Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dusting Off the Dogrunner

I have not ridden my road bike in a criminal length of time. I’ve hardly ridden mountain bike in 2018 at all. I had lingering health issues after The Fig, and then the silly run for Sheriff and then I basically went blind. Riding a bike was not my priority for awhile.

Last week I aired up the Continentals and propped my sporty-sport bike—the stalwart Dogrunner—by he basement door with helmet and bike shoes at the ready. The next morning after I got Bean off to school I came back home, kitted out, and rolled.




I knew better than to have ambitious plans so I only intended an eighteen mile ride. In retrospect...that’s hilarious. I had no idea how out of condition I am.

As I rolled off the creek I passed fencerows overgrown with blooming honeysuckle.  The sky overhead was a harsh blue.  My eyes were still sensitive and I was in eyeglasses and not contact lenses and sunglasses like normal.

Making the crossing to Clay City I was able to cruise along at half the normal speed of the slow-moving motorist that usually impede me as I go to and fro. If it were a felony to drive forty to forty-miles an hour between Stanton and Clay City the jails would be FULL.



I turned on Pompeii Road and took a long pull from my water bottle. The short but steep Pompeii climb felt harder than usual. The next shorter and steeper hill felt harder than usual. And then the longer and steep climb to gain Tharp Ridge sealed the deal: I would cut the tide short.

Tharp Ridge is a beautiful rolling ride through the woods before a descent down to Lower Paint Creek and a nice cruise along open fields in the broad river bottoms of the Red.

I could have continued up the valley along North Bend to Rosslyn like I’d intended when I left home, but my body felt the miles and told me to cut it short, so I turned south toward Stanton. I had agreed to proof for the Mohican this coming Saturday and was scrambling for some base miles. Again...hilarious. I will suffer on Saturday.

The ride was good. I needed that. I needed to make the first pedal stroke back to fitness. My brain needed the vestibular input. My lungs and legs needed to work.

I’m hoping to ride regularly now. I want to focus on twenty to thirty mile distances...nothing crazy. But then there’s The Fig in the fall. I still intend to do better this year than I did last. Hell, maybe win the thing.

So not only have I dusted off my road bike, but I dusted off that part of me that has laid dormant for far too long. That’s the part of me that any long time regular readers know good and well.




Yesterday Mike of Next Opportunity Events put out a call for volunteers to help mark his inaugural War Hammer 100 trail run.  Mandy saw the post and asked if I could help, so I got in touch with Mike and planned to meet up with him in McKee later in the morning.  Between he and I and Kipp we were able to mark a good portion of the trail south of McKee down to where the Sheltowee intersects KY 89 near Livingston.  I rode a tough and muddy 9+ mile section in a blistering three and a half hours.

I’m gearing up the rest of this week to go proof at the Mohican and promote the RRG MTB 100 and Leadville or Bust during packet pickup.  After I get back there are no excuses…I need to start working myself back into shape. I’ve been sedentary far too long and it’s hurting me to not be active.


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