I was on fire. Inspired. Over the moon. Alpenrose had been crawling with cyclists, spectators, family, food and miles upon miles of beautiful, beautiful bikes.
We pedaled across Hawthorne Bridge, made our way through downtown, and climbed Thurman to the beginning of the wide gravel trail. I felt good. My legs felt strong. The 12 hour drive we’d made the day before seemed miles away.
Every inch of pathway demands focus – let your mind wander for a moment and you’re going down. Finding the delicate balance between speed and traction takes concentration. The trick is to go as fast as you can without falling down. I reveled in the way my body made tiny, fine adjustments to keep my bike upright and underneath me. We tore straight up the trail and stopped about 5 miles in to practice the cyclocross dismount, which I had yet to learn.
It took me about 15 minutes to get to the point where I could do it clean and relatively quickly. After my first successful dismount I turned around, beaming, “I did it!!!” That was all it took. I’m hooked. This week I have to learn how to get back on the damn thing (going fast) which is significantly harder than the dismount. The elites make it look so fucking easy it’s sick. I figure a few good crashes and some determination will get me close enough to allow me to actually enter a race. I checked out the beginning women’s group at the Cross Crusade and I think I can hang. My fitness needs to improve a bit but I’m confident that I can get it where it needs to be.
It’s official. I have the bug.
For now it’s back to this crazy rodeo that I call life. My two full-time jobs and Tuesday Coffee with Josh. My Local Cycling Hero is back in town and I saw her yesterday at the race… holy goddam she is fast.
Please commence with kicking Monday’s ass.