Trans Iowa, Spring and Looking Forward

I have a lingering nauseous feeling in my guts from this year’s Trans Iowa.  I remember the windy intersection and the farm house with the big cottonwood tree.  I remember stopping, getting off my bike and swinging my numb feet back and forth, trying to get them right again.  Most of all, I remember the feeling of knowing that I was about to quit something that I swore I was going to complete.  I ate a Clif bar, nodded to the riders passing me like nothing serious was going on. But I was sick with guilt. I was mini depressed. I felt alone out there next to that old yard.  It was a cool and very windy morning and for some reason I felt like I had already ridden 100 miles. I wish, in hindsight, that I would have pressed on. But at that moment, absolutely nothing felt right. The next few miles of riding past others as they forged ahead was a low point in my sporting life. I still am not sure why my systems crashed as they did that morning.  I thought I had the mental tools in my head to deal with such a scenario. Now I am thinking that the act of carrying through with the plan to pack it in will be the best defense against similar situations in the future. Maybe I had to feel this at least once to better guard against it happening the next time I get low and weak.

So after a rather lack luster Spring of gravel riding, a few thoughts come to the front:

I will finish DFL, in a caboose, with a red lantern around my neck  before I quit another race (barring the obvious risk of life and limb blah,blah,blah).

I will never run Ritchey Speedmax’s on the rear wheel ever again.

And I will never feel bad about missing a race so that I can be with my family.  Kind of a no-brainer, but the addiction of cycle-suffering is a strangely powerful force. I am so glad I have my girls in my life.

I am anxiously awaiting the next endurance challenge. It is deep within these epic events that we find parts of ourselves that we may have never known were there…both good and not so good.  It is still a mystery to me why the suffering is so addictive. Why we throw ourselves into the pain cave.  I like to think that it somehow ties us to our ancestors. It is in some of our genes to wander and seek adventure. It is a necessity like food and water.  The mystery alone is enough.

Posted by

Leave a Comment