Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I followed Brian through a network of trails over by the North Gasline Trail last night. He was mapping them on his GPS so we were doing this slow back and forth through the woods over trails that were covered in dead grass. The grass hid roots, rocks, holes and all kinds of fun obstacles that you can't see until you hit them.
I was getting frustrated because I could never get up enough speed to clear anything taller than 2 inches. I was doing this dance of clip in with the left foot, push off with the other to get some speed, clip in with the right, ride for 10 feet, hit a root, get thrown onto the handlebars, try again. Fall in a hole, try again. Steer up onto an embankment, try again. I probably spent more time off of my bike than on.
I remember that you have to attack obstacles like you are in control, otherwise they will just toss you around. I was watching Brian up ahead of me on his 29er just rolling over everything like he was out for a Sunday ride on the Coastal Trail.
Despite all of this, I had fun once I finally got into a rhythm. And once I figured out how to get enough speed at the start, I could power over all of the hundreds of obstacles, grunting over each one.
I got in a good workout and my soreness from last weekend is finally gone. I'm pretty sure I am going to cripple myself again this weekend. Brian has proposed one of his Chugach death traverses, as I like to call them. This one is around 18 miles and goes over about 6 peaks. Most of the elevation is gained at the start and then it will be a rolling ridge hike.
If I have any strength left I'd like to try the Robert Spurr Hill Climb race on Sunday morning. It's an uphill only race up Bird Ridge (that I hiked last Friday). 3 miles, 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It is perfect practice for Mt. Marathon, which is growing scarily closer.