Friday, February 10, 2012

Back Where I Belong

For a VERY brief period I found myself piloting a bicycle other than my greatly adored Stumpjumper. What can I say? I’m weak and have commitment issues. When a shiny new single speed came my way I felt obligated to throw a leg over it. Stumpy got pissed but being an inanimate object was ill equipped to retaliate in any meaningful physical way. Instead, she just stared at me longingly from her hook in the bike closet while I tried to ignore the empty feeling I got while riding a different bike. Fortunately the universe knows what is best for me and conspired to put me back in the saddle of my one true big-wheeled soul mate.

I’m sure Diane Fossey was hiding nearby when I took this picture.

The Winter Short Track series has taken a decidedly pleasant turn following my crash and near leg amputation in the first week. I did skip the second race in the series because it was cold but the past two races have gone fairly well. Yes, skipping a race in a winter series due to low temperatures is pretty lame but in my defense, I have no natural insulation. I am 135 pounds of skin, bone and an internal organ or two. I live in the South for a reason and it sure as hell isn’t the ethnic food. Unless you consider pulled pork and fried chicken ethnic food of course.

So how did I place in the past two races? Just below mid-pack. I’m cool with that. My little bird legs were not built for short efforts. I have actually shown improvement over the course of the series. In the first two races I got lapped twice. That made me sad and caused me to swear repeatedly in a British accent for reasons I still don’t quite understand. Last week I only got lapped once. That made me much less sad. Someday I would like to actually finish one of these things without getting lapped at all but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

As I look ahead to this Sunday and the final race of the series I find myself navigating unfamiliar waters. For the first time in several years I am racing as an independent with no shop affiliation and no responsibilities. The rest of my season is uncertain at this point. The good side of this change is the fact that I am not obligated to do anything other than that which my little heart desires. The bad side is that this could negatively shift the cosmic balance. You wouldn’t put a 9 year old sugar addict into an unattended candy store would you? You would….. Oh, well that makes you either a bad parent or a kidnapper with a sick sense of humor. Either way you have two hours of hyper-active misery followed by vomiting and a severe sugar crash in your near future. Better keep some handy wipes close by. Freak.

So here is the basic plan for the rest of 2012:

05/20 Riverfront Classic
06/23 12 Hour Tree Shaker Challenge
08/25 Rivers Edge Mountain Bike Marathon
10/06 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway

I’m not out to prove I can have all the fun I need with just four carefully selected events. I simply suck at planning. Something tells me the gaps will get filled in with random last minute event entries based entirely on how I happen to feel on any given weekend. Will more mountain bike races be added? Yes sir. A running race or two? You betcha! Road racing perhaps? Hell no, that is a ridiculous question and I’m a little offended that you asked.

So until next time I leave you with a picture of my dear friend Stumpy and I flying neutral colors and doing what we do best………No, I don’t know what we do best either, but at least I look sexy in tights.