Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Millions of Miles of Mountain Bike Trails: A Mountain Bike Update

I’m not racing this year.  Or, at least, I have no intentions of entering a mountain bike race this year.  I may do 12 Hours of Capital View.  I’m not planning to.
This year I want to drop weight, get healthy, and run my first true ultra.  Mountain biking can wait.  But it has value as a crossover training tool.  Some days it feels like the pounding of running, the heat of summer, and my own inherent sorryness put me on the bike over running.  The bike is my best go-to.  Mountain biking is my best therapy.

Proofing for the Mohican ended up being a disaster.  The bike is in recovery.  The Training Partner is coming through for me with some upgrades.  He’s saved my mountain biking behind a few times with his repository of all things MTB.  At the same time he’s building up for himself a Salsa Mariachi.  Hopefully I can be back on The One in a week or so.  I’ve dragged the OBS (Orange Blossom Specialized) out a couple of times.  But when Jeaph suggested I might tag along with him to Morehead this past Sunday to ride with some bigwheels there I bowed out gracefully.  No need to drag everyone down with the orange tank.
That’s okay, like I said; I’m looking more to running glory this year.  Cycling, particularly mountain biking, is good for me but I’m not focusing on it this year.  Except…
Yeah, well, okay, I have been all hot and heavy to get the Powell County Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan off the ground.  I’m working on getting a section of multiuse trail built in my hometown, and yes, I have been brokering a deal to get millions of miles of mountain bike trails built not too far away from home.
This year I’m definitely focused more on biking infrastructure whereas last year I was all about building up trailrunning as a major activity in the RRG area.  Joe ruined that.  I’ll be writing more about that in the not too far off future but don’t hold your breath.  I’d still like to see Slade or Stanton named the “Trailrunning Capital of Kentucky” but again, don’t hold your breath.  I believe a running/hiking retail outlet in the area could have a long life ahead of it were it to open now.  But I don’t have the savvy or the money to pull that one off.
A bike shop might still be five years out, but it’s coming.  I promise you that.
Before the Great Mohican Proofing Derailer Implosion I was on a roll (pun…intended) and starting to see mark-ed improvements in my technical mountain biking skills as well as my speed.  At the time I was still at my cruising weight.  That was before Kipp promised to shame me publicly if I didn’t reach a stated goal weight by a stated time.  It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been managing to stay on track if barely.  Crazy train and all…
It was a blow to be forcibly hiatused from mtbing.  I hold out hope that Dave will work his magic and once I get The One back I’ll be inspired.  And maybe the heat will have dissipated.
Back to those millions of miles…it’s true.  I’ve been working on a deal that will open up many beautiful wooded acres for nearly unrestrained trail building.  There will be little mountain bicycling for a while.  There is little there now and it’s going to take some work to get it off the ground.  I’m confident that this time next year I’ll be blathering continually about this new secret crag…er, trail system.  Likely in August I’ll gush forth with the scuttlebutt.
Just remember: Shackle Rod Trail.
Road riding has entered my periphery again.  My knees have been a little sing-songy of late so I’m hesitant to venture into the Powell County uplands.  I want to hit Furnace, Cobhill, State Rock, and High Rock. I did knock down a PR on Sky Bridge Hill not too long ago.  Maybe I need to dive back in like I have with trailrunning.  Why hold back?  I should drop everything RIGHT NOW and go do Cobhill.  Except, this is a scheduled post.  Likely I’m eating a bowl of oatmeal (not that one) and firing up the ol’ computing cubicle machine as this hits the interwebs.
I forgot that I like taking long road rides.  Heck, I’ve even convinced myself that riding at a more relaxed pace can be enjoyable too.  But riding fast is what it’s about for now.  Someday I’ll retire from that mentality.  
We figured out not too long ago that Boone is now big enough to ride Mandy’s road bike.  I’ve been thinking about taking him out for a low stress ride and see how he does and if he would like it.  When we went to the Easy Rider Short Track Series one of the organizers told Bean she could definitely excel at ‘cross.  So we’re thinking about taking her back in the fall and see if she likes it.  We’ll see.  Maybe we’ll all get hooked (refer to first sentence of post).
As I drop weight I will go after Strava KOMs.  I can’t help myself.  So I can’t promise that you won’t see the underpinning of my Strava obsession peeking through as the pounds just fall off of me.  Depending on how this ultrarunning thing goes I may or may not sign up for a mountain bike race next year.  I’m not finished with Leadville.  I need to go back for one more shot at a buckle.  And I really would like to give the Silver King a shot.  But that’s why the ultrarunning this year comes into play.
In the meantime I'm just going to ride when I can.

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