Monday, October 15, 2007

Riding through the Drought

Returning home after fun cycling trips is similar to the drought from which we are presently suffering in Georgia. My bottle of inspiration is empty with no sign of incoming supplies. Lake Alatoona is not the only thing to have dried up around here. Our motivation to ride seems to have dried up as well.

Nothing is as it is supposed to be.
I miss riding through the fields in Europe after the Great Marshmallow Harvest, looking for stray pieces.

Everyone drives so slow down South. I want AutoStrada, not Interstate.

MPH, humpf! It's a known fact you go faster and farther with Kilometers!

The only hope I had of breaking this dry spell was waiting quietly in the wings.
My sweet little singlespeed. The magical mechanic had released the EuroBike back into its natural habitat. Striped of derailleurs and chain rings, the Litespeed was once again a FunSpeed.

We had thoroughly trashed our legs on Saturday chasing Damyankee and The Camster up Hulseytown and 'round Yorkville. Riding at red line for over 2 hrs must have jump started our engines. We were ready to ride again on Sunday.

Singlespeed........that's all I could think of when Raja asked what I wanted to do.

It had been so very long since I had enjoyed the pleasure of riding my singlespeed.
Last spring, I went out to Blankets for some SS laps. Starting on the South Loop, which is a bit rougher on my body than Dwelling, sharp pains began to develop in my right elbow. Every rock or drop delivered a knife stabbing sensation, which could only mean one thing. The dreaded tendinitis was back, aka tennis elbow, aka mountain bike elbow. AAAargghhhh!!!

When this flares up in my arm, it takes forever to get it under control. That was my last ride on the SS, over 5 months ago. Sad day.

Janusz added this to the long list of complaints on which to work. With his help, the tendinitis eventually subsided, but then my singlespeed had disappeared. Remember? Raja had transformed it into the EuroBike for our Italian Cycling Crescendo

Before we could get the bikes unloaded, we spotted a number of familiar faces ready to ride at Blankets. W.O.T. member, Tim and Dave were headed out for laps. Raja recognized Speedy's Element in the parking lot. James was out there tearing up uber fast laps in between shifts of his new job as Super Dad. Peter Uhr rolled up on his Scalpel Singlespeed; now that's a first. Pretty clever ingenuity on his part.

Now, I like Peter and all that, but his version of a warmup lap and mine are different. My hip was starting to scream not 10 minutes in to the ride, so I had to back it down a notch. Raja snuck by me and continued to chase down Sonic Man, while I nursed my hip. This wasn't shaping up to be the love affair I remember singlespeeding to be.

At the meeting spot, I urged Peter to continue without us, while I did some stretching. Raja and I started out for the 2nd time hoping things would kick into gear, no pun intended.

Backing down my effort level alleviated the hip pain. I started to enter the zone. Momentum kicked in, and everything fell into place. Sounds of Raja riding behind me began to fade. Yep, I was pulling away and not even trying.

"Well, somebody got their second wind," he commented. No, it's all about the momentum with a singlespeed. Once you get going, you're in a groove and there's no stopping it. It's exhilarating! It's fun! It's a blast!

It works your legs! It's a workout! It's exhausting, but in a good way!

Drought or no drought, I think I've found my inspiration to ride once again.
Now, if I can just get my sherpa to rebuild my Fox. You think it's leaking a bit?

1 comment:

Cam said...

Single speed MTB... man! Mybe if you got a fixie you would like the road better?