Trans-Sylvania Epic 2014 Day 5On or before day 5 of a stage race i typically decide that i am home where ever my bike is and thus want the vacation to go on and on (like the rambling of my posts here). My body starts to adjust to the difficulty of the racing, i start getting faster and the negativity of the world subsides in my mind allowing me to relax, read books, type blog posts and just really enjoy being me. It's funny how something so difficult can give you such a sense of peace. I've forgotten about work (almost), the problems in Russia/Ukraine, and what ever else was in the news the week prior to our trip. Right now it's only Pennsylvania trail, my wife and other crazy bikers.
Today started in R. B. Winter State Park. This place is a gem. Lush green ferns, dark Pennsylvania forests, moss, more rocks and Amish or Mennonites hanging out at the park. Today's stage was 31ish miles with about half of that being single or double track including a brand new section of double track trail. The weather forecast was perfect for a 215# guy who quickly overheats. It was 52 degrees and misty. The forest looked like a scene from RAMBO where Sly is running through the woods being chased by a crack local militia. The trails were a little wet and muddy from the prior days rain but still fairly navigable. I was ready to go. By the first Enduro segment i was about 2/3 of the way back from the leaders but in a much better spot than the prior days. I waited at the first Enduro start for a moment or two to gather my thoughts and get in the right mindset to race hard on the technical down hill in front of me. I tagged my time card and swooped down the trail as smooth as possible until a snooty racer girl decided she was too cool to let a faster downhiller pass her despite my ample verbal warning of "racer, racer, racer". I guess the positive praise i gave her and her teammate the 4 prior days was construed as an insult. I shall stop saying "way to go" and "good job" and "glad to see you again" and "I'm glad to see y'all kicking butt this year". Oh well. A wise sage at the race offered me this wisdom: "Focus on the other 149 awesome people here and it will be OK". He was very correct and very wise to the dynamics of dealing with 150 ego pleasing bike maniacs who think they are all the bomb, including me. Wise people are few and far between and i try to absorb their wisdom whenever possible. Any way, maybe i should actually thank her because our poor interaction put a fire under my lazy butt and resulted in me riding harder for the rest of the day. Since i was faster than the prior days, i got to meet some really nice people on the bike. The last few Enduro segments were fun and furious but the best part of the entire day was riding along alone, in total silence and absorbing the ferns and the beauty i was immersed in.