Monday, May 3, 2010

PMBAR. Nuff said.

Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race 2010.
I've finished last in this race and now I've finished 8th. Wide spread. So is Pisgah. So is the difference in my mind, body and soul compared to how it was when i arrived in Hendersonville in 2004. I knew it would be hard here, but not to the extent it is. Now i know why mountain people often emanate a quiet presence...with hard skin and a squint in their eyes. They know what hard living is but the beauty of the mountains and all the mountains give is worth the price we pay. That price is acknowledged by the silence. Yes it's hard here. We overcome. We realize lack and shed layers of glitter but end up with all we need, sometimes more.

Hard. Ever seen the winners? I have maybe once or twice. Spoke to a winner before. He didn't talk much and his skin looked hard, clothes worn and he carried an air of unspoken mountain confidence...the quiet kind that makes some people uncomfortable. Yeah, you know he could crank out 50 miles or 100 miles of Pisgah single track quicker than most people can do a road century with a tail wind but he doesn't speak of it, it's just known. Tough things are just things, no ranking of how tough or how easy, they just become things. Accepted tasks. Daily occurrences. Schtuff you just have to do. Like go to the bathroom or eat. Things you just do.

Just cross Turkey Pen. Just sprint up Black. Push up Pilot or ride up Laurel. Some things are expensive in dollars. Crossing Turkey Pen or sprinting up Black costs you soul points...challenges of inner strength. You may have the muscles and the lungs and a capable bike but do you have those items and the mental power to go forward one more step? Repeat? Then repeat again?

If you saw me after the race and my skin was hard, and my eyes squinted and i was mostly silent, don't mistake it for mountain confidence. I was just slap stupid worn out!

I'm working on it though. How cool would a first and a last in the same race be?
Lord willing, there will always be a PMBAR.

congrats to all who participated, volunteered and suffered.

thank you to Wes for letting me test the "demo" for one more weekend...
Props to Sycamore Cycles!!!!!! The best bike shop in the area!
Thanks to Yuri for not letting me nap all day on the side of Souf Mills.
Thanks to woman, well for womanly womaness.
Thanks to Clay for throwing out a huge challenge at the end of a long day. and so on and so on and so on.............