I picked up riding again thanks to my friend Chris. We were working 3rd shift and I was really bored so I started looking up cycling related topics again. It had been many years since I had ridden. Working far from home and our babies had kept me very busy...so busy that I was neglecting my own health and well being, which as we all know is counterproductive. Chris and I started talking about riding and eventually dusted off our bikes and headed out to ride. It has been a roller coaster since. We have gone all the way to Houghton to race the Keweenaw Chain Drive and I have done a lot of other races. I remember though...the Chain drive....I was registered for the 32 mile race...but switched to the 16 mile race because I was out of shape. A lot has happened since then.
Last month I rode my first century of the year. In a few weeks I have another century ride on the schedule. I went from being afraid of 32 miles to looking forward to riding 100. Twisted right? Well, not as twisted as the thought that I had after the last century I did.....and that thought was a 100 mile mountain bike race. You heard me....100 miles on the dirt....with hills....and other likeminded people. It is on my bucket list to ride 100 miles of singletrack....but I never thought that next year....or even this year....would be an option.
I am going to miss the Boyne marathon which would have been a major test for me....lots of climbing, but only 33 miles or so...still a long time on the bike...but we have other things going on...so not this year. That made me think...what about a 6/12 hour race. There are a few close to me....and there is one in August that might be the first 12 hour race I will do. It is a perfect opportunity. Close to home...and short laps...less than 5 miles. That means I can cruise my own speed and still knock out two laps an hour....at least in the beginning. I am putting it on my schedule.....with the goal of not winning....but simply riding 100 miles in the dirt......and pushing myself to the limit.
Something has changed.....I was afraid of longer rides only last season....50 miles was hard....50 miles is still hard....but I am getting faster...and pushing myself to keep going. Thankfully I have people that push me too, and keep me moving when I want simply stop. This 12 hour race will be different.....because it will be a fight with myself......and I will have to push myself to keep going....even when my body is trying to quit. I will keep riding the longer distances to build my endurance.....and I will ride 100 miles in the dirt this year.