IS IT FAIR TO CALL TODAY'S MTB RIDE GRUELING? It was 97 miles. Nearly 10,000 feet of climbing. Just over 7 hours. Strava called it an Historic Effort... which began at 440am.
But is it grueling if we choose to do it? Nobody forced me. Quite the opposite, I was invited. And I leapt at the chance to ride with my kindred soul from AZ, Markell, on the old Blackstar Racing Leadville training ride.
We live to find out what we've got physically. How far can we push? Just what exactly What is in the tank? is more important than what's left... because when we do it right, nothing is left.
But, there's something else. There's this thing where we tell ourselves I'm going to do X, X being something crazy, and our bodies usually perform to expectation. Could be a spritely 90 minute circuit with a pack of animals or an unfathomable endurance metric. Most of the time, the body is game to play.
Right up to the end, I felt great today.
Sure, there were moments of severe distress but I backed it down a bit and the power came right back.
Then, I got home.
Truly struggled to open the front door.
Nearly collapsed on the floor.
Covered in sweat. Panting. In desperate need of something, but failing to form the commands to myself necessary to regain my bearings.
I made my way to the kitchen. Grabbed blender. Poured in fruit, protein, water. Stabbed at the Smoothie setting.
The cold. The sugar. The feeling of coming back to life.
Chased it with 44oz of ice water.
Was it grueling or satisfying?
Bonus surprise, Markell's OG brother Mike joined us for the most savory portion from Whiting Ranch to the top of Harding. He is an out of shape legend, who's ridden scant miles this year... and still clobbered me on Harding.
Ride with us: click for info.