Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We'll do it live.

Last week a little gem came across the interwebs for a brief moment that I wanted to share with the masses of badasses around these parts. Because, here's the thing, sometimes this stuff goes unnoticed.

This came across via the Fortunista list:

"Hi all,
I don't have much experience on dirt, gravel, carriage roads, or thelike... does anyone have recommendations for training rides with this in mind: ?
Many thanks."

When I read this message the first time and saw the "Rapha" brand therein, I naturally dismissed the entire message as SPAM for overpriced, excessively long, California Roadie Chachwear, and I deleted the message and moved on. Easy.

But curiousity got the best of me later in the day, and I came back and clicked the link and watched the video. Which you can do now if you'd like. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Yeah, you saw it there, right at the 28 second mark. I saw it too. And it was that amazingly perfect moustache that dismissed my original diagnosis of SPAM. No, no, a case of Mo-fection like that - the word Mofection being derived from the word PERfection and not INfection - can assure your SPAM weary soul that this is, in fact, legit correspondence. Dude just wants to hit some gravel.

For the masses, here's a little info on the matter. Because I feel like a sort of expert on the subject of local gravel.

Pantani Garmin Action:

Blog post with further details, though you might have to dig around a little.

Dig deep enough, and I think there's even a cue sheet and some maps. Don't quote me on that. Plus, other routes abound in the very same 'hood - Clark rd. Ballards Mill. Chapel Springs. Catterton.

But here's the thing, badass masses. Adventure awaits, but it also doesn't really care that it's waiting. That is to say, it won't come find you on its own very often. I can tell you which gravel routes I like the most, which ones are less likely to be patrolled by drunken hillbillies and pets-gone-wild, which ones tend to be smoother and which ones are more like a trail. But the spirit of gravel riding is to find your own way, not my way, and putting together your favorite loop in the wild world of dusty, quasi-road mayhem is not only a part of the process, it's almost the entire point. It's a little lonely out there. Dig that.

Plus, my recollection of the details of most rides doesn't tend to be very accurate anyway. My advice is to not take my advice and instead; go explore.
Take some extra tubes.

Moving on, in 10 days I'm going to try to get around the Wilderness 101 in under 8 hours. Nevermind the fact that this morning I could barely sustain forward momentum on a dawn patrol rally with Shawn and Kev29er. The bike is back together. Legs feel pretty good. And if all goes well, it just might happen.

Not that I think I could actually roll any other 101 miles at that moment in under 8 hours. Oh hell no. But I'm betting on the notion, like Bill O'Reilly accurately suspected, that sometimes the only way to pull it off is to pull it off LIVE.

A classic on that matter:

That race day feeling. Never gets old.

Last but not least, my training ride over the weekend consisted of a Bachelor party for our man, BigJohn, down at Wintergreen. Specifically, that meant a 3 hour training ride either way separated by 15 hours of heavy libations in the middle of things. Brilliant.

One thing BigJohn does very well - unhitch his current self from his future self. It's a brilliant skill. Think something to the effect of: "These five beers in front of me at noon are going to be 1 o'clock John's problem, not mine. And I don't care about 1 o'clock John right now. He's drunk and he sucks. These beers are delicious."

It is exactly that sort of mindset that I intend to carry around Coburn for about 8 hours. There's a lack of self-preservation in there that I think could be useful in the short term. Longterm effects? No idea. But that will be 3 O'clock Dave's problem, not mine.

Up, up, up.

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