Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tran-Sylvania Epic 2014 Day 3 - Enduro Day

Finally. A chance to thank Pisgah for her lessons regarding navigation of high speed, hand numbing, mind blowing descents. The trails here in PA are tough. The rocks turn a smooth pedal stroke into something more similar to a swift kick in the but. It really feels like you are getting kicked in the butt, over and over and over and over again. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I do ride a hard tail so maybe some of it is my fault. I just can't let go of the interaction with the trail that comes from riding a well built, super fun, steel hard tail 29er. It's a Transition Trans Am. Plug. transitionbikes.com. This bike rocks. It's the best 29er I've owned, hands down. The only other bike that is similar was my custom titanium 26er by Steve Potts. Plug. stevepottsbicycles.com. Steve Potts makes awesome bikes and I'm building up my first custom ti Steve Potts 29er soon. Anyway, today was super fun to me since the race was five small Enduro segments within a 22 mile route. Each Enduro segment was timed. Once you finish each Enduro segment, you can leisurely roll to the next segment and then you are timed again. In total, we raced (5) five to fifteen minute segments at mach something speed. I was really focused despite the killer climbing necessary to reach each of the five start lines. Wow. Rocks everywhere. Loose soil, rocks and did i mention rocks? 

Of the five segments my favorite was on a trail called Wildcat. It dropped quickly from a gravel road, made a quick right, gave you a false sense of "easy" and then slapped you in the face like you cussed your Mama during Sunday service. Wham! As soon as you realize the false sense of "easy" was a white faced lie, the trail drops straight down one of the top 5 steepest lines I've  ever ridden. By the time your arms are screaming from trying to brake gingerly and not loose your line your legs are screaming just as bad. Simultaneously you want the pain to be over and the downhill to never end. Contradiction of  desire. Such a rush. It's loud with the bike clanging, rocks flying, super hard breathing but then suddenly all goes quiet and you have arrived...you're in the zone. Zone is a quiet calm place surrounded by chaos, danger and potentially life threatening circumstances. It's why i ride. 
It's probably why many other people ride. Zone is a place where work typically does not take you with some exceptions. Zone is peace and focus. Focus does not come easy to me. When i find it i like to re-create the circumstances that delivered it. Hence riding my bike as fast as i can down a mountain that i wouldn't want to walk down. Yes. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Day 3 was bueno.

Thanks be to the Grandfathers for guiding me down safely. I could hear their calm voices as i launched. Peace.

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