Sunday, November 18, 2007
3-1/2 Hour Death March at Big River Watershed
I met up with some Union folks at Big River this morning: David, Schacte, and Paul. Their median and average age is about 50, I'm only 36. You'd think I had a big advantage and I was faster and all that.. NOT! Though I did have one handicap: my cross bike. These guys all had tricked out mountain bikes with disc brakes and suspension. I had none of that. Heck my brakes hardly stop me on a level road. What I thought would be a 2 hour fun ride turned into a 3-1/2 hour death march, featuring me, bringing up the rear and cramping up violently many times in the final hour. I had one bottle of water and no food, so towards the end I was getting chills, dreaming about the banana bread I stupidly left in the car, and feeling generally weak and miserable. One thing became quite apparent though: on the hard packed surfaces, even the twisty winding ones, I had a big advantage and could open some gaps.. but once we hit the roots and the melon sized boulders and the 25% inclines, I was screwed. My arms and shoulders ache.. My lower back was screaming in the first hour, and later subsided. I'm going to feel this in the morning, that's for sure. Can't wait for next Sunday. Going into Big River with people who know the trails very well is a lot more fun than winging it as I usually do and going in circles or doubling back when I panic about getting lost. I discovered today that mountain bikes are not simply overgrown bmx bikes with gears (my ignorance knows no bounds, I know) and that these 3 fifty somethings deserve a heaping pile of respect. I'm humbled and wiser for it.