Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Epic Rides!

Refer to my previous post to see that this is about Epic Rides, like the title wasn't enough to indicate...

I've put tons of miles in my legs, from the time I was a kid I was riding around. Cycling as always been important to me as it was the only way I could get out of eye shot of my parents for the first 10 years of my memorable life. I developed an early appreciation for two wheeled vehicles. I worked at a bike shop, which led me to watching Le Tour every summer and following coverage of the Giro and Vuelta. I watched La Course en Tete when I was 15. I know that's not saying much by California standards, but for a kid who grew up in Kansas with little to no recognizable cycling culture it was a big deal. Anyway, I was become a part of the cycling culture in Lawrence. Despite Kansas being thought of as flat (by California standards it is) there is some great riding. In fact in 1997 the Clinton Lake Trail and River Trail were rated #25 and #26 best MTB trails in the US by Bike Magazine.

My Epic Ride happened on 1997's 26th best MTB trail, the River Trail, when I was about 18 years old. I'd done lots of rides before then and lots and lots after, but this one ride has always stuck out as the best to me.

I went out on my new Cannondale F-600 after school. I was only going to go for a lap, which was out and back, approximately, and about 10 miles. I went out, and felt great. I came back to the trail head... almost. About a mile from the trail head there is a turn around, and you can loop and head back out. I usually went out for one lap, some did 2 or 3, but for me it was always one. On this day though, it was great. I was moving, fast, and I came to the turn around and headed back out. I set a hard pace, yet didn't feel tired, or put out or anything. I went out and back again, when I came to the turn around there were a couple guys from the KU cycling team. I turned around and headed out again, keeping pace with the guys from KU. We stomped along the trail again, and then back. The KU guys headed home and I made my way back in. At this point it was starting to get late. I headed out one more time, and back. Four times, Four laps in one day was by far a record for me, and it felt great.

What was exceptional about that ride was that through the whole ride I felt sharp and on point. I caught every detail of the trail, negotiated each obstacle and took each banking turn like I had ridden the trail 100 times before. Nothing was hard, or difficult or challenging. each turn and bend in the trail was like it was a girlfriend, asking to be caressed with black knobby, rolling rubber. I'm not sure what happened different on that day. I don't know if I was on peak, or beat the wall, or hit my Chi, but whatever it was it was awesome. By the time I got back to the trail head it was late. the sun was going down and it was getting late. I had to head home and get some dinner.

Thats it. That's my epic ride. I hope you all can share too!

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