, higher, and further. Eric Benjamin would call this voice his Adventure Monkey, but I will just call him "Biking Jim."  Even as competitive as I am with my friends that competition pales in comparison to when I am riding with myself. Biking Jim tells me, "I have this 30 mile bike ride with 3,000+ feet of climbing all mapped out, want to go?" I reply, "Sure I would like to go but maybe for only the first 20 miles or so, is there anyway we could cut the ride shorter?" Biking Jim refuses to be swayed and finally shames me into accepting his challenge. I set out with a little trepidation because I have never attempted such a long ride.  Hours later after almost running out of water, facing down a bonk, and several near over-the-handlebar somersaults we got back to the Passat.  Yes I was tired but I had to admit that Biking Jim had taken me on a really nice route that day.  He can be very irritating at times but for the most part he takes me places I would otherwise never go, and helps me push myself past what I would have ever dreamed was possible a year ago.

If you thought that Biking Jim was going to let me rest a week or so you would be wrong.  This Saturday he mapped out another long ride. I just hope he is a little more supportive this time.

Dowell's Draft Trail: singletrack at its best

Till next time,

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