Ring my bell

Going into this fall I thought I had done everything right, no injuries, little or no sickness, diligent with my equipment set up and maintenance, all of it. Now at about the mid point I'm off the back. Derailed. I need to make some lemonade and get my shit together. It's not my first cross season and I hope it's not my last. Quitting isn't a good way to look at it, it's too important to me, I need this sport! I try to limit my wants, and there are only a few needs and cross is one of them. Besides shitty results and stupid mistakes the head isn't the quiet and centered place I'd like it to be on the last weekend in October, shit only makes more shit. So, I need to learn to race a new way, not from the front like I am so accustomed. Instead, I'll be the outlier, be the one trying to make the race, it's not mine anymore, I was on borrowed time and the bell rang.



The knife loses it edge about 3 hours in. I'm far beyond that, I feel a little worn, a little tired and the edge fades only so far, different degrees of dull, different edge to fade to the dull point. Worn thin by too many days in the sun, the sand, the wind. I wouldn't want it any other way. Pushing up this hill to find the newest challenge on the other side, hopefully more hills there to climb. Coasting makes me feel guilty.


icebergs flow onionrings.

I like not knowing the words sometimes. Letting the images take their place. Slower than words, pictures flow differently -like icebergs, blatant and deliberate. Words have a less distinct destination. They flow like a spring stream-crisp, plentiful, but still indeterminate.



"Who's going to cast the first stone? Who's gonna reset the bone?" Less pushing and more of what seems like a subtle pull backward, too many thoughts and lines off the course I need to follow-metaphors mimic the real, they lack the separation I need, too close for comfort, literally.
When the few good things get eclipsed by the too bright light of reality it all makes less sense, I want more clarity, not less, more direction- less loss. The darkness warms, instead of functioning in the bright light of day the shadows are more comfortable, either side, they're equally warm, get it right, it all feels that much better. Wrapping myself in the layers of wool and rubber, my days get longer, sleep becomes a more valuable commodity, more than heat, more than tires, more than everything. It's never enough to quiet the head's constant stream of useless shit. Push through it, then pulled backwards, a smile sneaks across my face as I know I get my chance to shut it all out.



A little oversight like not tightening a valve stem nut leads to filthy hands and a healthy amount of stoppage time on the side of the road looking for the offending staple, tack... debris. Clicking thru the gears forever searching the contact patch for the return of softening tire. Getting back after the tempo allows precious little rest, put away the past- look forward, we are only as good as our last result, mine sucked- so I train like the next is the last. 



When it's warm enough to not have any covering on his legs he always notices his knees, looking for that slight irregularity in the pedal stroke. Where that leads, tendonitis? Worn out too soon meniscus? All of it runs on a loop in the head, the wind and the cars, the trees and the trail isn't enough to distract the formation of doubt. The creation of problems that don't yet exist. Though they grow, steamroll, snowball into the invisible 400 pound gorilla.





Pouring rain didn't make getting out any harder today, the promise of mid day snow made mere raindrops easy. 2+ hours in a downpour, soaked thru put on more of a smile than a grimace. Rewards are a little way off but in the meantime I'll take my little mid week victories over laziness and ennui.



What's the matter with riding around a farmer's field? What goes better than peanut sauce and rice and hot proper jalapenos...the perfect dismount, getting over the fucked and getting the shit back together and lined up like the right way to move it. What is cross 5% racing and 95% preparation, maybe something like that. Don't let yourself get complacent and lose the opportunity you had close at hand. Keep your ass in line. Don't fuck it up again.

Mumford And Sons - Maroquinerie - Little Lion Man from valerie toumayan on Vimeo.



Limping thru the day without so much as a good warm thought, until I get it together and push the shit out and clear the mind thru the wringer. I like what I have but want more, not necessarily more of the same. Pleasantries aside, more, fucking more.

Sore Sunday

It's 4am, I've been up an hour and the soreness just kind of hovers over the outside of my wrists and the back of my neck. I hate the feeling, I'm not broken (wrists, that is) but the rest of me feels like shit. I think I'll skip the race today and live to fight another day. It blows, but with a broken bike and wheels to sort out-it's best. Not a good thing, I was comfortable riding in the front and then the bike and I split up, a soft Dugast and concrete. Ouch.


If I had to choose a new saddle over new pedals I think my feet would win over my ass. The feel of fresh meshing of the foot and bike, tactile sensation.
Legs twisted like short vines to warm up,
Racing the race over and over in my head,
By myself riding the course, vision of the root, the off camber stretches.



For some reason the races are silent. in my mind I know there were sounds but I don't quite recall what. I can hear the wood chips under my tires, and I remember picking up the nail in the brand new Grifo, the clicking it made across the seatstay brake bridge. But overall it's quiet. In my head the din of the week fades into a focus on the shifting weight left and right, fore and aft. Then later it gets quieter, the other racers are gone and I get my time. Front or back doesn't matter, time solo over the course. Ride at the hardest pace, left the din melt like shitty chocolate.
The feel of the embro stinging the legs as the cold air and warmth fight it out, hoping fresh legs rule the day. The gummy 2nd day legs for the first time since November are tested to see if the summer's work was up to snuff.