Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Biker I Am

Although I have two more mountain bike races on my schedule, Kittatinny mentally marked the official end of my mountain bike race season. Salisbury Enduro Rama is behind me and I had hoped to have been a little more competitive at that event, but some equipment miscues and a stomach bug that hit me hard at 2:00am the morning of the race, had me off my game. It was an awesome well-run event with really fun trails. I was glad to rally and not only get on course (roll of TP included) by 9:30 am, but to finish with a smile. I would like to mention that the many bottles of Hammer Fizz that I started drinking by 4:00 am were a big help in getting myself hydrated enough to get out there.

In lieu of a not so great race performance and experiencing the disappointment of some trail vandalism on one of the trails we had built, I was feeling the desire to step back from being a biker for a few days this week. Between mountain bike and cross racing, trail building and advocacy, I often end up juggling my focus around. This is great to prevent burn out, but much of what I do is still related to the bike, and now and then I need a break. Sometimes just putting on a dress to cover my biker tan and go out to dinner with my man is all I need to feel renewed. I know and you know that the biker tan is still under my dress. I suppose it is just an identity charade.

If I can use the tide as a metaphor, this would be the ebb tide of my race season, where treading water is welcomed. Today I decided to head out by foot in the woods to 1: not be a biker, and 2: To try to be a hiker for a day and see some of our trail building from the perspective of the other user group. About a mile into my hike, I caught up to a group of seven women out for a hike. They were from "Adventures for Women", which seemed like a cool group to encourage women to build confidence and seek adventure. The first thing they mentioned was that they liked the new re-route by the DPW, which was very rewarding to hear.

As I forged ahead down the trail, I noticed that I always walked the lines that I would normally ride on my bike. I tried several times to try another path and be a hiker, but I always ended up back on my favorite bike lines looking for flow. I had no idea that I could be so programmed. So my feet became my wheels and I walked the rollers and so on. I guess you can not take the biker out of the biker. ….A biker I am.

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