Friday, June 3, 2016

Ramming Speed Friday: Deerflies on the Wind Edition

Them kids.
Sorry, those kids.  I’m originally from Eastern Kentucky if you couldn’t tell.
Over Memorial Day weekend we took Bean and the boys back to the Dawkins Trail near Salyersville.  We were better prepared for spending the day.  We had a better plan after scouting the trail a few days before.  But we didn’t anticipate the car sickness.
We should have.
No one hurled in the SAG Wagon.  But as we started up toward Gun Creek Tunnel from Royalton Boone looked pale and complained of a messy stomach.  I lagged with him and bade the other three to go on.  He assured me he was having fun and that the trail was cool, but he just didn’t feel good.
If Boone assures you he’s having a good time and an activity is fun you can trust him.  Believe me, that kid won’t hold back if he’s miserable.

Four years ago protesting a mountain bike ride in Vedauwoo, Wyoming

We soldiered on with frequent rest stops.  For me it was nice because I had to force myself to slow down and just be in the moment.  Most of the time my mind is twenty miles ahead of where my body is.  I hated that he was queasy, but we had a good conversation as we pedaled slowly toward the tunnel.
In all fairness it was a warm day too.  The humidity of summer has finally settled in for the long haul and the sun was out that day.  That couldn’t have helped Boone’s nausea.
We caught up with Mandy, Ty and Lily at the tunnel.  The other two kids were racing back and forth through the 600’+ passageway with abandon.  Boone sat down in the cool shade by the support timbers and watched.
Gun Creek Tunnel was our turnaround that day.  We cruised back to Royalton with intentions to go west beyond, but once we got back to the van none of the kids wanted to ride anymore.  It was too hot to leave them locked inside, so we loaded up and headed home.
Fun was had by all, and that’s all that matters.
Otherwise we had a fairly low key holiday weekend.  I did a little trail work in Flat Hollow and rode only 1.5 miles.  It was too darn hot to do much else.  And now the deerflies seem to have descended upon the world from their alien attack platform in space.  The season is over. 
What season?  Trail building.  Trail riding.  Climbing.  Bouldering.  Hiking.  Duck.  Trail running. Wabbit.  Swimming.  Fishing.  Boating.  Sleeping.  Eating.  Living.
Deerflies suck.  S. U. C. K. Suck.
Ugh, I’m out of shape.  I’ve managed to ride at Veterans, CVP, and Skullbuster recently and in all cases have been slower than average.  And now it's Mohican time.  No, no, I’m not racing this year.  Actually I’m not even volunteering.  I’m going along for the spectacle of it.  I’ll take the camera.  I’ll ride my bike on the trails.  But I’m not participating in the event whatsoever.
I think next year might be the time for me to get back into the swing of mtb racing.  I’ll try to get into Leadville.  I’ll do the 100k Mohican.  And maybe I’ll do a few more of the KY Point Series races.  I do plan on trying to do a few more of those this year.  But for 2017 I want to formulate a training plan that will put me over the finish at Leadville in under twelve hours.  Heck, maybe under ten!
My body seems to be telling me it wants to run again too.  But for me, at this time, no more plans to run competitively or for speed.  I think in 2016 I’ll focus on a PR at the Iron Horse and maybe giving the Rough Trail 25k another shot.  That’ll give me plenty of time to ease back into it without pressure to go fast and hard all the time.  And after that I firmly intend to run only as a training tool until I’ve been running long enough to decide if I want to take it further.  For me I have to design fun into running and I can’t do that with competitive pressures.  All internal of course, but pressure all the same.
I have the tools at my disposal to get back into shape.  Of course I am disproportionately distracted by life and absolutely fail at having a workout regime.  I don’t mean to digress into whining about my lack of activity.  In fact, my health issues are more diet related than to activity or lack thereof. 
And deerflies…as if I didn’t need any more barriers in my life.




  1. Oh those flies and other biting insects. I tend to stay out of the woods this time of year. Seems like if I stop my bike for a couple of minutes something is biting me. Sometimes I'm so slow on the bike they bite me while I'm pedaling.

    1. Deerflies are the worst. They're relentless little buggers and hurt like fire!