Skilled elation

I rode the same trails two days in a row. This particular trail is probably the most technical (legal) riding in Marin county with a few nice rock gardens and numerous tight switchbacks. The first day riding I cruised along in a higher gear than in the past, and made a number of problem areas that I hadn’t in the past. I swung around corners with less braking. In short, I rode more confidently. The next day, I rode the same loop. Faster and better. I found myself giggling and vaguely delirious. I thought, this feels familiar, yet slightly frightening. Then, I realized this was how I often felt running. But now I was going faster. The sensation left my lightheaded, such that periodically I had to stop and catch my breath, or my mind, or whatever part of me it was that seemed not quite in my body. I felt immensely present and yet not quite safe. Excitedly reckless, yet still cautious. This was a new sensation, and I wanted us to get a little more familiar with each other before we took things too far. My skill made this newfound emotion possible, but was my newfound emotion equal to my skill? In short, could my skill keep up with my feelings? Could my reactions match my euphoria? What if I got too excited and just careened into the ravine? Over-enthusiasm can land you in the hospital.

Tamarancho loop

Day one with father and son, Day two chasing two fast men.

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Not a champion

First, I dawdled on the computer.

Then, I slowly got dressed.

Then, it looked like rain.

Then, my rear brake cables weren’t working right.

Then, I said, this is pathetic. Just go ride.

Then, I almost turned back early in case the sun set in record time.

Then, I started riding faster.

And faster.

Less braking.

More cranking.

Ah! Flowy! I get it!

Cranking + knowing the trail + feeling good + a send of urgency – braking = better flow

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lower lower loop & upper lower loop, 9 miles?