Saturday, February 16, 2008

Plan C

Friday night I packed up the rest of the chocolate truffles for Saturday's ride at Raccoon Mtn to celebrate Cordell's birthday. Raja arrived home complaing about his knee hurting him, but I did not think anything about it.

Saturday morning at 7am, Raja announces that he cannot ride today. His knee was worse. Wow! I was shocked. Didn't see this coming. Time to implement Plan B. I shot off a couple emails to fellow cyclists asking if I could bum a ride, and made some phone calls. No answer. I left a message. No call back. Check the email. No replies. This went on till 8:00 with no success.

Okay, time for Plan C. The drive to Ellijay would be much quicker and easier for me to make alone. Time again to join in the Cartecay Crew's ride for the day. Spring classics won't begin till March, so they were doing the Pinhoti trail. I knew Larry and the rest of his W.O.T. teamates were going up for the ride. That meant it would be an all out torture fest. Oh joy.

I missed not having my sweetie pie by my side on the drive up. I don't take for granted the simple pleasures of life. We spend all our spare time together, and when that routine is thrown off I am painfully aware of his absence. I can function on my own, but take great comfort in being able to look over and see him there. Funny how much difficulty I had getting ready for the ride just because he was not by my side.

Though, once the ride started, I had little time to think about the lonely spot in my heart. Time to think about the lung that's in my throat, as I tried to keep pace with the hammerheads.Larry is so kind to call us every Friday to invite us along for their shred fest ride of the week. So far, we've conveniently been able to come up with an excuse to not suffer at their hand. Today was my lucky day. No more hiding. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Also along to taunt me was #34Mike (doing the 50k Cheaha next wkd!)We went up Pinhoti 2 first and got to enjoy the fabulous singletrack downhill. Trying to stay on Larry and Brad's wheels while descending literally had me to edge of losing my breakfast. Good to be back in the saddle again! It's been a while since I've ridden like that.

Then we headed up the gravel road towards Pinhoti 3. I snickered as we passed by the cabin our friend had wanted to buy last year. "Price reduced" was on the sign. Serves the owners right. Tried to jerk our friend around...not right. Maybe they'll get to buy it afterall. I hope.

The "race" picked back up as we turned onto the singletrack of Pinhoti 3.
Mary and Loretta were climbing machines today. I settled in quietly behind them knowing I had a long road to travel still, but wishing my legs were as vigorous as theirs.This section is more challenging, but ruggedly beautiful. I like the way you can see riders ahead on the trail up switchbacks and through the twists and turns. And don't forget the wonderful challenge of making it up the switchbacks! Focusing on the riders ahead, I just tried to make it to the top.Turning around and descending section 3 is rewarding. Once again, I found myself chasing Larry, Gary, and Brad. Fun, fun!!

At the bottom, Brad and Loretta had to cut it short and head back on Shakerag. I questioned my sanity as Gary and I chased down the few remaining riders of the A Group. The climb up the long gravel road to Bear Creek was quiet and solemn.

Larry reminded me I could slow down. "Just trying to end the pain quickly," was my response. Mr. & Mrs. Anvil (Kevin n Mary) graciously waited for the rest of us to regroup before descending Bear Creek.
We almost took out a couple hikers and their dog. It was a busy day on the trail.

At the intersection of Pinhoti 1, we lost even more of the group. Now it was just Dave, Van, Kevin, Mary, and me. In that order, we climbed.
Mary was killing me on the climbs. Lots of untapped talent there! It felt as though we had ridden 40 miles, but it was only 30 with a ride time of 3hrs 20minutes. I'm sure it was 9,000' of climbing, but Raja says it was probably in the neighborhood of 4,000'.

I haven't been wearing my hear rate monitor the past few months, and have enjoyed the freedom. Today's statistics would probably have scared me, so I'm glad I didn't have it. The other upside of today's ride was that my picture taking was limited to "on the fly". No time for dismounting and chasing back up. I did not miss the hours of downloading and uploading once I got home. A real shower and a good stretch were actually enjoyed!

The ride was long and hard, and just what I needed. Every minute was a real pleasure. I'm lucky to be able to do this. I know it won't last forever, so I'm going to relish every chance I get.

I also know I won't be able to walk tomorrow unless I do this.Brushing up on my Italian is a nice distraction while the ice melts.

Sorry I missed out on Cordell's ride, but Plan C worked out well too. I doubt they even noticed I wasn't there.


regularjoe said...

Looks like you had a great day, and a lot of fun hammerin' with your friends. I know what ya mean about it being nice not to have the photo pressure.

As enjoyable and satisfying as taking pics is, sometimes it's nice to put the camera down and enjoy the moment.

Hope raja's knee gets to feeling better soon!

Namrita O'Dea said...

You are killing me with all the truffle pics! Just so you know, my Bday is Oct 24 ;)

That is so cute about you and Raja..that's how I feel when I can't ride with Eddie, too. Hope his knee is better soon.

See ya!