Sunday, March 25, 2012
The past few weeks have been wonderful with unseasonably warm weather in New Jersey. It is such a treat to finally be free from all the layers of insulated and windproof clothing that I have been hiding behind all winter. The sensation of wind and sun on my limbs is just pure bliss. I am not alone with this excitement, as butterflies are bouncing about, peepers are singing, snakes squirming around and yes, even bear scat has been spotted. The wood are alive, and spring is here for sure and it is quite early this year. No complaints on my part, just enjoying it for what it is. This is a good time to be a mountain biker!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday I raced the MTBNJ Short Track race at BSA camp in Allamuchy, NJ. Before I go any further, I will tell you that I do not normally race before May. I have always felt that my time riding and getting back in form is much better spent in a non competitive atmosphere, than stressed about being better, faster and stronger. There are so many cool things to see out on the trail and social experiences that I feel make me a better person. Riding with a narrow vision may take a person to a specific goal, but a broader experience is where I am at. This may not be the case for everyone, but I really like to enjoy my ride time as just ride time.
The week leading up the race was awesome with a few outstanding mountain bike rides with some ladies and a few days with temps in the 60's. How could anyone help but feel like spring was budding right in front of us. Call it spring fever .... I signed up to race. Quickly, other racers seemed pleased that they were not the only one with spring fever. Much to my surprise, it was 22 degrees when I arrived at the race. I ended up wearing all my winter clothing and it still felt cold before my race.
My race went well. No way was I mentally prepared to put in an all out effort like in cross, but I was very steady with my heart rate just about where I was hoping it would be this time of year. The climbs had begun to thaw and were turning into slimy mud. This made the racers fight for traction and get double the workout. My legs felt like toast, but that might be expected this time of year after doing a hard ride the day before.
What was really cool , was that there were several women racing for their first time. They were very excited, and that is great to see. Mountain bike racing has plenty of room for a few more ladies to join in the fun, and yes, every lady that raced was smiling at the finish line. Perhaps Short Track has some appeal for first timers. Either way, glad to see it in NJ.
photo by GTLuke
just a skim of ice