Sometimes my cycling thoughts are plain silly, and others are more introspective. Today’s post is a combo of the two of them….
With just two weeks left until my 70 mile Livestrong Challenge ride in Portland, I figured it was time to work just a little harder at training for the big day. I had a week of not feeling great, and having zero motivation to do much of anything, so coming off of that and making my biggest effort to date was a great challenge in itself, but one I’m glad to have taken on. As a nice little benefit to riding 50 miles on Saturday were some more life lessons from the road. In no particular order:
Who Knew It Was Pepperoni Season?
Seriously, somewhere between Keizer and St. Paul, someone is harvesting Pepperoni sticks. I didn’t actually get to see any of my people harvesting the amazing food itself, but I could sure SMELL the pepperoni in mid-harvest. Did the Oberto’s move into town?…Oh Boy! And if so, I wonder when Beef Jerkey season is…and if they’ll be having a crop of Lizard Bacon to boot?
It’s Good To Have Mini-Goals Along the Path To The Big Goal.
My “big goal” was to ride 50 miles on Saturday, but the first mini-goal for the day was just to get to The Banker’s Cup in St. Paul and have a nice little espresso break.
Last week, I rode out and had part of a latte, but this week I was determined to get something without the milk, so I just ordered 3 shots of espresso with a splash of sugar free vanilla syrup for a little kick. Forget Red Bull, this is really nature’s little energy drink. I also decided to do a little refueling and had a small raspberry scone to go with my party in a cup. After riding 25 miles, it’s amazing what a 10 minute break can do in helping to make it to the big goal.
If You Think A Ghost Rider is Following You, He Probably Is.
I check over my shoulder every so often, but sometimes I can ride 5-10 miles without really looking back. At about mile 20, I happened to slide out to a weigh station just to coast for a few moments, stand up out of the saddle, and stretch a second. While I was coasting I looked over my shoulder and all of a sudden a fully kitted cyclist was about 100 yds back of me. Being caught off guard a bit, I got back in my seat, kicked it back up to my cruising speed, and kept after it. Another mile later, I looked over my shoulder, and the guy was pretty much drafting me, so I figured it’d be good exercise to pull someone else for a while. Finally, about 4 miles later, I was pulling into St. Paul and turned around to say something like ‘sorry if I slowed you down there,’ but Ghost Rider was nowhere to be found. He either decided to take his roadie off-road for the day, found some sideroad I blew by, or teleported to another dimension.
You Can Always Go Back Home Again.
One thing I’ve come to realize and appreciate is the fact that I LOVE my home. It’s my favorite place to be, especially as we get to this time of the year. I love the months from September to December, and I enjoy them most when our family is cozied up inside our little home in K-town. On days when something at work sucks, or something in life in general sucks, I relish in the thought that soon enough that moment will pass and I’ll be headed up River Road towards the warm glow of our kitchen window and the comfort of my favorite place, with my favorite people in the world. And on days when I’m cranking away on my bike, wondering why in the heck I decided to commit myself to pedaling away for more than 3 hours to travel a great distance on two skinny wheels, I know that that pain/agony will also pass, and before I know it, I’ll be back home, around my beautiful wife and precious kids. A triple shot espresso at one end of the ride is a great motivator to get halfway there, but getting back to my home and family are an even greater kick in the butt to make it to the big goal…every time!
That’s it for me. With less than two weeks left, I’m going to cut back to just 12-25 mile rides until the big day, with maybe one last shot at getting up to Hagg Lake before then, but in any case, we’re in the final countdown now!