This afternoon, in a unique failure of multi-tasking, I dumped an entire homemade banana milkshake into my helmet.
I tell you this for 2 reasons:
1) I feel good about - vindicated, even - by the fact that I don't fool myself by calling it a "smoothie." Putting a banana in a glass of chocolate ice cream does not a smoothie make, no matter what Dunkin' Donuts tells you.
2) I feel that the act of dumping a milkshake into my helmet is the righteous embodiment of how busy this summer has become for me. For a long time, this blog has sort of revolved around the buzz of two events - Il Pantani and The Paranormal, Spring and Fall, with a meager smattering of brain juice in large spaces between. But this year, there's a 3rd event happening here on the home front, and that is the Chimney Chase. Given the tenuous arrangement between mountain bikers and the County right now, the powers that be decided it would be best to move the Chimney Chase to private land until this whole Ragged Mountain mess, and whatever else, blows over. So here it will be, July 30th. There's a whole lotta trail work to be done between now and then - which I relish, as you know. So I've been banging away at the ground like an insane person, trying to dial some new stuff in before the gun goes off, which it will, at 10 AM rain or shine. And while we might not have Chimneys to chase per se, we do have a Beaver, and the chances of it not being 90+ degrees is relatively low. So it'll still hurt plenty. Sign yourself up and partake in the magic.
Did I mention that I signed up to race SM100 on the singlespeed this year?
That's been a long time coming, actually. I'll be 40 next year, and these knees aren't getting any younger it turns out. As one of those bucket list races that I realize I just have to get out of my system, SS-M100, as I have dubbed it, is something I can't keep putting off if I actually want to finish it. The trouble with that, of course, is that singlespeeding is hard. There's just no getting around that. I came into the summer in pretty good form riding geared bikes, but upon hopping aboard the 1-speed and promptly falling apart in under 1 hour, multiple days in a row, I realized I had some work to do. So I've been chipping away at that, like the trail itself, and progress is being made. Enough to survive on Labor day? I honestly don't know, and I think that's part of the appeal.
One interesting nuance of single speeding, especially for long rides, is that there's simply no place to hide. You can either turn the pedals over or you can't. On a geared bike, you can always put it in granny, spin it out, and you can pedal to the top of just about anything, eventually, albeit slowly. But on a SS, you just can't do that. Nor can you walk the entire last 30 miles of the hundo, unless you want to finish on Tuesday. So I'm trying to figure some of that out.
And dumping a banana milkshake directly into my helmet is the result, thus far. So bare with me if the content is a little slow. This is the speed I've got:
It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll, and sometimes you have to clean up first. And up, and up, and up.