Monday, May 23, 2016

Hit the reset button

This pretty much sums it up. I know it has been months since I have posted. Life, as it were, has been harder than I would have preferred it to be. Stress has been very high. Riding has been non-existent. So, reset.....YES.

A few weeks ago I managed to load the SX onto the Suburban and drive to work. I haven't wanted to see anyone. Haven't wanted to ride. Just haven't wanted to do anything, to be honest. So, I found a trail where my chances of running into someone I knew were slim....and none.

I headed down to the Trails@Andrews University. I rolled in and slowly took the bike off the truck. Check the pressure. Looked at the bike with the thought of "this is going to hurt" in my mind. I had not been on a bike in 5-6 weeks. No physical activity to speak of....just a bump on a log.

Steep drop behind the bike @Andrews

So, I finally mustered the courage to head out and give this trail a try. The trail was marked pretty good so off I went. 10 miles was the goal. By mile 2....I was ready to die. Allergy season is never easy....and trying to ride in blooming woods while being way out of shape was not the combination I needed. I struggled...mightily. It wasn't a competition. I took every punch that was thrown with zero protection. After 5 miles I decided to head back to the car. This was where things went from bad to worse....mentally. I was already defeated, but knowing that I had brought this fate onto myself I knew if I could get to the car that I would be alright. Unfortunately, I got lost and had to sludge through the woods to find a way out. The trail seemed cool....but honestly....I can't tell you either way. I was blown up from 15 minutes into my ride and the rest was a blur until I finally stopped back at the parking lot.

So, a few more weeks passed. I started running to burn off some stress and things have started to calm down. This past weekend arrived and I planned a solo ride. Trying to determine my best course of action I considered a handful of trails. Custer, I know it well and it is flat. Yankee, again I know it well but I am in no shape to climb. Luton, always a blast and not much climbing. TK Lawless, an entirely different type of trail. After pondering each place I decided on TK, with the thoughts of running into anyone I know would be less likely.

I was up around 8am and out the door to Monkey Run. It is over an hour drive down there but the trail is so much fun that it is always worth the trip. When I pulled in there was 2 cars in the lot. Perfect. I pulled the bike from the truck with a bit more excitement this time. I headed out and just rode a steady pace. Slow, but steady. I had some shoe issues I stopped to deal with and a few guys passed me. I got back on and followed the second guy for a while before we stalled on a hill. I pressed on and was able to stay ahead of him for the remaining miles. I felt good. Comfortable with who I am and how I was riding. I hit the parking lot and refilled my bottle, then headed out for another lap. Again, just an easy glad to be in the woods kind of pace. The miles ticked by and eventually I saw the sign for the last cutoff. 

Tempted to take the left and head out for the final 4 miles I stopped at the sign. Brain said "do it" but I knew that if I did that I had the potential to turn a solid ride into a bad ride. So, I took the cutoff and rolled back into the parking lot.....relaxed. It was a solid 16 mile ride on a trail that I normally ride so much faster and harder. It was a ride. Period. It was the kind of ride I needed to hit the reset button.

Are you sure?


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