Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cycling into the last weekend of summer ...

Valley Preferred Lehigh Valley Velodrome

This year, I took a pass on the SM100, a decision I was good with until this week. All week, I felt a little off, like I was missing out on something. I didn't expect that. I had made the decision not to go after having a really tough time last year despite dedicating a long summer to training. It was sort of the first real indication of the health issues that plagued me this year. So I figured I'd be more than happy to sit this one out. I suppose on that level, I am -- especially considering the fact that steady rain was forecast for Harrisonburg this weekend. But on another level, I really do miss it. As tough as it is, it's an experience every mountainbiker should try to make at least once. And for me, I guess it's one I want to keep chasing (if only until I "get it right".) So I'll have to think about next year.

So, in lieu of going to Harrisonburg, I spent my three day weekend ... around bikes just the same! On Friday night, Joanna and I headed up to the Valley Preferred Velodrome in Trexlertown for the last night of the season. I even saw Mark, Jay and a few other guys from the JB team out there. It was a really cool night -- the 2nd intermission featured a group of kids who were in chemo treatment riding the track as part of the Spokes of Hope Night. 

Good use of cycling
The racing action was great too -- the finals for the Madison championship, the corporate challenge, a few miss-and-outs -- good stuff! It was really cool to get up there for the first time this year. I always enjoy the races there.

On Saturday morning, I slept in (until 7:30) and then headed down to Wissahickon for a loop. I got about 15 miles in but then my front tire went flat, and my spare was torn as well (this has happened a few times now. I need to check it more often.) So I bailed on the ride, headed home and Joanna and I made a trip over to the Polish Festival at the Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown. (Why does an Irishman go to a Polish festival? When he's married to someone who's half-Polish, I guess ...)

Typical Saturday ... listen to some Polka, drinkin' Polish beers ...
The food at the festival was outstanding .... Kielbasa and pierogies? That'll do.

When I got home, I cleaned up the Misfit top-to-bottom - everything from the bar-ends to the wheels - and swapped out the 18t I've been running for a 20t since I had a plan to get out and ride some bigger miles today. (I figured if I wasn't at the SM100, I could at least do a longer ride on my own.) 

So this morning, I woke up bright and early and headed out to Blue Marsh for a two lap ride. However, it was pouring in the Reading area this morning. I mean, when I reached the park, it was coming down in droves. It's a long drive, so I wasn't going to go home. So I saddled up and headed out. Ultimately, it was just too muddy and wet to do a full two laps, so I settled for 40 miles in the muck. It was a mess in some places, not so bad in many others. But it was still a nice long ride, and I hadn't been on one of those in some time. So it's all good.
Post-ride ... Looks like a spring ride!

The Misfit agrees ...

... wholeheartedly!
 So one more day off tomorrow ... what to do? May take this one off for real - I'm pretty tired!

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