I’ve spent most of the past 10 days giving my bikes the cold shoulder. Sure, I’ve taken a ride or 2 here and there, but for the most part whenever I need to go into the garage I’ve been looking the other way from all the tired looking drivetrains that are out there right now. The past few months I’ve been riding as much as possible and haven’t had as much time as I would like to work on them so every bike is in need of some work. In addition, lately the idea of “training” or riding with any sort of purpose has been the furthest thing from my mind as I’ve begun to feel a little burnt out. The worn out drivetrains in the garage only reinforce that feeling.
At first it snuck up on me. Following the ITI I didn’t feel any big letdown, mainly I felt like I had fitness to burn and kept looking for places to let it loose. 2 weeks ago I spent all day riding out in the desert and had a pretty good time. But towards the end of that ride a funny thing happened as I pushed my bike up yet another endless, unrideable sandy climb that seems to have become my normal ride as of late – my enthusiasm began to wane. I started to think about the types of rides I’ve undertaken the past few months for ITI training and quickly realized that many of them have been borderline death marches. I need to shake things up and do something different. I need to ride and smile again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a long, tough ride. But lately the “push/ride ratio” has begun to teeter closely toward me being more of a hiker than a biker and my frustration has grown. So for the past few days I’ve ignored the bikes and even went running a few times as a form of protest – take that bikes, I don’t need you. Of course that makes no sense from a logical standpoint given all the hike-a-bikes that brought this mental state on (maybe for a child throwing a tantrum it does) but somehow it made me feel better. Just this morning I realized when I first woke up that I’m finally starting to miss riding my bikes again.
The fire is back. Maybe it’s the change in seasons but I have a bunch of new “ride projects” beginning to flower in my brain. I’ve signed up for the Tahoe/Sierra 100 for this July and am considering doing it on the singlespeed again. Once the snow melts in the Sierra I’ll be headed back north for another shot at my ‘Dear Lover” loop (this time on the fat bike, take that sandy climbs) and will possibly be hitting up the unsupported Dixie 200 in Utah this June. I’ve also begun to eye a few big local rides with some mixed fire road/asphalt that should be a lot of fun. Suddenly there are as many possibilities as there are wildflowers along the trails. I’m so sorry to have forsaken you bikes. Let’s go ride!
I guess it’s true that “hope springs eternal” this time of year. This weekend it’s time to head out into the garage and do some bike maintenance – time to bring back the eternal sunshine that only a spotless drivetrain can produce…