Beauty of a day for riding, huh? I just realized I can't call it "training" any more... that makes it seem like work -- riding I HAVE to do. So I'm calling it my weekly "fun rides" -- a day to get out and simply enjoy. My goal is to go slow and smile the whole time. Screw the concept of "training."
I made the trek to the RCST trails in Weiser extra early so I could get home to the garden. 7:15 am was the start time with the notorious Ironmine snowmobile trail climb. Yes, I took the gears today knowing I'd be climbing. I purposely did a 25 mile "inner" loop of the Rattling Marathon Course, to see if I'll be able to build up to doing the entire 50 mile loop in August. (Will I you ask? after today's ride?? I'll let you know after the next ride or two - the rocks HURT). After I climbed Ironmine, you do a short piece on Wolf Pond fire road, then hop on Rock's Ridge West singletrack. Ouch. After that, another short piece on Wolf Pond fire road and back onto Rock's Ridge East. Double Ouch. I'm thinking to myself, "self, how hard could 1 mile of a rocky trail really be? It's not far at all!" My ass is paying the price with this ride. I noticed a HUGE difference between the titanium hardtail and the aluminum hardtail. I like the two-niners, but the geared aluminum hardtail is very painful in rocks. I may have to go to 26 inch dual suspension for the rocky rides with climbing. The ride ended with the 2nd rockiest trail at Rattling Creek -- Wolf Pond. Yet another mere mile, how hard could it be? I walked the rocky sections -- that's how hard at the end of a ride after not really riding a whole lot yet this year. It took 3 hrs, 35 minutes (stop it! I know its slow - I'm old. I can be slow). That's a little more than my planned 10% increase from last week, but I guess I'll have to deal now, won't I?
I kept thinking 'bout the 12-hour Relay at the Farm, and how much I'm looking forward to doing it. I really, really wanna do the race, and Kuhn doesn't have any rocks at the farm, so I think I'll be fine for it on the aluminum geared niner hardtail (I don't think I can do Kuhn's on the singlespeed -- there's a bunch of short steep sections -- too many for 6 hours). The relay is 12 weeks away -- plenty of time to build up to 6 hours if I keep up my weekly, long, get-out-and-play fun rides. I'll try to do them all in the woods -- screw road riding (unless Ricky Brown goes along to take the boredom out of them).