Friday, March 23, 2007

Change of Pace

It seems like the first day of Spring is always shitty. As it was this year too. Cloudy and 50, blah. Yesterday was great though. I rushed out of work and took off on the road of course since the trails are still too wet to ride. I decided I needed to mix it up a little. The road gets so monotonous after a while. The first change I decided to make were my shoes. I always wear these really old pair of silver Sidi's when I'm on the road. But I figured, hey I'll take a walk on the wild side and wear my black ones (which I haven't worn since about last August). I finished getting ready and took off. Almost immediately I realize why I haven't worn these shoes. I had forgotten that last summer I had messed up the cleat and it was quickly apparent I did not fix it correctly. My right foot was was severely pigeon toed. However, I just didn't feel like going home, so I just fought it throughout my ride.
Next I decided to takes roads I usually don't to help mix it up some more. There's reasons I don't take these other roads, they're hilly. So I have now a crooked foot and riding hills. I keep going and ride further and further away from home. Eventually I figure I should head back so I take off up this road that looks pretty steep, it even feels steep when I drive on it. Very shortly into my climb I hit my last gear. I think "No, this can't be". I look up ahead and it just gets more steep. I'm struggling to go up. I try to shift again, thinking maybe I just didn't push hard enough. But nope, no more gears. I'm now fighting so hard that I'm weaving around. I'm thinking I haven't had this much of an issue going up a hill in years. This is crazy. Cars going by are giving me tons of room as I look like I'm totally out of control and about to dart in front of them at any moment as I thrash around fighting to get up the hill. It was pathetic. But eventually I came to the top. Ugh!
I was working my way back home and took another detour down a road I never even drive on, not alone ride. So I was just casually spinning at this point. Just taking in the day when this guy comes flying past me. He practically brushes me as he goes by. It takes me a second, and I survey my options. A. I could let him go. Or B. chase him down. Well of course I had to choose option B. So I clicked up a few gears and took off. I caught him and just sat on his wheel as I still didn't know the road and wasn't sure what lay ahead, but was pretty sure it was a hill. Sure enough it was, and he noticed I was there and was fighting ever so hard looking back and cranking harder in his drops. When we hit the hill he popped and I just went around. Mission accomplished.
I kept working my way home. My foot still bothering me. By now my ankle and my knee were too. But it was a good day. The clouds rolled in and it dropped about 10 degrees it seemed just as I was about 10min from home. So it was a good day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beached Whale

I got to ride and climb yesterday. So I am exhausted today. Yeah maybe not the best idea to ride and then try to climb. But it's the way it worked out.
So last night I was having a rough night. I couldn't make several reaches. They just seemed to be a million miles away. I have developed a bad habit too of getting to the second to last hold and then panicking and giving up. So after numerous efforts and failing I went over to work on this one route I've been messing with for about a week. It comes out of a cave, around a wall, and then up over the top of a overhang. A picture would be better, but I don't have one. Anyway, you basically have to hug the wall and have almost no holds, (foot or hand) and you have to get out and around and up on top. The inside of my legs are all sore and bruised from attempting and failing numerous times on Saturday. But last night first try, bam, around and up I went. When I got on top though I did what Marc refers to as the "beached whale". Instead of gracefully and confidently standing up and walking my way up the slope, I decided as much surface contact was best and flopped my body up and wiggled to safety. But hey, I still made it, yeah!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St Patty's Day

I love St Patrick's Day. It's a great Holiday. You get to wear green (which is one of my favorite colors). And it's a day dedicated to fun. What's a better holiday then that?
Last night we celebrated St. Patrick's Day a little differently then normal. Usually we go out, get in the mix of the festivities, throw back a few and just enjoy the madness that is the day. This year we went climbing. We were supposed to go on Friday so we could still go out last night, but it snowed. So then we had to make a decision. What to do, climb or go out? After much discussion we finally decided on climbing. I was still torn all the way there. Once we got there though everything else faded away.
Climbing takes me to a place that cycling and playing doesn't. It's hard to explain. I can talk about riding forever. How I rode, how I felt, what it was like, etc... Playing is the same thing. Whether I played something clean, or am all thumbs, or learned a new piece. But climbing I have trouble with. It's all so new. It's hard to tell a bad day from a good day. Some days I finish a lot of routes I try (this happened once), other days I don't (which are most), but I can pick something else good out of it, like I learned how to hug a wall (which really hurts by the way) or I got part of the way through a problem that I wouldn't even have considered a few weeks ago. But it's more than my performance that's enjoying. There's something in the way it makes me feel. It gives me such a sense of peace. While I'm climbing of think of nothing else. It's like I've entered into another world and everything else is briefly washed away. The social aspect is great too. Everyone is so nice and friendly. We kinda kick back and talk a little and climb a little and discuss how we can attack it differently. Meanwhile Marc is flinging his body across the mats as he can't help but jump around on the floors.
So anyway, that's what we decided to do this year for St. Patrick's Day. A little quieter, a lot more sober, but still relaxing, just more peaceful. I would say less painful too, but really just a different type of pain. Instead of a hangover, I can't move my fingers and my muscles ache.