Monday, September 8, 2014

Looking Back And Looking Ahead

On this date last year I broke my collarbone, crashing in mountain bike race on the day after the cyclocross season opener. Yesterday I tempted fate by going mountain biking on the day after this year’s cyclocross season opener. But lightning didn’t strike twice; I emerged from my practice session at New Fane with no damage to bike or body. Did I ride with extra caution? No. There are a few spots at New Fane that I always treat with considerable respect, but I was moving well yesterday:

Lap 1 was a cold start: I jumped onto the trail without any warmup. At 25:16.0, Lap 2 was the fastest lap I have recorded this year, a 9.5-second improvement over the old mark. Lap 3 was actually faster than the graphic indicates. I missed the Lap button on my Garmin when I re-entered the parking lot and I captured 36 extra seconds of ride time. This is confidence-inspiring stuff in advance of the Northern Kettles Fall Epic, the WEMS race at New Fane next Saturday.

I am not likely to ride the mountain bike again until the day of the race. I am not likely to ride it very much after the day of the race, as I have decided not to do the WEMS Championship on Oct. 4. On that date the 3-hour race begins at 12 noon, not at the usual time of 3 p.m. It would be almost impossible for me to do a cyclocross race in Milwaukee that morning and then get out to Alpine Valley for the mountain bike race. There’s another cyclocross race on Oct. 5, so I will save my energy for it instead of exhausting myself.

Today I will rack up some road bike miles. Tomorrow is all about cyclocross practice. If Wednesday isn’t a rain-mandated rest day, then I will hit the road again and make Thursday my rest day. I will be on the road again on Friday, but not for very long. Adequate rest before next weekend will be critical. The 3-hour WEMS race at New Fane would be enough of a test by itself, but on Sunday morning I will be in Lake Geneva for a cyclocross race. It’s only 30 minutes, but a bigger objective.

Sometime this week I will surpass 4,000 miles, year-to-date. Sometime next week I will surpass 4,100 miles, which was my mileage total during my injury-shortened 2013 season.

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