|Six Hours of Cathedral Pines SS Podium|
Hello, folks … Been away from this a while. To be honest, after about month or so, I kind of made a conscious decision to let it go. It wasn't that I haven't had anything to write about -- to the contrary, I've had a pretty active fall season. I guess I just wanted to take a little time and figure out if I really wanted to keep doing this blog or just let it fade away. Obviously, the volume of content had fallen off this year even before the hiatus, so it was definitely worth considering. Part of that was the decision I made last year to race less. One thing that's true about racing is that it's content rich -- even a bad race usually gives you a good story. In fact, some of the best stories come from races where things go very badly. And unless you have the resources to regularly travel to new and exciting places for rides, it's not very interesting to write about the same places again and again, even if you do have some great local rides like we do here.
So what brought me back? Well, I'll get to that in a bit. First, let's do a quick recap of the last few months.
Right after Joanna and I got home from Minnesota, I was off for a week, so I took a few trips to ride in places I don't typically get to. That was great because none of those rides were all that far from home, but they were all totally different from one another.
|Riding the SRT to its terminus at South Street in Philly after a rain storm kept me off the trails|
|Tight fit in Tamaqua|
|Along a ridge at the base of the quarry in Tamaqua|
|Up with the sun in Wissahickon|
|Waiting out the storm|
|Lake Forbidden Drive|
|Chestnut Hill under water|
|Chased down the turnpike by a lurking Niner|
|The hang glider launch|
|On the RC Trail|
|Happy 1Speed after riding one of my favorite places|
|I passed a lot of CX riders on the climbs and in the single track, but they'd all come flying by me again on the roads|
|Fall Rides - lots of leaves covering the trails|
|Blue Marsh colors|
|Coming through one of the meadows at Blue Marsh Lake|
|These guys were so fast they don't appear in focus!|
|Umm … yeah, that's not good ...|
|Clean break at the seat collar|
With that, I was ready to race. I was worried about whether eight laps would be feasible after Friday's pre-ride. The course was like an ice rink with its wet leaves in every corner. But I had a plan and decided to stick with it the next day and let things work out as they would. As it turned out, they did just that.
I had a great start, which is crucial at CP. The start is a mass start with about a mile long prologue before you hit the woods. The problem is, entering the woods forces everyone into a single line and that creates a huge backup if you aren't near the front. At the start, I lined up in a really good spot and then followed a very fast rider all the way to the woods. I ended up hitting the woods somewhere in the top twenty and because of that, I was in a pretty good spot before the race was even five minutes old.
|Hitting the woods in a good position|
|On the gas through the twisty single track|
|It's pretty rare I'm smiling during a race -- I think this was during my eighth lap.|
|Heading for a better finish that I imagined|
|Done and happy|
|2nd - SS Men|
So that brings me to today. It's officially the "off-season" now and this week I barely rode at all. I think I was out three times this week, but they were all really easy, cruiser-type rides. No "training" at all. But that's about to change, and that brings me to part of the reason I'm back at this.
Next season, I'm planning to do another 24 hour race. This time, I'm heading out to Spokane, WA to race the 24 Hours of Round the Clock. I'll be doing it SS and Joanna will be with me for support. So I'll be spending the winter getting ready for it, and I'd like to use this blog to keep a record of that training. As such, it's possible things may change a bit in this spot and I have no idea how often I'll be posting, but I'll let the whole thing develop organically since I don't really know what exactly I'll have to say or how it will fit in. I definitely have some ideas for how it may be, but I'll take a wait-and-see approach for now. Right now, I have the outline of a training plan and I'll be fleshing that out as I go forward. The last time I did a 24, it made for some interesting stories so I'm hoping this year will be the same. Either way, I've got a lot of work to do between now and Memorial Day. I'm looking forward to it. Of course, I may not feel the same way in mid-February, but that's the nature of training, right?
And so that's where I am now … glad to be back and ready to get moving! So thanks for reading, stay tuned and I'll see you on the trail!