Been a strange week for sure. I didn't ride much...only the Monday after the Yankee Time trail. I had a route all planned out to ride in the hills after work Friday as I had a rare free evening. Instead I loaded up the Epic and headed to Fort Custer for some pre Stampede riding. Dan, Jay, Dwight, Charles and J.J. were all there and off we went.
Dan has a few speeds.....none of them really slow....and because I know he is in my class I try to keep up with him....with little luck. He makes it fun though....he goes tearing away until a climb and lets me catch up....and then disappears again......lets me catch up. The problem was on this ride my back was hurting and I was having problems even pedaling....so it took forever to get around. I planned on riding 2 laps and cut it to one because of my lower back pain. I figure out my seat had dropped and once I moved it back where it belonged I felt better, but didn't want to push it. Fun ride, and hopefully he got some sweet GoPro footage when I was able to go a bit faster.
So, that left me wondering what I was going to do....sore back....race in a week......the only medicine is to go ride. The girls had tryouts for the summer dance production so I loaded up and headed to Fort Custer to meet Brian. Summer and the kiddos were there, along with J.J. who had raced a TT already that day and was out for more, so we started off with them. Kenyon did good but was running out of gas so they headed back. Brian and I headed off to finish our lap. We were cruising along and I was noting the trail changes and getting reacquainted with a trail system I love to ride. It was a decent pace and it was a lot of fun. We rode the race course and it was about 9.7 miles. Lap 1 done. Back good. Lap 2 lets go!
Brian planned on riding two laps...but probably not as fast as we rode the second. I was feeling good and he made the mistake of letting me lead. I had to see what I was capable of so I opened it up a bit after we got going. I felt awesome....so good in fact that I hope I feel like that next week. We were making really good time around the course. I was feeling comfortable on my bike again...which was not the case on Friday. Tale of two rides so to speak. Making the turn onto the two-track I almost lost it. Came off the trail hot and slid around the corner. Note to self...don't do that during the race. We cruised for a bit again and then I got that feeling that I wanted to blast the last few miles. I let it rip and Brian was right with me. I really focused on my breathing and I think it helped because I can't remember feeling this good going that fast on my Epic. Back to the red, past the trail head to my favorite part of the trail. GO BABY GO. It was a fun fast ride back to the car. Haven't ridden that fast in a long time...even when racing Yankee I didn't feel that fast. So...we finished out lap and I felt like I needed to apologize for pushing so hard. In the end it was what we both needed a week before the race. Good ride. Good friends. Good fun.