Is it possible to write about the season and it is just the end of August? Well, I guess so since most of the races are done for the year. It is hard to say the year has been a disappointment, but in some cases it really has been. The biggest thing that was not good was the amount of time I have rode my mtb this year. I have not raced too many times and that is almost the only times that I have been on my mtb. Not that I didn’t want to, but I guess I didn’t want to bad enough. I had planned on doing more races, but like I stated earlier, this was the year of conflicts. So many things overlapped and I could not be everywhere.
Other times I could do what I wanted, but the weather did not work out. It has been such a crazy year that I am not sure I even know how many races I did or how many time I rode in the woods. The only thing I am sure about is that it was not very many. I would say it is fairly to say that I have only rode my mtb with fat tires 5 times this year. I know the good mountain biking season is still coming so I hope to do a little better on this number. One of the downers to the year was the fact that I didn’t make a single KPS race. I really do enjoy racing the Kentucky series and like a lot of the people, but it just didn’t work out.
The year was not a complete loss as I have put in a lot of miles. Probably the most that I have ever done in a year. The only down fall with this is that it has all been done on the road bike. The road bike is not all bad and I did have a lot of fun. It sure helps having a group of people that you enjoy riding with. If I was heading out by myself all year, I would have never done it. That is obvious by the fact that I should have rode today, but just didn’t have the motivation. The other good thing about all the road miles is that it is an easy way to put in some good hours on the seat with little worries about driving to the trail head, muddy trails or ticks. I also had some minor success with some crit races again this year. I did the burning Quad and had so much fun that I ended up doing the New Albany crit the next weekend. I really enjoyed them and hope to get a few more of those put on the schedule. I know that just makes even more things over lap.
The real shocker of the year was the amount of weight I lost putting in the rides that I did do. I just wonder what I would do if I ever put in the effort to really try and train. I just might be able to get fast. When I was still putting the miles in, I was getting pretty fast. I missed the last Southern 5 and Dino race of the season. I was really looking forward to seeing how well I would do with all the miles in my legs. I know I could not believe how I rode at Ferdinand and I was not real consistent with the miles at that time or climbing well at all.
The problem is that I am sure that it all goes away quicker than you gain it. I just hope it comes back quickly. The last couple of weeks I have not put in many miles at all. Work has been even more stressful than the rest of the year and with school starting, soccer practice and games, the schedule has been pretty full. It is now getting dark earlier, so it will be harder to put in those long rides. The other option would be to finally hit up those night rides that I have wanted to do all year.
I really need to get back on the wagon and try to step it up even more that I was. The weight it up a little and I hope to be able to put in my best Gravel Grove to date. I am not sure what bike I will ride, but I will be there no matter what. I have done it every year so far and it is one of my favorite races to do. I would like to work out a cross bike to give that a try since I have done it on a SS several times and a mtb the other times. I would really love to put in a sub 5 hour ride. I know I can do it if I put in the effort. Averaging 13 mph does not sound too crazy to me. Maybe if I ride my SS it might not be so easy, but I know people that do it.
I will probably end up riding the niner with my rigid fork and the 44c tires that I picked up another gravel race. If I end up getting a new mtb for next year, I plan on turning the niner in to a monster cross bike. I really think I could excel at those races and if I put in the effort I could have a lot of fun. It is not as much fun when I am out of shape and it takes way too long to finish. It is more of a death march that a race.
Just to restate just how crazy the year has been and how much I am not doing even though I have put some hours in on the bike. My SS has had a flat tire since a ride in the back yard in the snow. I don’t think it was even this year. I know it is easy to fix the tire, but I need to also change the brakes and I don’t know how to bleed disc brakes. That has put a damper in getting it rolling. My old mtb needs to have a lot of work done to it so that my wife can ride it. Most of the work is not that hard, but I need to actually work on it to do it. The Surly 1×1 is sort of ready, but the last time I tried to hop on it, I noticed that the brakes were messed up. I think I stole the brakes off of it and traded them for the new pair of hydraulic brakes that I plan on putting on the SS. Now my new road bike needs to be torn down and cleaned up since the cranks are starting to creek I am sure it was from the crit race in the rain.
So, hard to say the year was a negative year. It was just not what I normally think of a year being. I can only hope to combine this year and what I really wanted this year to be and end up with something in the middle. This would get me in great shape, loose weight, race crits and be able to compete in the mtb races that I do race. I would love to be fighting for a podium spot some day. Another thing that would improve is the fact that I would actually put more posts together. I have had several rides that I wanted to put a post together on or different topics that I wanted to make comments on, but just didn’t have the time or energy to make it work and then the thought passed.