The thing about “the Fifty” is that it lasts all year. You have to re-live the results every time it comes up, and it comes up frequently. We do a lot of riding around here, but to be truthful, we rarely ride that far and when we do, many of those miles are counted on the crosstown route to the trails. San Felasco is 50 miles of offroad terrain, mostly singletrack with steep climbs. It is tight, twisty, technical, and rooty for miles and miles.
For me, free spirit that I am, the challenge is not riding 50 miles, but riding those fifty on that particular day, in whatever conditions may appear. The bit you know, it chafes in my jowls. When the pain sets in I ask myself, “Why this fifty miles? Why not some other fifty? And why today? I would have rather ridden it yesterday.” The inopposable existential justification is my bread and butter.
Not this time though. This time I just wanted to finish free and clear, all 50, no drama. The country might be done with W, but I still needed one for myself. With this in mind I cleaned up my act last April. I mothballed my party dress and let my membership in the late-night Liars and Drinkers Club expire.
My dart game is now hopeless, and the conversation in the late night Liars and Drinkers Club was far better than the average trail chat, with some exceptions of course. You just can’t be all things to all people fortunately, so you have to make choices.
Me, I chose the ascetic path for a while…
…and that is why I kicked so much ass yesterday.
I will wait for S’quatch to tell his own story, which may or may not feature redemption and a glorious battle of the spirit. I am sorry to say we sold him out cold. We saw his rusty drivetrain, his nonchalance, and we rode away and never looked back. I couldn’t personally afford any other option.
Hambone, Pain Cave Charlie (formerly known as Tommy) and I hung together for the duration. I led out strong for much of the charge to lunch, then came right to the brink of cracking. As we rolled out of the lunch stop I was queasy and dizzy. They drifted ahead- but not away. The lesson, just keep pedaling. I took note of the incredible weather, abundant sunshine and in the 70’s, and I began the physical inventory. The diagnosis- overheated. The prescription- increased suffering. By the next sag stop I was back in the mix.
I hit a tree at mile 41 and took an over the bars flyer that landed me flat on my back in the soft mulch. The extra adrenalin came in handy for the finish. We passed everyone in sight for the last nine miles and came across the line moving as quick as we had all day. I was sad to be done.
-So take THAT shit to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.