Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Long Ride III (Gone)

With the weather being so nice I was compelled to be outside so I planned a ride after work and brought my gear. I expected a long slow ride so the idea of making my 40 mile goal was a possibility. I didn't plan well enough and forgot my riding shorts and wind proof pants, water and a snack. I also forgot my spare head lamp. I almost gave up when I learned I didn't have water. How can I go forty miles without water and a snack? I only had a Subway for lunch and I don't see 900 calories fueling the legs for 4 hours! But that was just weak minded quitter talk, I was going to ride.

I geared up in what I had, tights, baggy shorts, red jersey over a bright yellow poly, and helmet. I looked like some goofy Ronald McDonald's wannabee.

I head out and set a slow pace all the while trying to convince myself that it wasn't entirely stupid to ride solo without water and spare gear, seeing how my last attempt ended in walking. A lot can be said about a fat bikes ability to deliver you to the edge of adventure but when they break down, it's grim. I use to trust my fat bike but after my buddy broke down and then I, all on a normal trail, I started to consider how far I was willing to go knowing walking is the only option. The answer was more weak minded quitter talk so I cowboyed up and kept riding. I just had to play the hazards safe, keep the speed down so I didn't need water or food and trust that if my light failed, I had a full moon.

Everything was going ok but patches of ice and mud spray were getting old and I wasn't having a very good time which is odd seeing how the weather was super and the moon made the night feel more like April. Even the smells in the woods made me forget it was January. After the first 20 miles or so I was getting a bit hungry but the legs felt good and I wasn't  needing water that bad. As the miles passed the mood didn't improve and I wasn't having any fun.  I wasn't about to quit and give up on my goal even if I wanted too. I just didn't turn around.

Late in the ride on my way back, about 32 miles, I was really hungry and I was getting weak but I didn't have any food. I dug into the side of my frame bag thinking maybe a lost power bar would appear but I knew it was a hopeless mind trick until I hit a wrapper and it was hard! I had a power bar! Nummy nummy! I ate that cookie and it was soooo good I think I made yummy noises the entire time.

Fueled by the cookie and the spirits that my goal was about to be reached I started to enjoy the ride, if only a little bit. Mostly because I didn't give up. Mental toughness is more important than water but a cookie is awsome.

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